5 Ways to Help You Think About Where to Sail to After University

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Image: Erin Ho, Personal Photo

Everybody has a dream career. What’s yours? I know mine in high school was to be a marine biologist but obviously that didn’t work out. And it’s okay that it didn’t because during that tumultuous time of applying to university then experiencing first year, I was able to delve into a new field of interest: communications and design.

No lie, it would’ve been rad studying sea temperatures and tracking salmon migrations. But, I would much rather choose to design and write over that. These two fields drive me to learn and hone in on the skills I want to learn and need for my future career. Such as designing cool, unique graphics in Adobe’s Illustrator and writing blog posts to create valuable and useful content (the age of content is taking over, people). I don’t have a specific job title in mind and I’m still in second year, so I’m taking my time to develop the skills I’m interested in while figuring things out.

If you have a specific career in mind, that’s great! If not, that’s okay too.

Completing your undergrad takes four long years, but those four years fly by quickly. It’s important to make use of your time and journey to figure where the next harbor is to sail. Here’s five ways to help you figure out what you want to do after university.

 

1. Document your Growth.

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“Progress is progress, no matter how small.” -Unknown

Image: Erin Ho, Personal Photo

To figure out what career you want, I think it’s important to document your growth and progress of your journey in university through whatever medium you feel comfortable with. This allows you to look back and piece together your journey and what you really enjoy doing. For me, that’s writing in a journal and taking pictures for Instagram. I like writing about my thoughts in order to make sense of them and creating content such as posting pictures on Instagram that reflect my aesthetic and life right now. These skills can lead to working as a social media content creator. Look at what you naturally gravitate towards and find where your strengths lie. Those usually reflect what things you enjoy and value, indicating what kinds of tasks your future career should entail.

 

2. Figure Out What Kind of Lifestyle You Want to Live.

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Do you want that 9 to 5 life or set-your-own schedule kinda life?

Image: Erin Ho, Personal Photo

Don’t just envision what kind of job you want after graduation but what kind of lifestyle you want. This drives you to figure out what you value in your life and in your routine. Often times, we make our lives work around our jobs. Draining copious amounts of time and energy from ourselves. When really, your job should work around your life. I know you’re probably thinking, shouldn’t it be “I work to live, and live to work”? Sounds pretty depressing, doesn’t it? That kind of thinking leads you to become overworked, stressed, and severely drained. But when you choose to figure out which values are important to you like having time to spend with your family and friends, being able to work with a community, or even being your own boss, these values will drive what kind of job you want and will find, giving you a stronger sense of purpose and security in that career.

 

3. Explore and Make Connections.

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Engage in discussion and see what each person can learn from another.

Image: Unsplash, Pexels

You can definitely learn a lot from others. That can be through talking to individuals in a field you’re interested in, watching a TED talk on a topic you’ve been meaning to delve into, or even just going to workshops and conferences to learn and discover. By doing these things, you’re exploring interests relevant to you and gaining a bigger picture of what your interested field would entail and require of you.

I’m a student member with RGD (Association of Registered Graphic Designers) and recently got the chance to attend the 2016 DesignThinker’s Conference. It was a very humbling and incredible experience to learn from the great minds pushing boundaries daily in the design field and hearing their reflections on their lengthy design career. Plus, it was great to get lots of resources for free such as magazines, pamphlets, and posters which leads me to my next point.

 

4. Read.

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Find a comfy spot and read.

Image: Tranmautritam, Pexels 

Reading helps you grow and think. But it doesn’t have to be a book. You could read a blog, article, magazine, or even a picture book. The main point is to read. Read about design, microbiology, technology, architecture, camel riding, literally anything that is interesting and relevant to you. Expand your mind by delving yourself into the words and knowledge of others. This will lead you to discover fresh new ideas bringing you to develop new skills and knowledge that can be applied to school or work.

 

5. LinkedIn!

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LinkedIn-like Facebook but for professionals.

Image: LinkedIn, LinkedIn Brand Resources

If you don’t know what LinkedIn is, it’s like Facebook but for working people to get connected-a networking tool for professionals. Having a LinkedIn account allows you to keep your resume and connections up to date. It’s also a great way to explore other people’s LinkedIn accounts who share a similar education as you and see where they ended up for graduation. You can find jobs you’ve never heard of before that interest you and can lead to tailoring and strengthening your resume and experiences.

