Pet Best Friends: The One Cuddly Thing Every University Student Needs



Mycat and I are best friends.

he can be kind of snobby. Sure, he can’t talk to me. And sure, he needs me to
clean up after him from time to time.

when I commute home after a day on campus, the one I can count on to greet me
when I walk through the door is my cat, Pippin. Yes, like the Hobbit from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

my opinion, every university student needs a pet. A fish, a dog, a cat, or a
bird; pets can keep you sane. Pippin, for example, cuddles with me. He knows
when I’m feeling down or sick and sits on me to make me feel better.

always got my back. Whether I’m studying, jamming, or sleeping, I can count on
Pippin to keep me company. He even has a sense of humour—sometimes, he sits on
my laptop and helps me procrastinate with his cuteness. Silly cat, you’re right—I
don’t have to do any work today!

pet will hear you out. When your human friends don’t have the time or patience
to listen to your rants, it’s comforting to know that your pet is there for
you. A pet will listen to your problems and offer cuddles and adorable stares
as a solution.

pets are proven to be stress busting. And between all of the tests, assignments,
midterms, and part-time jobs, I know we value stress busters. Remember how,
during exams, the library brings in puppies for us to pet? This decreases our
stress levels and gives us a break from studying. Imagine having a pet at your
convenience to bust your stress with their plush fur under your fingers.

great; trust me.

thing I especially value about having a cat is that he keeps my parents company
when I’m not home. Their only son, Pippin, ensures that my parents are
entertained throughout the day when I can’t be around.

what do you look for in a friend?

me needy, but I like good listeners, a good sense of humour, and the ability to
give me constant company and attention.

a pet, the soft fur (or feathers or scales) is just a bonus!

one constraint about having a pet is having the time to take care of them.
Friendship is a reciprocal act; pets need love and attention, too. And
grooming, and trips to the vet, and lots of your time and effort. If you don’t
have time to take care of a pet, this friendship route may not be for you.

Hopefully, I’ve given you some food for thought in terms of having a pet. Have more pros or cons to having a pet that I haven’t mentioned? Comment below!

The Future Is Uncertain… But That’s Okay!



Do you have it “figured out”? Do you know what you want to do with the rest of your life, what career you want to have in the future? If you answer yes, you’re
doing something right! For the vast majority of students who say no, don’t fret.
Unless you’re in fourth year—then perhaps “fretting” isn’t such a bad course of
action. It’s normal not to know where you want to go and what you want to do with
your life; choosing to go to UTM was hard enough. Mapping out the rest of our
lives… How the heck are we expected to do that when we can’t even decide on the
foods we want to eat and how we want to pass the time today? In my opinion, not
knowing what you want to do with your life at this very moment is okay; provided
are some examples and statistics that are aimed to ease some of your fears for
the foreseeable future. Of course, if you do currently have clear career goals,
please read on with those in mind; perhaps you’ll learn something that you hadn’t
considered before.

majority of jobs that current grade school students will have in the future haven’t
even been created yet. Please do some research online; you will find various
statistics to support this claim in some fashion. The dynamics of economies are
changing in light of technological advances, whether we want them to or not.
That means that you will likely be employed in a job later in your career that
doesn’t even exist yet. How do you even attempt to plan for 10 or 20 years in
the future when we don’t know what the job market will look like at that point
in time? As a UTM student, you have a wide variety of opportunities and events
to network with professionals and learn about the world at large. If you choose
to take advantage of as many of those experiences as you can, you will learn
new skills and advice that will benefit you later in life. Every experience,
good or bad, is a learning
experience; be open to these opportunities and your life may head in an
exciting and unexpected direction. If you have an interest in something, follow
up on it while you still have the time—you never know where it’ll take you.

lives, and indeed the world, will change in ways that we can’t even begin to
understand now. It goes without saying that your career plans will change too.
Very often, reality has a way of hitting us when we least expect it; our lives,
for better or worse, must adapt to those changes. It would be great for life to
play out exactly as we’d like it to, but that’s just not how it goes. How do
you make solid plans for the future when it can all shift so rapidly? That’s
why not knowing your career goals right now is okay; your
life may take an unexpected turn in the road, and your past goals may get replaced
by new ones that are more realistic to your situation. Work hard, confide in
others, believe in yourself, and refuse to give up. You’ll find your way, even though
it might take longer than you’d anticipated.

