Olive sitting with back turned, looking out over forest in Gaspe.

Signing Off

Two years of blogging for Life@UofT, and my time as a blogger is coming to an end. Welcome to my final post! I’m sad to be leaving but it’s time for me to graduate (fingers crossed I manage to hand in all those final essays on time). For this last post I thought I'd reflect on what life lessons I’ve learned while at U of T.

Happiness and when to do something about it

Art journal with painting of three eyes, mushrooms being roasted over a fire, and a quote from Donna Tarte about search for beauty being a fatal flaw.
  • I remember the first few months of university being difficult and lonely, but now when I look back I wish I’d realised just how exciting it was to be making new friends and learning so much about a subject I loved (classical civilizations!).
  • Sometimes stress and anxiety can become overwhelming but there is always someone to talk to: friends, family, guidance counselors, Health and Wellness.
  • In the middle of third year I realised (multiple times) that I wasn’t interested in my other majors--that’s okay, it’s never too late to switch what you study. 

Losing that spark

Watercolour of a long-hair cat.
Front cover of notebook that says 'Hellenistic Art' with a sticker on the front.

  • There was a point where I lost interest in what I was studying, not because I didn’t like the subject but because I was bored of it. I think most students experience this at some point--when academics becomes about completing the next assignment rather than passion. 
  • My solution was to find things I was passionate about outside of class, things like arts and crafts and dance. It can feel like a chore to get myself to do these activities but once immersed I always enjoy them. 

Stepping outside of your comfort zone

Olive, sitting in burwash dining hall.
  • Pretty cliché, but really, pushing myself to talk to people, to go to events, to do things that scared me turned out to be wonderful. It’s important to know your limit, but I learned that I was more capable than I thought! 
  • I’m still afraid to speak in class and go to office hours but I have become aware that it’s up to me to shape my own uni experience. I’m here to learn, just like everybody else.

Comparing myself to others

Olive taking a selfie in a full-length mirror.
  • University can be a competitive place, but that doesn’t mean it’s a competition between students. Comparing myself to others--who I felt were doing better, achieving more--prevented me from being the best I could be. 
  • Everyone studies, de-stresses, and re-energises differently. Everyone has unique goals, priorities, and talents. Everyone is on their own path--there is no need to worry about timing. 

Perspective and community outside of school

Olive, sitting with back turned, looking out over a forest in Gaspe.
  • Remembering that there is a world outside of school helped keep me afloat when I felt overwhelmed by homework. Writing for the blog, taking tap dance lessons, and keeping in touch with family members helped me keep in mind what really was important to me. 

I have learned so much during my time at university, I’ve made great memories, I am proud of how I have grown, but most of all I am grateful that I’ve been able to share my experiences here on this blog. Farewell! 

- Olive✌️

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