By looking at other strong, relevant LinkedIn accounts, you learn how to:

  • set up a strong LinkedIn account with a powerful headline to garner interest
  • find and use keywords relevant to what industries you want to work in
  • organize your information in a concise and impactful way

For more tips on how to create a stronger LinkedIn profile, click here.

By setting up a strong LinkedIn profile and communicating what jobs you’re interested in, will increase your chances at getting the job you want and can lead to other great opportunities.

•••

It’s scary to think about what the future holds and whether you’ll be okay and do well financially. But stop and look at where you are now.

You’re in university pursuing a degree that will reflect the knowledge, skills, experiences, hard work, and commitment you’ve gained and demonstrated as an individual. You’ve developed new friendships that have grown to become your support system, study buddies, and potential life long friends. You’ve also become a capable, independent, stronger, and wiser individual. Be proud of yourself, even I’m proud of you!

So whether you’re in first or fourth year, you’ll find your way to your future career through documenting your growth, figuring out what kind of lifestyle you want, exploring and making connections, reading, and using LinkedIn!

This university journey is one that is filled with high and lows but soon you’ll complete the journey and sail off to a new port with more skills, lessons, and experiences to gain!

 

5 Things I Tried For the First Time in University

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Image: Unsplash, Pexels

This title sounds totally misleading and slightly scandalous. But I’ll come clean. The only drug I’ve ever taken was Advil. Instead of partying up late at night, I was actually studying up late at night at the school library. The only drink with the word “alcoholic” in my fridge was my non-alcoholic sparkling wine. (Fancy, eh? 🍾)

As you can see, I may have missed out on a lot of things that many people do in their first year. Things like drinking, clubbing, you know the rest. But you know what? That’s okay, because everyone has different experiences that they’re meant to go through and learn from. So, here are five things I tried for the first time in university and definitely learned from (or am still learning from).

 

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Image: Unsplash, Pexels

1. Drinking Caffeine ☕️

I know what you’re thinking. Wow, this girl has not lived. But really, I never needed to depend on caffeine in high school and knew the ill effects of drinking it on a daily basis. But having flex dollars and a Starbucks right next to the library lured me into the drink consumed by millions daily. I didn’t drink it straight as coffee, but in the form of a sugary combination of milk, espresso, and caramel syrup known as Caramel Macchiato. I definitely felt like an adult sipping my iced Caramel Macchiato while typing away at my laptop in the library. I try to only drink this when I have to toil away the whole day on an essay. I’m more sensitive to caffeine and have stayed up till 5AM because of it. Definitely drink at your own caution!

 

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Image: Erin Ho, Personal Photo

2. Pulling an All-nighter 😩😴😭

Now you’re probably thinking, “Wow, this girl is so soft and probably didn’t work hard in high school.” But really, I just finished my homework before 11:00pm and got my eight hours of sleep every night. Of course, this changed once midterms hit in first year.  I pulled my first all-nighter because my sociology and linguistics midterm were both on the same day. So you can imagine the stress and tenseness I was feeling that day. I felt so sluggish writing my midterms and immediately crashed once I got back to my dorm. It took a couple days to recuperate and get back into routine. Honestly, don’t pull all-nighters unless you really, really need too.

 

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 Image: Erin Ho, Personal Photo

3. Exploring Downtown Toronto by Myself 🏙

I had a lot of school field trips downtown and also went downtown with friends to eat and hang out. But first year was the first time I really explored downtown by myself. I hopped off the shuttle bus at Hart House and found myself wandering around the St. George campus with no guide other than Google Maps. I was trying to find Museum station to subway back home but instead weaved through all of U of T and wound up at the St. George station. It was nice relying on my own intuition and taking in the sites and sounds of the downtown campus. It was peaceful, calming, and I felt good finding my way around a new place. I highly recommend spending some alone time exploring new places to get refreshed.

