Humans of UTM

First Year, Life Science

“When was the last time you cried, or wanted to cry with happiness?”

“Last time I cried with happiness was on my birthday, which was yesterday. All my friends surprised me it was really nice.”

“Mine was also on my birthday. My friends surprised me too, especially this one here! It was really cute, she made a really big card and I cried a little.”



Humans of UTM

Second Year, Commerce

“If you could go back in time and give yourself advice about something, what would it be?”

“If I could go back in time I would probably emphasize the importance of first year and first year grades and focusing to get into your program, as opposed to partying and going out all the time, because you’ll never realize how low your first year can bring down your cumulative GPA.”


Breaking Up With Friends: Is It Time to Call It Quits?


Breakups. We all go through them at one point or another in our lives. I mean, even Marshall and Lilly (from How I Met Your Mother) called it quits for a short while (a time we would all like to forget, I’m sure). The experience is practically unavoidable. But what I’d like to talk about are a different—and arguably more painful—kind of breakups: friendship breakups.

Now, friendships are weird. I don’t think I’ve ever actually sat down with a friend and said something along the lines of, “I think it’s time we stop this thing we’ve got going on here”, or “This friendship is just not working out… You’re great, though”. It’s just not something that’s ever occurred to me to do, and I can’t say it’s ever happened to me either, although we have broken up in many different ways.

Again, friendships are weird.

In a vacuum, our lives are basically an ongoing process of meeting new people and letting go of old ones (not all of them, of course). It’s just that, as we get older and grow as people and progress in our lives, it’s inevitable that we outgrow some friendships and simply drift away from others.

The way I see it, when it comes to any friendship, there are four possible pathways down which one can travel.

a)    Keep them around.

Keep that friendship alive and healthy because you love them and they are kind, wonderful, supportive people who love and care for you and fill important spaces in your life.

b)    Let the drifting occur.

It’s not that you two don’t love and care for each other—your lives are just different. When you hang out, you have nothing to talk about, and keeping up with someone whose life is so different from yours can be tough and takes a lot of energy.

I feel like this is particularly difficult for young adults like ourselves. As students attending the number one university in Canada, we can barely keep our heads above the water between painful amounts of schoolwork, extracurricular activities, resume-builders, part-time jobs, etc. etc.

Ain’t nobody got time to chase people!

Note—it’s okay to let drifting happen. Sometimes people are just not right to be in your life at that time and in that capacity; this is okay.

c) You rarely see them, but (and this is how C differs from B) that doesn’t affect your friendship.

Now, personally I find that this is rare, and when it does occur, you should consider yourself one lucky goose. You know you’ve found something special when you cannot be around them for a considerable amount of time, but once the two of you are together, it feels like you were never apart.

I mean, I have friends I only see a couple of times a year. My best friend from high school—at the time we were inseparable (we even changed our last names on Facebook to each other’s first names… Some serious best-friendship going on there)—now goes to a different school and we see each other only during holidays and big events. We even live three blocks from each other, but we both just have our own busy lives.

Sounds super depressing, but it’s not, because the second we’re reunited, we have an absolute blast. There are no secrets or fears of judgement, and we could literally sit there in silence doing nothing whatsoever and have an amazing time.

At this point, I’d really like to stress—friendships are weird.

But also wonderful.

d) Formally break up with them.

This option should be reserved for special cases—I like to call them “toxic friendships”.

These are the people who bring you down. They take every opportunity to remind you of your past mistakes and your flaws, and are all around just a source of negativity in your life. These people must be formally cut out, because you need to ensure that that source of negativity is not linked to you in any way, and thus has no way of worming its way back in.

Well, there ya have it, folks. Friend breakups. They’re difficult, no denying that. But you gotta know which people to keep around and which people to let go.

The important thing to remember is: if they love you, care about you, support you, have your best interests at heart—and you feel the same way about them—and the two of you have a great time together, they are a catch. Keep them. Love them. Nurture them.

