Uncategorized

Ruminations on….well, read on and figure it out :D

Freshmen are often told that they will “discover themselves” at university. The discovery happens both inside and outside the classroom. There are multiple possibilities; the changes that others have told one to expect don’t necessarily happen.
We are often told that we will completely change the course of our degrees. Often, students start with a particular subject and end with its opposite.
Disclaimer: All the instances cited here are based on empirical evidence i.e. what I observe around me, which may be flawed, biased, exaggerated and likely, hysterically funny. DO NOT consider it the Gospel Truth.
The Oh-my-god, need to change majors/ faculties/ perspective on life epiphany
While the first semester of university does deliver many academic epiphanies to a student’s doorstep, they aren’t necessarily as dramatic as widely believed. For example, it doesn’t work like this:
Student: What a wonderful class! Based on this one class alone, I’m going to declare a major in this subject because, hey, all of the courses required to complete this major/ specialist/ minor are as fantastic. Guaranteed. And I don’t need to do any further research, talk to the College Registrar or to any upper year students. When you know, you just know.

It is likely that something similar to the next few scenarios will transpire.

Scenario 1:
A student, looking suitably disheveled from sleep deprivation/ whatever he or she was doing last night, walks into a lecture hall.
Student: This place is massive, I won’t be able to ask a question (because it’s bloody scary). 2000 people in one room- I’m outta here.
Scenario 2:
Another equally morbid, heavily/ under populated lecture hall. Same, long-suffering student.
Student: Hmm… that sounds interesting. The professor doesn’t put me to sleep. Tutorials are interesting. Maybe I won’t drop this course. Considering pursuing a major in this subject, or not. Oh wait, that’s not up to me- GPA’s the boss.
Note: The repeated use of the word “interesting” shows the student’s lethargy.
Scenario 3:
The student is alert completely engaged in the lecture. In love with the professor or, whatever he/she is saying.
Student: THAT WAS AN AWESOME LECTURE! MUST ALWAYS ATTEND THIS LECTURE! I’VE FOUND MY MAJOR.
(Breaks into some form of excited dance)
MUST ALSO VISIT THE PROFESSOR DURING OFFICE HOURS. EVERY WEEK!
Scenario 4:
Student aimlessly wandering, looks tired from too much sleep.
Student: Lecture? What is that? Where is it? Am I enrolled in that course? (Walks away in a daze)
The in-touch with nature moment:
Looking at that first snowflake/ ray of sunlight through the curtains. Violins playing in the mesmerized student’s head.
Student: Nature is beautiful. Life is beautiful. I should take up yoga.
Disclaimer: Weather conditions are subject to change, depending on one’s geographical location.

The realization that “cool” is a subjective word.
Student A: I spent the whole night at the library. There are so many readings, but I really need to work harder. G-panting- P-panting- A
Student B: That’s cool. I had a “sick” week! Was out every night, AND I still made it to class.
Student A: That’s cool.
Student C: Can’t talk now- busy with so many extracurriculars. That resume won’t build itself. (Runs out of room)
Students A & B: That’s cool.
From this we also deduce that word “sick” is also subjective.
You can’t possibly do everything- and it’s okay:
Before beginning university, every student has a “bucket list’- although the contents of each vary. I did too- my list is endless and still incomplete. With great difficulty, I’ve managed to one or two of the things I had originally intended.
Once the onslaught of assignments, readings and tutorial attendance begins there is very little time left. In addition to that, one has to learn to live independently (this involves eating healthy, without parental nagging), cope with homesickness and make friends. The last one is a crucial as maintaining a healthy GPA because, as sociology tells us, “man is a social being”.
Note: This may not be applicable to you if you enjoy being a hermit crab and living (i.e. hiding) under your bed.
You also need to sleep enough…..well…try to sleep enough.

Don’t kill yourself, worrying about everything you didn’t do this semester. There’s still a WHOLE OTHER SEMESTER and lots of snow to trudge through.