 

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Image: Unsplash, Pexels

4. Letting Go of Friends 🙋🏻

First year was also the first time I learned to let go of friends. It’s natural for friends to drift apart but that doesn’t always mean the friendship is over. Later down the road, you may return to each other and reconnect. In first year, I learned that it’s okay to distance myself from people who I don’t feel comfortable with. It’s okay to let them go and not feel guilty about it. You don’t have to force yourself to be around people you don’t really like. It’s a hard but important lesson to go through.

 

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Image: Kaboompics, Pexels

5. Drinking Alcohol 😱🍷🍺🍹

Hey, hey, I’m legal and a big kid too. I had my first alcoholic drink at a close friend’s New Years Eve party. It was a Mike’s Cold Hard Lemonade. Let me tell you, I took my time sipping that thing and felt hard core for finishing it. When I showed my friend, he laughed and pointed out the “5%” on the bottle’s wrapper. I was still proud I finished it. However, I was too ambitious to test my limit by trying out the various alcoholic drinks laid out on the table. Little did I know, I got tipsy after a couple sips, believed I could fly, and realized that a little bit of everything adds to a lot. Pro tip, always pace yourself and drink lots of H2O (it’s not an alcoholic drink, but one of the best drinks out there). 🚰

•••

It feels good to come clean about certain things and I definitely learned more about my physical, emotional, and mental limits from trying new things out.

What are some things you tried for the first time in university? Come clean and let it out! It’ll make you feel light and warm inside.  🙂

 

 

Why It’s Okay to Be Alone

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Image: Erin Ho, Personal Photo

To be alone or to be lonely?

Oxforddictionaries.com defines to be alone as “having no one else present; on one’s own.”

Dictionary.com defines to be lonely as “being affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome.”

These two words are often used interchangeably but they mean different things.

You can be alone but not feel lonely. You can feel lonely but not be alone. You can feel lonely while being alone and vice versa.

I think of being alone as a physical state where you’re just on your own. Picture one person reading on top of a hill. They’re not accompanied by anyone else, just their own presence.

I think of feeling lonely as a negative feeling where you feel no one understands you, which makes you feel alone in that sense. Picture a new kid sitting in a group with classmates who are close. The new kid isn’t alone, they’re with a group of people. However, they may feel lonely because they’re unable to connect and feel comfortable with that group.

•••

I felt lonely during first year.

I didn’t isolate myself and stay in my room all the time. I went out and befriended a lot of new people in my program and dorm. We would all hang at each other’s places.

However, the more we hung out, the less alone time I had. The more time I spent with them, I started to realize the differences with the new group of friends I had. I started to feel uncomfortable with them. I decided to distance myself and focus on spending time with people I valued while trying to regain the alone time I had neglected.

Nobody tells you about the slow but creeping feeling of loneliness you’ll experience first year. They always focus on how fun and busy it gets with new friends and new adventures.

I started to feel waves of loneliness in class, in the cafeteria, and even at the dorm. I felt insecure. To compensate I would call close friends and family to fill up my time. Not saying they aren’t worth my time, they are. But that didn’t stop the feeling of loneliness. I would fill my head with negative thoughts of how no one wanted to be around me and how boring of a person I was. I would constantly check my phone and finally reply to text messages only when I was around strangers.

I realized I wasn’t comfortable being alone in public spaces because I was overthinking of how others saw me. I felt naked and judged for not having companions with me at all times in public like before. I would even place my value in others’ presence by spending time with certain people in public. People whose presence I didn’t even enjoy.

It took time for me to realize the differences between being alone and feeling lonely. I thought of them as the same which made it difficult for me to pinpoint my problem. I was letting my loneliness seep into my alone time. After talking with close friends, I realized I felt guilty for leaving my new group of friends and unconsciously wouldn’t let myself move past that and enjoy the alone time I had regained.

•••

I’ve come to learn that I’m someone who deeply values and needs my alone time.

Alone time means to be in the comfort of my own presence and to have the time to reflect, relax, and be myself. Without it, I feel drained, tired, and annoyed.

I forgave myself and them. I realized that being alone in public doesn’t always mean someone is lonely but rather they’re taking the time and place to reflect and recharge in their own presence. We all get recharged through different means. A person’s value doesn’t dwindle whether their friends are around them or not.

