It’s only a month into school and midterms are hitting us already. In my agenda, there is this backlog of assignments and all the due dates happen to fall within the same week. It happens every year and I’m always looking for more tips on how to stay positive during this time.
Between classes, Orientation week, and illness, I hadn’t gotten a chance to hang out with my best friend Julie for weeks. Our lunch dates kept getting postponed, so I was pleasantly surprised when I mentioned going to the $5 Hart House lunch yesterday and her schedule lined up.
We met outside the Great Hall just after 1 p.m., and although the lunch was set to end at 2 p.m., there was still a large line-up of students and plenty of food. Both of us took the vegetarian option — Greek salad, pita, rice, and a wonderful main of baked eggplant and lentils — although the lemon-oregano chicken sounded delicious as well. The three-course meal felt so refreshing, particularly since healthy inexpensive food is so difficult to find on campus. It left me full, but not at all bloated or uncomfortable as food truck lunches usually do.
Hello new semester! Don’t you just love the buzz around campus this time of year? You know, its that time in the semester where midterms haven’t taken over life yet, the weather is still amazing and you have a whole new batch of stationary to play with. Okay, that last one only applies to me and a handful of very cool people.
It’s also that time of year where I usually make tons of new goals and try extra hard to get this whole studying thing right.
When I got back on campus at the end of Orientation, the first thing I did was visit Caffiends, Victoria College’s student-run fair-trade café, located on the first floor of Old Vic, the college’s castle-like building. As always, stepping into the cozy room felt like going home in a way that no other place on campus quite managed to rival.
Hey there! My name is Meimei and I’m excited to join this AWESOME group of Life @ U of T bloggers for the upcoming school year. I am SUPER EXCITED to blog about our awesome university and events that take place on-campus! And of course share my experiences at U of T with you! Yay! As this is my first blog post of the year, a brief introduction is in order! You can learn more about me and my fellow bloggers if you click on the Crew tab – go ahead, you won’t regret it!
Hi I’m Sargam, and I’ve got something to share with you.
“English summer eating up the atmosphere
Day-time bathers sleep in the shade
Clouds crawl over dampening our attitudes
People run for shelter from the pouring rain”
– ‘English Summer’, by The Moons
Well, we did it. Mild or not, our first winter here in Toronto has come to pass, and we’re in one piece! With one final flurry of tests, I’ve wrapped up midterm season, too. It’s a peculiar feeling – one on hand, having so many evaluations has made time pass by awfully slowly. On the flip side, it feels like freshman year has passed me by entirely too quickly.
“Beautiful 1 bedroom, perfect for a tidy, respectful young couple”
This was the title of the Craigslist ad I responded to last April with high hopes.
Two weeks later I was out of $1300, apartment-less and feeling like the world’s biggest idiot. I had become a victim of the “I’m a [insert very respectful job that only a wonderful person does here] and I am out of the country with my family to work in Europe for the next five years and I need someone really great who will take over my second apartment” scam.
The thing with people who scam for a living is that like most people who are career crime-sters, they are really good at it. If you are unsuspecting (which I completely was) or even worse, a Toronto newbie who has never rented before (hey, I was both) your scammer comes off as a really nice person who is willing to phone you at 3am “England time” to explain to you in great detail about how to money transfer your first and last month of rent. Your scammer will do almost anything to make it easier for you to hand over your money — but once that money has been removed from your bank account, your really nice doctor/engineer/teacher family-man landlord gives you literally nothing but radio silence. When I say nothing I am definitely implying that yes; you for sure are not getting that “Beautiful 1 bedroom, perfect for a tidy, respectful young couple”.
Que the tears and the calls to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
The best way to avoid being scammed is to be realistic about the rental places you find on the internet. Websites like Craigslist, Kijiji, Apartmint, Padmapper, etc can be great resources for a student on the hunt BUT it’s so important to keep in mind the old adage: “if it’s seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Absolutely no one is going to rent out their 1000 square foot, fully furnished King West loft for seven hundred dollars a month. If you do decide to use these websites, here are some things to keep in mind: Continue reading
With the passing of reading week, somewhat begrudgingly, this past Monday marked the restart of classes. While the break definitely provided a much-needed period of rest, trying to get back into a school mindset the past couple of days has been quite the challenge. When we were in high school, spring break was the closest equivalent, but the difficulty levels of the courses puts the re-adjustment period on a level of its own.
Reading week is a great time to take a breather after a flurry of midterms in the weeks prior. I’ve heard from friends who joined one of the multiple organized trips to Montréal, and even those who flew back home for the week. For the laz — er, I mean, studious members of the community, staying around may have been the more appealing choice. At the end of the day, for whatever reasons may have come about, we’re still in downtown Toronto, so we might as well make the most of it…right?