We will all find our path eventually… Some have
discovered it sooner than others, and that’s okay. The future is uncertain, and
that may seem quite scary to you. You’re not alone; there are probably hundreds
of students at UTM currently that don’t yet know where they want to end up in
the coming years. Don’t be afraid to try new things, to meet people, and to go
in unforeseen directions—easier said than done, but doable nonetheless. You might
just end up where you were meant to be—somewhere new, unexpected, and equally

How to: Survive a Long Day on Campus

On Thursdays, I start class at 9 a.m. and finish at 8 p.m. I’m at UTM until 11, followed by a three-hour break, and then I commute to Sheridan for two back-to-back three-hour lectures.

Thursdays stress me out.

Long-day students, unite! Whether you have an 11-hour day like me, a 12-hour day, or (scary!) even longer, there are methods of survival for this potentially stressful day (or days D:).

I’ve picked up a few useful tips I wanted to share with anyone reading this from my experience with the 9–7, 9–8, 10–9 types of days.

Have an awesome bag for your stuff

First and foremost, your bag has to be efficient. Obtain a sizeable bag that you are comfortable carrying around all day—not too large or too heavy. Test your bag on your body! My bag is a bottomless pit that slings over my arm or my shoulder.

Ask yourself: Will the bag fit my books, my laptop, and my food?

You’re going to need a water bottle.

There are water bottle refilling stations all around campus. Ensure that your water bottle is always full and you are always hydrating yourself. I have a UTSU water bottle and down at least three bottles of water a day to help me focus and stay energized.

Ask yourself: Will the bottle fit in my bag and remain easily accessible?

Let’s not forget about food.

Hunger can totally make or break your day. Pack food in your bag! Even a bunch of little snacks tossed in your bag will keep you focused. An apple, a granola bar, and some pasta is usually what I keep, and some money just in case I want tea or coffee.

Ask yourself: Will I be full all day?

Your wallet is bae.

Excuse my slang. Your wallet is the key to your day. A few important things to keep in your wallet are your T-Card, your U-Pass, your Presto card, your debit card, and some change. You can’t predict how your long day will unfold, and having transportation options and money on hand really helps you feel independent and able to take on your day. I forgot my wallet on my bed yesterday—that was not a fun 10-hour day.

Ask yourself: Is my wallet in my bag at all times?

Have something to do during any breaks.

Readings, assignments, gym, food. Usually what will keep you going through a break—be sure to pack according to what you plan to use your break for.

In my opinion, long days are all about planning efficiently. Even if you have to make a list of what you need to survive your long day, take five minutes and write reminders for yourself the night before!

For me, the most important part of getting through a long day is in the mind. Don’t think about how long your day is—breathe, and just do it.

Long days are survivable—share your survival tips with me below :). Please… Help…

The Right Way… Or The Easy Way?


“Life is easy,”… said no one seriously, ever! What will you ever learn from treading the path of least resistance, from forsaking what is challenging for what is simple? Not a whole lot. Life isn’t a walk in the park, nor should it be for anyone. Humans are meant to be challenged throughout our daily lives. It keeps our minds honed and prepared for wherever we go or whatever we choose to pursue next. Yet, we don’t think in this way most days; we live busy lives already. What’s the use of going out of our way to do something that we deem a good but unnecessary idea, for ourselves or another person? What’s the use of inconveniencing ourselves today for the gain of someone else or for a goal we have that is many years down the road?

Well, as much as we try to convince ourselves otherwise, the easy way is not always the right way to live our lives in most cases. Fulfillment can rarely be achieved in the same old daily routine; for example: eat breakfast, go to work or school, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed, repeat. When put in words, the daily routine sounds incredibly boring, and it is! When you can forecast exactly what you’ll be doing in a week’s time, and how each day will more or less play out for you, that’s when you know you’d do well with a little change in your life. It might make your time more constrained throughout the day, but if you have the right attitude, you’ll surely succeed.

Vice versa, the right way will rarely be the easy way to do things. It’s difficult to decipher the difference on days when you’re not in the best of shape, and that is perfectly acceptable. On your off-days, doing things for yourself is often the best course of action for a rapid recovery. But on the days when you’re bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and as ready as ever to face the day ahead—that’s when you should realize that the easy way should leave you unfulfilled after all is said and done.