This new mindset enabled me to feel a lot more comfortable being seen alone in public. I started to take pride and confidence in my alone time or “me time” again. Talking about it with close friends really helped me not to feel lonely but the key is to not just keep talking about it. But to do, by reflecting and taking steps to help improve your situation and feelings.

•••

I want you to know that there is joy in being alone; you tune into your inner thoughts, you are more still, and mindful.

Human beings are social creatures; we crave and need love and attention.

Find a healthy balance between your social time and alone time. It will take some time and practice to be more and more comfortable with being alone in public spaces. It will feel uncomfortable at times and you may feel lonely, but that’s okay. Everyone experiences it. The more you practice positive and realistic self-talk, the more you find confidence in your own presence.

Don’t let negative thoughts and overthinking grab a strong hold on how you see yourself. It’s a waste of time and energy that can be channeled into better things (like studying, eating, and socializing)! Enjoy time spent alone and time spent with the right people.

Did you ever feel lonely at school? How did you deal with it? Share down below (if you feel comfortable), I would love to hear from you!

 

5 Ways to Live Peacefully with Your Roommates

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Image: Unsplash, Pexels

In my first year, I lived with three other girls I had never met before in an old, musty townhouse on UTM soil sharing one washroom. It took some time adjusting to a new environment and new people. We made a lot of fun memories like taping balloons everywhere for a friend’s birthday and watching funny movies together (I recommend Vacation, it got me loudly snorting). Although I didn’t choose these roommates, we were able to live in peace with one another and make good memories for first year.

In second year, I had the choice of choosing who to live with. I thankfully got to live with one of my longtime friends, and three other people who we met through different classes. Luckily, we all got along well. It was stressful finding a place to live but also finding the right people to live with. Now, you won’t know how well you actually get along with someone until you live with them. So far, we’ve currently been living peacefully together thanks to doing these five things.

 

1. Have Open Communication
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Image: Erin Ho, Personal Photo

I cannot stress this enough, be honest and have open communication with your roommates!!! Making house rules helps clear the air and lay down the “law” in the house. If you don’t like something, like them leaving their stuff everywhere, tell them! Be honest with each other, you both deserve that. Honesty does go a long way and allows you guys to create a safe space to talk about things you don’t like, have accountability, and bring up important matters to discuss. It’s better to let things out then to keep it in and eventually blow up at each other. So be honest, talk about it, and try to understand and help each other!

 

2. Embrace Each Other’s Differences

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Image: Disney, Giphy

Now, living with people you come across everyone’s own personal lifestyle and habits. Learn to embrace the differences each one has and to be understanding instead of judgmental. For example, one of my roommates from first year would take two hours to complete her shower and skincare routine. She would use like 45 bottles, walking in and out of the bathroom to fetch each one to apply it. At first, I thought it was a ridiculous amount of time and effort for hygiene. Just hop in the shower for 20 minutes, apply a couple of skin creams, and you’re good to go! Thankfully, she was the last one to shower so her routine wasn’t holding anyone up. I learned to accept her routine and even learned a few skincare tips from her (like pat, don’t rub face cream in). So embrace each other’s differences and you might learn something new from them!

 

3. Respect One Another

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Image: Erin Ho, Personal Photo

I hope this is a no brainer. Just as honesty goes a long way, so does respect. Respect each other’s space, belongings, beliefs, values, etc. When there’s respect, there’s understanding and carefulness in not pushing or over stepping boundaries. Having respect for each other opens up a safe space to discuss about things. Respecting their values, items, space, and etc. shows that you care for them. When respect is given, respect is also received.

 

4. Spend Time with Each Other

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Image: Adventure Time, Giphy

You don’t just have to live together; you can hang out as well! Amazing, right? You don’t even have to go out to have fun, something simple like making dinner for everyone or watching a movie at home is sufficient enough. Even if you’re schedule is packed, make time for each other. It can be simple as going grocery shopping together or even studying in the library together. Spending time with each other is how you strengthen your relationship, grow closer, and feel like a family!

 

5. Find Balance Between Your Alone Time and Social Time

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Image: McBrayers, Giphy

This is where respect and open communication comes in. You don’t have to feel obligated to always hang out with friends and roommates. When you feel like you need to recharge by having alone time, let them know. It’s okay to. You need it and so do they. Spending too much time together and too much time apart isn’t good. Find the balance between both to live comfortably.


