As a campus tour guide, I receive a lot of questions surrounding student life and whether a school-life balance is something one can expect to manage at the renowned U of T.
Seeing everyone’s defeated, exhausted expressions on campus, I thought it’d be a good time to share some of my tips and tricks of the trade that have helped me to juggle three jobs, three sports and a full-time course load.
1. Sometimes you need to downsize. Sure, juggling five balls looks really cool but if you’re exhausted and you’re about to see them all fall to the floor, consider whether you might be able to take one out of the equation. I know it’s hard, we’re very ambitious students and we prefer to be able to persevere and to succeed without giving anything up, but I encourage everyone to critically evaluate whether the cost is worth what you’re gaining.
For Self-Care week, I want to share an experience that literally changed the course of my entire university career and perhaps, changed how I will live my life from now on.
Okay, yeah, I’m overly dramatic usually but I’m not exaggerating here, promise. Brace yourselves.
I recently attended one of the Faculty of Arts & Science’s Backpack to Briefcase events, Humanities/Languages Speed Networking. University of Toronto alumni were invited to talk to students about their career pathways, and how they managed to navigate the workplace after graduation. The first half of the event consisted of discussions with a pair of alumni in small groups, and the other half involved an informal mingling period with peers and alumni. We got to ask alumni about their experiences and main takeaways from their time at U of T, their career pathways, and what relevant skills and experiences they needed to get their jobs. From listening to the various stories and opinions of the alumni, I managed to pick up these four lessons about career exploration.
When I signed up for Navigating the Workplace, a workshop offered by the Career Centre, I didn’t know what to expect. This was the first Career Centre event I had ever attended, and the event description only vaguely spoke about building goals, understanding workplace expectations, and learning effective communication skills. However, at the end of the event, I gained insight into how to effectively communicate my qualities, and about the different ways to approach career exploration.
It was my first day of classes at the University of Toronto, and I stepped onto the trampled turf of front campus with a pair of juvenile—and, admittedly, cliché—Converse and a backpack-sized collection of goals for the incoming year. I was brimming with a plethora of productive emotions, such as anxiousness, homesickness, and—probably the most helpful one—fear.
Luckily, I made it out first year alive, and with zero regrets. Zero regrets, that is, except for one.
If ever we had to designate a time of the year that made people feel the most “BLAH,” it would be around now. The dreary weather and post-holiday lull make for a very uninspiring landscape that certainly do not help to foster creativity. I too fall prey to the monotony that is the mid-winter blues. (Is it even mid-winter? Realistically, has it even been a true winter this year? Are we feeling the ramifications of global warming? All good questions). Feeling like a sad, deflated, grey-tinged marshmallow, I can get really unmotivated to deal with work and school – which can be quite problematic at the start of a new semester. However, I have a few tricks to try and inspire creativity and productivity: