Why it’s Different This Year…

This year, instead of just looking forward to winter break for the food and family time, I’m also looking forward to the stress-free feeling that this winter break will bring.

Unlike high school, where exams are scheduled in January, university exams are held in December, right before the holidays, leaving you absolutely stress-free and able to enjoy your break to the fullest.  In high school, when exams are in January, half of your winter break is dedicated to studying (or at least should be, because that seems to make sense).

But when do high school kids ever make sensible decisions?  So the winter break often goes by with lots of sleep and lots of fun, but very little studying, which leaves you feeling extremely guilty.


But this year, now that exams are finished right before the break, we can set our textbooks aside for two whole weeks without feeling guilty!  So take advantage of this winter break and enjoy it to the fullest, whether that’s spending time with friends and family, or doing absolutely nothing and just relaxing.  I know that when these exams are over, I’m going into hibernation 🙂


If You Never Start, You Never Finish

Today I was walking down the shady tunnel between Kaneff and Davis, when I heard footsteps behind me. Knowing that there was someone behind me, I held the door open for him, and he was so grateful.  The man behind me was an elderly janitor, who had just finished work for the day at UTM.  He seemed friendly and we struck up a conversation immediately.  At one point, he asked me if I was in first year and how I was liking it so far.  I told him it was pretty good, just a lot of work.  He agreed and said it did seem like a lot of work.  Then he uttered these golden words that really stuck with me.  He said: “But if you never start, you never finish”.

I realize how obvious that statement is, but sometimes the most obvious words are the most encouraging. And that’s why I’m sharing these obvious words with you today— so you can adopt this as your “first year mantra” to help you get through the stressful times (including final exams which are quickly approaching!).
So when you put off studying for your econ exam, remember, “If you never start, you never finish” and hopefully you’ll be motivated to crack open your textbooks and start studying because the sooner you start studying, the sooner you finish, and if you never start, you never finish.
Shoutout to the mysterious janitor who shared these words of wisdom with me! Hopefully you all find them as inspiring as I did!

Out With the Old, In With the New

Last Friday, my high school had its commencement, which is basically graduation in November.  The idea is to have a reunion, rather than a goodbye.  It was great seeing everyone, but one thing that really surprised me was the feeling I had walking back into my high school.

As I walked through the hallways that I spent 4 years in, the same hallways where I chatted with friends on the way to class, and ran through in the morning, trying to make it in on time, I couldn’t believe how foreign it felt.  It didn’t feel like it was a home to me for the past 4 years, and I couldn’t understand why.

When I walked through those halls again for the first time in months, I expected to experience a sense of security and comfort, or familiarity and relief — a feeling of finally coming home after a looong vacation.  But I didn’t experience that, and I can only think  of one reason why.

I have a new “home” now.  A new place of familiarity and security.  Although I’ve spent 4 years in high school, it already seems like I’ve spent an eternity at UTM.  The atmosphere of UTM is so welcoming and warm, that it’s easy to adopt it as a new home.

After talking to friends at commencement who are  attending other universities and claim they still feel like outsiders, still trying to adapt to the new environment around them, I realize how lucky we are to go to a school that is so easy to love and become comfortable with.

Don’t ever take that for granted!

It’s That Time of Year….

To dress up or not to dress up?  What’s acceptable for Halloween in university? To dress up while everyone else doesn’t makes you seem childish, but to not dress up when everyone else does would make you seem un-spirited… THE DILEMMA!


Well, if you do decide dress up, you can’t get away with the typical and extremely overdone costumes that were acceptable in public school.  It’s time to get rid of that vampire cape you used every Halloween, throw out the witch’s hat you’ve re-used continuously, and find some creative and new Halloween costumes.  Here are some ideas to get you started!

Individual Ideas:

Miley Cyrus and her wrecking ball


Pro: EVERYONE will easily recognize your costume.

Con: Good luck sitting down!

A Tinder account


Pro: You’re self promoting your Tinder account!  You’re basically a walking ad.

Con: You’re revealing the shameful fact that you still use Tinder.

One night stand


Pro: It’s hilarious and creative!

Con: Getting through doors may be difficult..

Couples Costumes:

William and Kate wedding


Pro: You get the opportunity to look amazing.

Con: The effort it takes to look amazing.

Unprepared woman who wins the lottery


Pro: You’ll definitely win any costume awards for creativity.

Con: Girls, you’ll have to keep your “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is happening to me!” face on all Halloween, and boys, you’ll have to wear your winning smile for hours- otherwise the costume won’t be complete!

And best for last…

Group Costumes:

Roller coaster riders


Pro: When the whole costume comes together, it looks amazing!

Con: You’ll have to spend the entire day/night with these people in the costume, so choose the participants wisely!



Pro: There’s no limit to the amount of people you can have in this costume – the more germs you have, the scarier the costume is!

Con: It’s going to get really stuffy and smelly inside your germ suit.. be prepared.


Hope this gets your imagination running, because the possibilities are endless when it comes to Halloween costumes!

Happy Halloween!

Things We Really Need to Stop Saying

During these past few months, I’ve had many conversations with many different people.  One of the many great things about UofT is the diverse population we have.  Everyone has such a unique background, and many people speak English as their second, or even third, language.  However, after interacting with these new people, I noticed that there are some things that we all do (whether English is our first, second, or third language), that just NEED to be stopped.

The first is our use of the word “literally”.  Long ago, this word originally meant “in a literal or strict sense”, but those days are long gone.  The word has evolved and become a word that overdramatic teens and young people attach onto EVERY. SINGLE. SENTENCE. Example: “I literally just peed my pants laughing!!”

….did you really though?

More examples:

1 2

3        48_1

It has become the most overused word in the English language…Literally.

Another word that has lost all meaning is “lol”, or for you non-texters, “Laugh Out Loud”. I can’t remember the last time I read a text and actually laughed out loud, yet:


I am definitely not laughing out loud at the fact that my computer is being slow, or that I have to write a 10 page essay, yet just like the word “literally”, “lol” has become another overused word that we attach to every text that we send.

Why do we do these things? I have no idea, but please help put an end to these overused words! Support the cause and tweet #stopliterally2014 and #stopLOL2014, and join the many frustrated people out there!

Can you guys think of any words or phrases that you’re tired of hearing? Please comment below and share your frustrations!

What We Miss Most About High School

We’re officially in the midst of midterm season!  This is evident without even looking at our calendars- just look around you and notice how everyone has traded in their “dress-to-impress” clothing for their UofT gear. At times like this, many of us find ourselves reminiscing about our high school days, where life just seemed so much easier.  Here’s an acrostic poem of the few things that I miss most about high school:

H omework? What homework..?
I ce breaker games
G etting easy As
H aving a social life

S now days!!!
C ost-effective
H olidays were actually holidays
O ne for all, all for one
O h so powerful driving license
L ittle (to no) responsibility
(This is pretty much how all seniors feel bringing their cars to high school)
What do you all miss most?
Good luck on midterms!

There’s No Place Like Home

“You don’t get the REAL university-experience unless you live on res!”

I know I’m not the only one who’s heard this over and over again. So, I’m going to speak for the thousands of commuters out there, who, like myself, have learned that this is 100% NOT TRUE. Since when is being forced to do your own laundry, cook your own food, and clean up after yourself the only way to have fun? There are so many reasons why living at home and attending university is a bonus, rather than a burden, but I’ll break it down into the 3 Fs for you guys.

#1: Food: I’d like to share some of the amazing home-cooked meals I’ve had this past week:

tumblr_mgoabbaeRb1rows2xo1_1280  photo

Whereas if I were living on my own, my meals would look something like this:

homer  whattoeat_lunch_kraftmacncheese cooking-fails8  cooking-fails6

Home-cooked meals is the way to go!

#2: Family: My family are my best friends, so I can’t even imagine going from seeing them everyday, to once every few months. Also, while your roommate(s) can hate on you all they want, with your family as your roommates, they’re morally obligated to like you!

#3: Finances: Lastly, and second most importantly (the food issue is of course #1) you’re saving tons of money on food and housing. There’s absolutely no downside when it comes to having more money in your bank account!

And if I’m not convincing enough, how about hearing five more students’ opinions about living at home?

“Living at home is the best of both worlds; I get to stay involved with school events and go back home at the end of the day to my own quiet space.”- Antoinette D.

“Good food all the time”- Salman K.

“Why leave when you have everyone and everything right here?”- Mai H.

“You still feel the freedom and excitement anyone normally gets from being in university, but there’s still a sense of security that helps you from being overwhelmed. Plus you get a live-in cook and maid (love you mom).”- Hazel N.

“Living at home is comfortable”- Michael E.

So commuters, don’t ever let res kids tell you that you’re “not really getting the TRUE experience”, because as we’ve established, that’s just not true. Sure, living on res has its perks, but living at home ain’t so bad either! Living at home definitely does NOT take away from the university experience, because I honestly spend most of my time at UTM and I don’t feel like I’m missing the experience at all- I’ve still made friends and everything, I’m just saving money while doing it. The only difference between their university experience and yours is that you’ll come out of there with money still in your pockets, while theirs will be completely drained.