I hope by doing these things, not only will you guys live peacefully together but reach a level of comfort and trust like in Friends.

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Image: Sage, Headoverfeels

There will always be conflicts and tensions. But if you both work at resolving it, then that’ll strengthen the relationship instead of damage it. So remember to:

  • have open communication
  • embrace each other’s differences
  • respect one another
  • spend time together
  • and find balance between your alone time and social time 

If you’ve lived with roommates, how was your experience? What are some lessons you learned from living with them?

A Concise Guide to UTM for the Newbie

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Map of UTM Campus-the key to finding your classes.

Image: UTM, UTM

Welcome! You’re probably here because you want straight to the point info on UTM aka University of Toronto Mississauga and you’re tired of googling here and there and clicking multiple hyperlinks on the UTM site. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. The popular misconception people have of UTM is that we’re the ‘lesser’, often overlooked campus to the downtown campus. Even though we’re slightly closer to the UTSG than the Scarborough campus, most people are quick to think of UTSC as the second campus of UofT.

To be honest, I didn’t even know UofT had a third campus and it was at Mississauga. So when I got accepted to CCIT (Communications, Culture, Information, and Technology) at this campus, I needed lots of information before I made a final decision. Here’s three resources that cover information on the mysterious campus that is UTM:

  • UTM’s Website-covers very important information on every aspect of UTM
  • UTM’s Twitter-provides updates on what’s happening around campus
  • UTM’s Instagram-shows glimpses of campus life

(It was lowkey tiring googling “Mississauga” all the time but at least I know how to spell it now.)

To give you a picture of UTM, think of this campus as the more community like, smaller, peaceful campus filled with a lot of nice modern buildings that are conveniently situated among grass, trees, and plants (aka nature).

Although we’re not part of the downtown campus, we still are a part of U of T which is evidently found in the U of T boundless flags hanging around campus and the abundant sleep-deprived, caffeine-dependent students studying in the library. Back to the misconception of UTM being the ‘lesser’ campus compared to St. George… Each campus has their pros and cons. We all pay our tuition to the same school and both have hard-working, sleep deprived students figuring out their dreams or are working towards them.

Now, to dive into what UTM is all about. I’ve nicely broken up sections about UTM into: Campus Life, Res Life, Student Life, Party Scene, and Nice Study Spots for you to absorb different aspects of UTM better.

Campus Life @ UTM

I wouldn’t know how to describe campus life at UTM other than you get what you put in. It’s up to you to decide how involved you get with campus life whether that’s through student club, res council, sport teams, or even having a study group. One way to add to the culture of UTM is by sporting a “University of Toronto” sweater with “Mississauga” under the name, if you want to go to the extra mile.

Fun Fact: UofT’s official mascot is a blue beaver named True Blue however each UofT campus has their own distinct mascot. UTM’s is an eagle. Nice.

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Image: UofT, UofT Bookstore

Res Life @ UTM

UTM has three dorm buildings: Oscar Peterson Hall, Erindale Hall, and Roy Ivor Hall. There are five court residences: McLuhan, Leacock Lane, Putnam Place, Schreiberwood, and McGrath Valley Residence which are mini townhouse complexes on campus. For my first year, I was placed in a townhouse in McLuhan Court Residence and lived with three other girls. McLuhan Court Residence and Oscar Peterson Hall (OPH) are the residences mainly for first years. In a townhouse, there’s a kitchen, living room, four bedrooms, and one washroom. There’s an upstairs and downstairs floor and you have three roommates compared to OPH where you have your own room as well but share a bathroom with one other roommate.

Even though the townhouse was a lot older, it was nice having a kitchen, living room and three roommates to live with! UTM offers a lot of workshops and events to help you transition smoothly into res life. Plus, it’s great living on campus where everything is nearby. Click here for a cool virtual overview of each residence’s rooms.

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Oscar Peterson Hall. Image: Maria Ruiz, The Medium

Student Life @ UTM

On the topic of extracurricular activities, I’m not the best person to talk about it since I wasn’t involved as much in first year and recently joined the ICCIT Council as an Associate this year. But I will say, UTM does have a lot of councils, societies, and events happening you can join and check out here that has a contact person you can reach out to. Also, we have a clubs’ day in September where you can explore and find clubs you’re interested in joining!