Uncategorized

To be or not to be….choices of an average University of Toronto student

To be or not to be- Daily dilemmas of the regular UofT student

2014-09-03 15.33.52
Shakespeare’s oscillating, moody protagonist left us a few wise words before dying. Let us explore how they our daily lives as (clichéd as hell) “leaders of the future”- a title bequeathed to young people across the world by multiple people, that I don’t know who deserves the credit for it (read: citations). Read on , and be amused (hopefully):

1. To drop or not to drop ( a course)
2. To exercise or not to exercise (everyday)
3. To sue or not to sue ( the campus catering)
4. To cry or not to cry (for that dying GPA)
5. To sleep or not to sleep (that extra hour)
6. To live or not to live (in Robarts/ “Insert any other preferred library”)
7. To pursue or not to pursue ( those “meaningful” distractions called extra-curricular activities)
8. To attend or not to attend ( class/that particular party, the weekend before major submissions/tests)
9. To fight or not to fight (with one’s roommate/ the cold weather outside)
10. To run or not to run (away from campus)
11. To be or not to be ( happy, despite the challenging, often heart-breaking UofT universe)

Uncategorized

Canada calling…destination Toronto

The beautiful city of Toronto. #torontobynight
The beautiful city of Toronto. #torontobynight

The reason I haven’t written and no, this isn’t good old procrastination is because I’ve moved to a new city. As a student at the University of Toronto, I now live in as the name of the university suggests Toronto, Ontario, Canada. If you looked into the archives though, you would find that the last post was published in August its November now and I apologize to those kind enough to read this blog.

Being a university student has taught me a few things, but I’ll talk about that later. Mostly I hoped that God and my marginally improved time management skills ensure that I keep updating this blog regularly, since this is the only piece of writing I do now that’s not for class. Across the world many suffering souls i.e. other university students will empathize.

Now, for the big cliché reveal- A few things university has taught me:

  1. Living with a room mate is not as easy and fun as the wise-ones-before-us-say. Even if one has a room mate one actually talks to, one misses the privacy of one’s own space. And the embarrassing walk-ins on the aforementioned room mate and a (possibly) significant other become a fact of life. Rather like the sun rising in the east.
  2. Being a nerd doesn’t lead to expulsion from the rest of the (un)civilized society. In fact it helps maintain those three massively important letters G P A.
  3. Talking about politics (global or local) isn’t considered alien; it can bore others if done all the time. But I suppose that is applicable to anything in life.
  4. A Bathroom Battle Strategy is necessary when one shares a bathroom with forty-seven other people. Beware of the basins and commodes on a Saturday/ Sunday morning or even a very late Friday night.
  5. The library may well become one’s new home, in which case one wonders why one is paying those expensive residence fees. The libraries at the University of Toronto are mostly gorgeous, peaceful environments so no complaints there.
  6. The threat of that mountain of work that they warned us about yes, that’s very real and can be quite demoralizing. Best to work on those time management skills or pay the price.
  7. They also mentioned that the cafeteria food will be terrible, repetitive and make one want to vomit. The last one may be an exaggeration, but point taken. In fact these days my happy expressions closely resemble my I-just-escaped-the-caf face.
  8. Sex is everywhere. People are talking about it or, quite literally “doing it”. Refreshingly though, nobody’s hiding it.
  9. People get drunk routinely (read: frat parties, house parties, college parties), which makes one want to avoid the bathrooms on the weekends. Sadly one can’t. Kudos to those party-hard people who actually make it to class, and through term assignments successfully.
  10. There are lots of activities to pursue from simply the gym to the countless clubs. Don’t worry about getting healthy that automatically happens from all that power walking one does to reach class on time and courtesy of all that sacrificed caf food. Fair warning though; although many things seem appealing one won’t be able to it all.

I won’t be mentioned the crashing averages, because everyone out there ( genius, stupid, average) has already suffered those. No point increasing grief in an already grieving world.