3D Toronto Sign at Nathan Phillips Square

My first weekend in Toronto

Last week, I wrote about leaving my home in Malaysia. While the moving away part was sad, I am very excited to share my experience as a first-year student at the University of Toronto!

I arrived less than a week ago, so the past few days have been extremely busy. The number of steps I have taken so far is shocking (I didn’t know Toronto requires so much walking!). Since I live off campus and I couldn’t travel with my family, there were things that I needed to purchase and get to my new place. It is an adulting process! I thought I would be jet lagged for a while, but I was too sore and exhausted to not sleep at night.

I got to try the famous Tim Hortons! It is pretty different from what Malaysia has to offer, so I felt great trying something that feels more “Canadian.” However, I do realize that the food portions here are HUGE. A portion at Toronto can basically cover at least two of my meals. Also, something I struggle with about food is the price – they can be quite expensive (especially if you convert to Malaysian ringgit). I’m still new to the tax and tipping culture, so eating feels more like a chore now. My uncle said that I’m still adjusting, so I hope I will feel better about food in the next few weeks.

Over the summer, I’ve been both excited and nervous about meeting new people. I wanted to be involved in different things, but I could not help feeling anxious about what to expect in leading a new life as a university student. I've tried my best to explore the opportunities on campus and get myself involved in the community as soon as possible. Of course, I also assessed my own availabilities so that I don’t get burnt out! I’m making time for different things right now, so I truly look forward to the experience I get to have this year.

I've gone to a few classes so far, and although some of them are online, they still feel real. I thought that the online classes would make me feel like less like a university student because they would be less interactive and I wouldn't get to see my classmates. But after I had my first online chemistry class, I found that many students were putting their questions and saying hi in the Zoom chat. It finally felt like I manifested my identity as a university student. I still don’t know what to expect, but I hope I continue to have the strength to lead on this new journey.

I wish you all a good semester. See you on my next one!

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