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Clubs Week at UTSG. Image: UTSU, LifeatUofT

Party Scene @ UTM

I’ve heard many times that because UTM is a commuter school, not a lot of partying occurs. But the party scene isn’t dead, it’s just not as lit as the ones you find downtown or at party schools like Western and Laurier. And, if you’re really looking to turn up with other students you can just check UTSG’s party events for a more “lit” experience. So, the good thing is when you come to UTM you’re here to study. And when you want to party, you can head over downtown.

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Image: Mauro Gatti, Giphy

Nice Study Spots @ UTM

I really enjoy studying in sunlit areas filled with individuals working hard in a quiet and calm space. So one of my all time favorite study spots is found in the basement of the Hazel McCallion library. It’s the smaller quiet zone that faces the Health Sciences Complex building and is filled with cubicles and comfy chairs. If that place gets too full, I head on over to Deerfield and walk up to the third or fourth floor that has a quiet comfy seating area filled with a great view of the forest and even has yoga mats for you to get a few stretches out! You’ll find that UTM’s modern aesthetic buildings house comfortable and spacious spots to study and do work along with a great view of nature. Take time to find good, comfy study spots, it’s worth it.

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Hazel McCallion Library. Image: UofT, UofT Digital Media

Resources & Tips for the UTM Newbie


Now that you’ve learned more about UTM, I’ve prepared a list of resources you’ll definitely need to survive here. Hopefully you’ll find these helpful and use them to the fullest!

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Health Sciences Complex. Image: Erin Ho, Personal Photo

  • Academic Calendar-Highly recommend bookmarking your program’s academic calendar because it tells you what required courses and marks you need to get into your program and an extensive list of all the courses offered in your program. In case you didn’t know, you’re not actually in your program until second year. First, you’ll need to get accepted for a Subject POSts (Programs of Study). Confusing, I know. But watch this video for a better understanding of how all this business works.
  • Acorn/Rosi-Think of this as your U of T account containing your financial invoice, timetable schedule, and a whole bunch of important information concerning your time here at UTM. Both sites carry out the same functions. Acorn is just the newer, more updated version of ROSI. But it’s active for you to use too.
  • Dining Hours-Important for when you’re starving and have zero food back at the dorm or at home. Thank God for Starbucks having late hours, you the real MVP.
  • Free agendaIf you don’t have money to spend on a fancy planner, head on over to the Student Centre and pick up an agenda/planner, it’s free and even comes with stickers!
  • GymBelieve it or not, you also paid for this service and it’s available for you to use whenever! If the gym is too intimidating, even just walking down the long black stairs to the gym is a good enough workout. To enter the gym, just scan your Tcard and drop your stuff in a locker but make sure to bring your own lock. Pro tip: Use the showers at the change rooms for when your roomie takes too long back in the dorm washroom.
  • Meal Plan-If you live on res and need to use up your money because the end of school year is ending, spend your basic dollars first. You can only transfer x amount over depending on the type of meal plan you chose. Your flex dollars can be used up quickly by Starbucks or Second Cup so drink up when you’re in the lib!
  • Portal– This is where you can find your courses, lectures, and grades. Always check for your prof’s announcements and syllabus for due dates (I highly recommend the syllabus out).
  • Office of the Registrar-This place is a life saver for all troubles regarding academic, financial, and more. Check out their website to find important dates (so you can pay your fees on time and avoid any service charges), exam dates, and more.
  • Shuttle Bus-One of my favorite resources on campus is the shuttle bus that takes you from UTM to the St. George campus in 40-50 minutes. If you have classes at St. George or just want to have fun downtown, take the shuttle bus! The bus stop is located behind IB and all you need is your Tcard (Free for UTM students but if you’re not from UTM campus, you’ll have to buy the $6 ticket). I recommend checking the UTM Shuttle Bus schedule to check your bus times. If you have classes at Sheridan, you can also take the shuttle bus that stops behind Deerfield.
  • Tcard-This is your personal identification throughout your time at U of T and allows you to access to numerous services such as to take the shuttle bus, take your exam, and check out a book at the library. (Very important piece of ID, bring it everywhere with you.)
  • UTM Miway Bus Pass-I cannot stress how important getting this handy bus pass is. Once obtained, you can board any Miway bus for ‘free’ (you paid for it in your student invoice) and it saves you a lot of money especially if you commute to school.