They is kind. They is smart. They is important. (The Help reference, anyone??)

Humans of UTM

Fourth Year, Double Major in Psychology and Human Resources

“Where do you feel most at home?”

“I guess it’s like what they say, ‘home is where the heart is.’ When I’m surrounded by a certain group of people, whether my family or my very close friends, I guess that’s where my home is; where I feel most comfortable, am myself, and freely express myself… I believe the place is made by who you’re with.”


Does a new year mean a new you?


It’s a new year! It’s a cause of celebration for most—a time when old grievances can be forgotten and we can all move forward into the future. This could be the year when some of our dreams come true, but not without a little luck and a lot of hard work first. Speaking of hard work, how are your resolutions coming along, if you made any? We all undoubtedly have things that we’d like to change for the better about ourselves, but it’s never quite that easy, is it? Committing to eating better, exercising regularly… Resolutions are hard to keep in our already busy day, especially during the long, cold season of winter. Laziness and procrastination are easy to give into when the temperature plummets… I’ve been guilty of forgoing going for a run lately due to a crippling case of idleness, and it’s self-deprecating.

Getting out of the lazy funk is no simple feat and honestly, there’s no simple answer. Everyone is different—our experiences are different, our motivations are different, our 2014s were entirely different. Yet, as cheesy as it sounds, 2015 is a new year. A fresh start, as it were. Your past mistakes and regrets are just that, in the past. Make 2015 a year with as few regrets as you can personally manage. Live your life with an open mind, with set goals, and a hopeful attitude… Embrace your passions and let them be your guide into a better future. Find something that motivates you in a positive way to be happier or to work harder, and use it to move step by step in the direction of your goals.

Write your goals down on a calendar, on your phone… Somewhere where you’ll be forced to see them until they are achieved. You’ll only be cheating yourself if you don’t meet them to some degree. Are you really looking forward to a show on TV tonight? Commit yourself to going for a walk before it airs… Around the block is good enough this time of year! Then tomorrow, make your walk a little longer—walk around the block twice, and so on. It’s the small steps towards betterment that are often the most effective in the end. Just getting up and improving yourself in some way is proof that you are stronger than you realize.

You don’t have to overhaul your entire life… It might be a new year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a totally new you. A slightly improved, marginally wiser version of the old you will do just fine, as long as you choose to improve and put in the time to see it through. It’s not going to be easy, but nothing in life is. If you want something, you have to put in the time and effort to achieve it yourself. I think I’ll go out for that run now… or maybe just a walk. 2015 will be what you make of it—make it a step in the right direction.

2015 is Just a Number


I had 2014 all planned out for my personal happiness, motivation, and memories:

Last New Year’s Day, I made three resolutions.

1. Find a class at the RAWC; go weekly.

2. Get my G license.

3. If you make a choice, follow through.

Last New Year’s Day, I developed a bunch of pictures of me and my friends and stuck those by my bedroom door. I typed out short motivational quotes and stuck them by my door, too.

“Movies and books—feels lie HERE.”

“Looking good leads to feeling good.”

“Do your thing.”

Last New Year’s Day, I made a moment box out of a shoebox, where I intended to write down memorable moments on scraps of paper and read them at the end of the year.

I begin 2015 with none of the same sentimentality. Everything I planned to do to track 2014 went down the drain somewhere in May. I stopped going to the gym, I never got my G license, and I didn’t keep track of following through with choices I made. I tore the motivational quotes and the pictures of my friends down and stuffed them in a drawer. Moments in the moment box came to a halt (although the first half of the year was a fun read—moment box is definitely worth a try!). None of these habits made me as happy or as motivated as I thought they would.

Although it was nice of me to set my year up for happiness, I was doing it wrong. I realized if I was going to set a goal or change my habits, why wait for a new year? Why did I wait until January 1st, 2014 to set all of those tasks in motion?

Regardless, the resolutions, the quotes, and the moment box didn’t increase my happiness. In fact, I generally felt sad for months last year.

