Last week I wrote about some personal strides I’ve been hoping to make academically. Another thing I want to do this semester, though, is to become more involved in the U of T community. Seeing as how it is still #TryItUofT month, I thought now would be a perfect time to change things up.
“Woke up this morning I was laid out flat on the dark side
With the moon and the room on the wrong side
I took a needle, sewed myself right back at the seams
I saw my universal gleam” – ‘Flick of the Finger‘, by Beady Eye
Liam Gallagher might not have the same vocals he did back in Oasis’ heyday, but his last effort to bring back the glory days with his (now disbanded) Beady Eye did bring back some of the open lyrical interpretation the band was known for instigating – but I digress. Nevertheless, it makes for a great quote that can relate to the idea of starting the new year with resolutions. It’s a time of year when – for whatever reason – you can see your errors more clearly, and when you decide to pick up the metaphorical needle and attempt to sew yourself back together again. I’m not typically one to fall into the societal norm of setting resolutions specifically to ring in the new year – but given that this will be my first full year as a university student, I decided to give it a shot.
Crazy as it may seem, this semester’s almost over! Classes ended this week, and finals season has finally arrived. If it weren’t for my impending doom, I wouldn’t have been able to tell that it’d already been four months since I first touched down in Toronto. Amidst all the hapless cramm — I mean, conscientious studying, in a bout of productive procrastination I thought I’d take a look back at my first semester here at U of T.
A pretty important vote was held last week at the University of Toronto Student Union’s (UTSU) Annual General Meeting, at least for the Faculty of Engineering. If it failed to pass in our favor, not only would we be left with one representative on the UTSU board, we might also lose out on the 50% fees from UTSU that were agreed to be diverted to the Engineering Society (EngSoc). Thankfully, the student body came through (albeit on the second attempt, as this was a second round of voting), and we engineers kept our seats on the board. This was my first real exposure to student politics on a university level, and it’s truly opened my eyes to the importance of having it around.
One thing that’s become particularly evident to me this semester has been the drastic changes needed to my time management methods. I’ve heard from other first years that they too have had to adjust to new work habits, regardless of the discipline. Relating to my own experience, my time budgeting skills in high school were pretty sub-par, which led to me attempting some serious adjustments on the fly in first-year.
The start of the ’gap’ between midterms and finals is definitely a good time to find more opportunities to de-stress where possible. As I’ve been emphasizing the importance I’ve placed on striking a balance between work and play, I’ve decided to find out where my fellow first-years have been going to relax on campus. Specifically, I’ve been looking for places to ‘unplug’ and unwind without keeping a constant eye on my phone.
This past month has undoubtedly been one of the more strenuous months of my life thus far, and that probably goes for a lot of my fellow freshmen. Midterms hit me hard and have left me feeling absolutely exhausted. Even though mental wellness month just ended, I still think it’s important to make sure sure that I head into the second half of this fall semester with a healthy mindset.
This past week saw a couple of events hit Nathan Phillips Square that provided me with perfect opportunities to better immerse myself in Toronto culture. Wednesday, October 21st, was the Light the Night walk. It was a poignant occasion to honour both survivors and those who had lost their fights to blood cancer, and yet was full of enthusiasm and energy as people from all over the city gathered to raise money for blood cancer research. It allowed me to represent friends who had overcome blood cancer, and be there to show support for all those who had lost loved ones to the disease.