Oh another thing, UTM is famous for deer sightings and they even have a Twitter account! So if you spot any, take some pics with the flash off. They’re pretty friendly but remember to keep a friendly distance and respect them.

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Image: UTM Deer, Twitter

And that’s the end of the concise guide to UTM. I hope you learned a lot and can use these resources to the fullest!

If you need more detailed assistance on other things, you can always go to the Office of the Registrar, ask a friend, or even shoot me a message on here.  🙂

Good luck! 🌟

4 Ways on How to Love University (When It Gets Tough)

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Relative: How’s University?

Me: It’s great. 

Reminder: Be happy like Moomin when asked that question.

Image: Unknown, Giphy

“I love university,” said no one ever.

If you’re in first year and reading this, congrats and welcome to university-now the source of your debt, despair, and lack of sleep.

If you’re in second year, you’ve luckily survived first year. Lucky you.

If you’re in third year, you’re halfway there and almost ready to die-almost.

And if you’re in fourth year, you’ve miraculously survived the past four years and have earned the ticket of freedom aka that piece of paper with “Bachelor of Arts/Science/Design/Commerce/etc..” on it.

Jokes aside, university really is a fulfilling, meaningful, and purposeful journey you’re meant to take. But there are times, where you’ll come across negative feelings towards university-more specifically towards the workload. And possibly towards your profs and TA’s. But the best thing to do at this time is to work with what you’ve been given and power through by doing the best you can do.

I wrote down four ways on how to love university as a personal reminder for me to remember what I’ve been blessed with and see the hardships I encounter as gifts to help me grow and become better.  I hope these four ways also act as a personal reminder for you to keep going!


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Image: Erin Ho, Personal Photo

1. Accept Where You Are Right Now

Accepting where you at this point in time helps you gain a better perspective of things. Right now you may be feeling unsure about things, stressed, or even hopeless. Just remember that things aren’t static or permanent. You will finish that 5,000-word paper, memorize your lines for that scary presentation, and complete your assignments. Even if you completed it, but it wasn’t your greatest work, at least you did your best. And if you didn’t complete it or do you best, hopefully you remember the lessons learned and improve by learning from those mistakes.

 

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Image: Adventure Time, Giphy

2. Take Breaks (but not for too long)

Sometimes you’ll get too caught up in working and end up super focused due to approaching due dates and shrinking days to work on them. Taking breaks from your school work helps clear your mind and eases up your mind from all the hard thinking you put it through.

A popular method of incorporating healthy breaks is the “Pomodoro Technique“. Even taking a quick social media break is fine, as long as you don’t get sucked in for 15+ minutes. Taking breaks helps you focus better, producing a better mood and attitude to take on schoolwork. You’re better refreshed and happy with mini breaks versus working 5-7 hours straight. Your mind deserves a healthy break and so do you.

 

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Image: Erin Ho, Personal Photo

3. Go Out and Make Memories!

Don’t make your four years at university ALL about studying and working. You need to go out and explore! When you spend too much time on campus it becomes your whole world. But it isn’t the whole world. Travelling to different countries or even going downtown reminds you how much bigger the world is. You’re able to look at university and appreciate certain aspects of it more. When you go out with friends, old and new, good memories are made together that add fun, pleasant, and fond memories to your university experience.

 

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Image: Unknown, Giphy

4. Embrace the F r e e d o m

Going to university means you have way more freedom than before. If there’s one thing to really love about university, it’s the freedom that allows you to grow and push through to become the person you need to be, which is a great thing. Embrace the freedom you now hold and are responsible with. (You now have the freedom to eat the whole Nutella jar. Do it, enjoy it, and learn from it.)

These are the four ways that helped me love and appreciate university more during the tough times.

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Me after I finish all the stuff I have to do.

Image: Unknown, Giphy

What are some things you do to help you appreciate university (especially when it gets stressful)?