So what exactly is the right way to do things, to live your daily life? It’s important to note that “right” is a subjective term; there is no “right” way to do anything, really. Everyone is entitled to their own ideas on what they deem is right for them. What I’m referring to as the “right” way here is essentially being in a state of mind that openly seeks out and accepts opportunities, experiences, and challenges that are outside of your established daily routine (I hope that you agree. If not, please hear me out).

Always having enough tasks or short-term goals to complete throughout the year, aside from the toils of the week, is a way to be proactive, experience lasting fulfillment, and involve yourself in the community. For students, a proactive task that you can start right now is to research and apply for scholarships. Applying for one relevant (and preferably local) scholarship a month is a rewarding endeavor that will inevitably pay off down the road. Alternately, one of the best ways to live life for the right reasons is to do things for others on a regular basis—for your family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, and even complete strangers! Looking for ways to help others that are most deserving almost every day will reward you tenfold.

This could be giving back to the community, helping out a family member or friend with a job that needs doing, or smiling and saying hello to strangers that you pass. Incredibly simple, yet surprisingly difficult for most people, myself included! However, you won’t regret doing it. Stepping outside of your comfort zone, of what comes easy to you, is a very brave endeavour and is something to be proud of.

The hardest part of this “right” lifestyle is finding or rediscovering balance. My suggestion: estimate how much time outside of work or class that you have to dedicate each week to get projects, readings, and other schoolwork completed on time. With the remainder of your time, identify three activities or hobbies you would like to get involved in each week that will still allow you to have some deserved free time. Perhaps you already go to the gym each week; that’s a great start! What else can you get involved in that will keep you engaged with others and allow you to set personal goals, or will be a productive activity that will benefit you down the road? Do your research and don’t be afraid to prioritize your precious time. It’s not going to be easy… But who ever said it was going to be?

Yeah, this has been a long-winded blog, but one that I hope resonates with you. Life is not going to be easy, but live yours to the fullest! Make yours one that you can be proud of when you look back on it. The right way isn’t going to be easy, but the easy way isn’t always right. Be brave, because you can do anything you set your mind to!

Humans of UTM

Second Year, Sociology Specialist with a Minor in Professional Writing

“My happiest memory is when I met my best friend. The first time we met she stopped me to say ‘hi, are you Hina?’ I said ‘Yes, I am.’ Turns out she had heard about me through her friends. We talked for about three hours straight in the library, and after that we became best friends. We’ve been best friends for the past eight years now.”


12 New Year’s Resolutions to Create and Actually Follow Through On


1. No more complaining (okay, slightly less complaining).

Try to make the best out of situations. No matter how annoyed you are, just try not to translate that annoyance into words—it honestly makes the situation so much more unbearable than it needs to be.

2. No more procrastination.

I’m talking to you, person reading this blog who should be studying right now. I suppose, then, that I’m also talking to me…

3. Be more social

Take people up on invitations, invite people out, and maintain friendships and relationships so you can stop complaining about how alone you are (am I the only one guilty of this??).

4. Get enough sleep.

No more of that stumbling out of bed 40 minutes before class and rolling into lectures with bed-head, sweatpants, and your breakfast in your hand.

5. Make an effort with your appearance.

You look good, you feel good. Confidence is an investment, and can have a ripple affect on other areas of your life, including, school, friends, romantic relationships, and so on.

6. Make time for a social life.

A little party never killed nobody—although I suppose those who have had a different experience of partying cannot attest to that.

7. Stop worrying about your romantic life (or the lack thereof).

Stop trying to find the right person and start being the right person. Yes, I did read that on Tumblr.

8. Focus on your future.

You’re young now, and you have many opportunities available to you. Don’t get distracted by little things that don’t ultimately matter. Keep in mind the grand scheme of things.

9. Do not define yourself on other peoples’s terms.

You decide who you’re going to be in the world and the kind of place you’re going to occupy in society, and the only standards you need to hold yourself to are your own.

10. Take initiative.

There are opportunities out there, but it’s your responsibility to go out of your way to seek them.

11. Take responsibility for your actions.

If there’s one thing that pretty much never fails to bother me, it’s people who blame the world for their problems (within reason). Taking responsibility for your behaviours and actions can be one of the most empowering things that happen to you—it allows you to realize you have some control in what happens to you in life.

12. Get into shape.

Even if that shape is round.