Finding Balance: New (School) Year Resolutions

A photo a bar with an etching that reads University of Toronto in front of a red brick building and a tree

There’s one more week before the school year begins. Around this time, I often have mixed emotions that range from excitably happy to anxiously stressed. I imagine these feelings probably are common to many students. I like to explain my experience of these pre-school-year jitters as my body anticipating and preparing for the pendulum-like emotional rollercoaster that is the school year.

This year these feelings are coming on a little stronger. I think it’s because I’ve finally reached the end of my degree and so I’m putting more pressure on myself to raise my personal bar a lot further than I’ve already raised it. Most likely, I am psyching myself out. The school year will go by just as others have, and at the end of the year I’ll have a new bag of mixed emotions to deal with, but it’s hard to not focus on the here and now.

Art is my Salvation: Hart House Art Tour

photograph of jellyfish suspended in a tank glowing a fluorescent pink against a purplish blue backdrop
This week has been like swimming through a tank full of jellyfish 🙁

This week has been a tough week for me. A lot has happened and a lot still remains to be going on. The majority of it has simply been personal, but sometimes personal obstacles are the ones that seem the most difficult. And in my opinion, rightly so, because to me personal battles are actually opportunities to grow in disguise.

In times of personal struggles, I have found that creativity and art are two things that ground me. Writing in a journal for instance, or even doodling in sketch pad. But sometimes inspiration to be creative doesn’t come easily when faced with a mountain that needs to be overcome. In these times, I enjoy finding inspiration in the more traditional way: that is surrounding myself with art. And what better way to do this than by taking advantage of Hart House’s free monthly Art Tour?

Gotta Snap ‘em All: mapping out your bank’s nearest branch and ATM

IMG_3332I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t ridiculously obsessed with Pokemon GO. I’d also be lying if I told you I wasn’t extremely disappointed that my last 10 km egg hatched me a dang Jynx! But what do any of these pokenanigans have to do with finding Automated Teller Machines in and around campus to prevent paying a service fee? Everything and barely anything all at the same time.

On Campus Job Hunting Season is Now Open!

a photo of a hand holding a yellow coloured iced beverage in a plastic cup with a green straw and a logo with the image of a white mermaid in the middle of a green circle
Spending my hard earned cash.

Since the age of fifteen I have always been employed. Going through high school, it allowed me to have the freedom to spend my hard earned cash on things that I wanted and not have to rely on having to convince my parents to give me money or buy me certain things. Fast forward to my university years, being employed has become even more important. The money that I earn from being employed not only allows me to experience things that Toronto offers, but also helps tremendously in covering the cost of being in school.

Land Ahoy!: A day on Toronto Islands

phot looking at animal pens at Riverdale Farm
Riverdale Farm

It’s official, we are in the last half of summer. With August being two weeks away I’m certain all of us are thinking about the arrival of the fall semester. I’m also certain that many of us are recounting what we’ve done so far in the past months so as to plan accordingly for the remaining tank top days of the summer season.

For myself, the summer has been a blur of problem sets, readings, and attempts at healthy life balances. I’ve hung out with friends, had many park days and in just the past week have set out to be the very best Pokemon trainer like no one ever was. What my summer hasn’t been is a day at the beach!  Well until this past weekend when I set out to explore Toronto Islands for the first time in what can only be described as forever and a half.

Adventures in Wonderland

I’m addicted to the adrenaline rush. This addiction is a strange one because I would never go as far as jumping out of a plane, nor would I jump off of a bridge attached to a cord, but in this case I can’t seem to get enough of the rush. The entire package sets me off: the anticipation before the rush, the rush itself, and the reeling feeling afterwards. My name is Jasper, and I’m addicted to rollercoasters.

Sixteen Candles: U of T’s Pride Pub Coming of Age

a picture of a lit candle being held during a vigil
candles at the Toronto vigil for Orlando victims

June is Pride Month and regardless of how each one of us identify, it is a month that we all should be proud of. A month where we can rally together and celebrate diversity, equality, inclusivity, and freedom from discrimination. This year is an especially important one. Just a week ago, the LGBTQ+ community was shaken to the core due to a mass shooting in Orlando at Pulse Night Club, which claimed the lives of 49 people and left 53 others injured. The scale of this hate crime is the largest of its kind and one that has sent ripples across the world and throughout the LGBTQ+ community. In response to such a tragedy, LGBTQ+ communities in solidarity have stood defiantly, reclaiming the original intent of Pride Month: to fearlessly push back against violent discrimination by loudly celebrating diversity and being more visible, because everyone has the right to love and be loved without being afraid.

Beating the Summer School Blues

Picture of a house and white picket fence in the summer
Steinbach, Manitoba from my road trip across Canada.

Summer. What a gloriously wonderful season! A season full of sunshine, street festivals, and memorable travel adventures. For students it is the season of rejuvenation after diligently working through two semesters of intense learning, a much deserved break. But there are a handful of brave souls, myself included, who venture into the summer season with no break in mind. Instead, these souls forge forward with dreams of triumph, fearlessly taking on the dreaded summer course (or courses)! These brave souls are known as the summer students.