The likelihood is that you’ve seen many online events. Either on the U of T website, through emails, Instagram, Facebook, Eventbrite, etc… And it’s just too much. I know there are some cool events and maybe some prizes to be won if you’re really lucky. People are shyer online, quieter and the atmosphere is not as tangible. I know that might be true. But what if:
What if we had none of them.
No events for a whole term.
And then one event popped up. Then it would feel more special. But they are still as special now.
Of course, I’ve thought that I could go next year because I’m busy. Then, I’ll say the same next year – when do I stop? It’s difficult to squeeze in when you have to help out with the family at home, or mentally need that evening off. But I also know that many, many students work hard to reach out to people to get them to contribute and do an event at U of T for us, the students and seeing the preparation other students do reminds me it’s pretty remarkable.
Recently, some of my first-year mentees in engineering and St. Mike’s have been looking ahead and asking which groups or societies fit them better and how to be involved with them. I’ve enjoyed helping them and can see how these conversations take longer online, but I’m really glad they asked.
Aside from TEDxUofT and its event I wrote about last week, there really are so many opportunities to get involved. From this past week, I’ve heard of a brand new Engineering Athletics magazine which looks like it will help retain a community feeling online. The magazine will celebrate intramural sports players and alumni, there’s a piece by the Dean Chris Yip of U of T Engineering and there’s a new initiative to keep active and share that little bit of the world that you’re in.
I’ve also seen an iCure event in which Ramona Braganza, Hollywood trainer to stars such as Halle Berry, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Alba and she is talking about ‘How to (Realistically) Create a Healthy Lifestyle’ – I found out how tricky it was to ask her to dramatically lower her lesson fee so do check this one out.
Other places to find opportunities online: check out The Varsity and join as a contributor; Hart House is always flowing with a stream of novel events; check U of T student groups and find clubs and their respective social pages on Facebook and Instagram. Remember, I’m not even scratching the surface of clubs/societies and the events that students and groups at U of T offers. Try to explore and find something that floats your boat.
If you prefer to take it in rather than be actively involved, how about seeing The Varsity Blues Instagram and checking out what our student-athletes are up to. There are athletes competing for National Teams on the international stage and alumni in the Premier League for West Ham. Or find something your friends are getting involved with either participating or organisations and support them in a big way or small one. I’m sure they’d be incredibly grateful for you taking the time for them and all the effort they’ve put in.
So, I think you make a big step forward and someone else’s day by attending an online event this semester. One event. Maybe it’s your best friend or someone you met in the first week, they’d really love your support.
Be uncomfortable, not ungrateful.