I don’t want to count my life in calendar years any more. If I think about making a change and I think that change will be good for me, I resolve to try it out today. If that change doesn’t work, I’ll revise and make another change. I won’t wait for 2016 to go to the gym or to get my license. Today is just another day, and this year is just another year.

If you’re going to make a change or a resolution, why wait? 2015 is just a number. Try new things regularly. Make small changes to your habits and see how they affect your happiness and motivation.

Resolve to be a better you today!

Have any new resolutions today? Let me know; comment below!

When University Goes out of Its Way to Annoy Me



Ah, the world of pet peeves. It is vast and filled with all sorts of things that tick off both you and me. From workplace annoyances to bathroom pet peeves and everything in between, another one comes to mind: university pet peeves. You know what’s ironic? The phrase “pet peeve” is a huge problem for me. It’s just one of those phrases that annoy me—ha, love it. Talking about pet peeves is all good, light, and funny until that thing actually happens and all goes to hell; then it’s all flipping tables, facepalming and repeatedly headdesking—granted none of those are actual terms (thank you, Internet world).

Here are just a few of my own—and I think pretty relatable—university pet peeves. (I am guilty of doing some of these myself, so please don’t take them personally.

1. The ‘there’s still a minute left’ professors.

You know them, the professors who start freaking out because you start packing up at 6:59. I’m sorry, I’m trying to catch a bus that leaves a minute after class ends, and you expect me to not start packing up? We don’t all have the luxury of a car and we’re all hungry and tired.

2. Aggressive commuters

Chill. We’re all in the same bus. Literally. There’s no need to shove anyone aside when they’re clearly ahead of you. I don’t mind sometimes but it’s downright disrespectful when there’s someone elderly waiting to go in and yet you persistently push through. It’s 8 a.m., no one wants to be here, and everyone has a lecture to go to. Common courtesy never hurt anyone, friend. Here’s a cupcake.

3. Thanks for the notice!

When you catch a 9 a.m. bus, run to IB, and hurry to land a seat in the lecture hall, only to find out that your lecture is cancelled and your next class is at 3 p.m. Thanks for posting the notice literally five minutes before class.

4. Long Tim Hortons lines.

Need I say more? When there’s only one accessible Tim Hortons on campus and everyone decides to get coffee, it is not pretty.

5. People talking in the quiet zones.

These people want to fight me. It’s a quiet zone for a reason. There’s no hidden meaning. Quiet doesn’t actually mean “as loud as you can possibly whisper”.

6. The link from CCT to the Library

Seems like turtles escaped from the ocean and are now socializing in the link between both locations. Please, continue talking to your friend while walking so that there isn’t a huge line of people glaring at you. Then you get mad at people for bumping into you—most of us are looking down while walking or too busy rushing to class to pay attention to people who stop midway and throw us off.

7. Copy/paste book to PowerPoint.

The professors who take the book and literally paste it word-for-word onto a PowerPoint and then read the PowerPoint word-for-word in class for two hours in the most monotonous voice possible. I want to understand things, not have them read to me again just so I don’t understand them again.

8. Then there are…

Two types of people: people who refuse to give you their notes if you don’t give them something back, and people who don’t bother showing up to any lecture without any legitimate reason and then ask for every single lecture handed to them in the form of electronic notes.

First group of people: I missed one lecture. It will not hurt you, I promise, to share your notes with me. We may be vying for the same grade but I won’t ruin you if you give me your notes for one lecture. In fact, I’ll be more than happy to help you later on in the course!

Second group of people: you don’t show up to any lecture at all (mind you, you paid for them) and then when there’s a midterm coming up, you email everyone asking for all their notes. I’m sorry to break it to you, but that’s really presumptuous of you. No one is going to just hand over all their semester’s hard work to you when you didn’t even want to show up to class. Please try to be more mindful of others and recognize how demanding that is.

So there we go! These are just some things that annoy me about university. Comment down below on what annoys you the most!