Television: Relaxation in an Electronic Box



Game of Thrones, The Vampire Diaries, Awkward, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Dexter, Suits, Orange is the New Black—oh my, there are an abundance of TV shows detracting from your attention to schoolwork.

With exams around the corner and your favourite shows either ending or beginning (Game of Thrones, April 12!), TV is a huge distraction. Some say it turns your brain to mush; some say TV is a tool for procrastination.

Well, I say that TV is a great way to relax.

Although keeping up with our favourite TV shows (Game of Thrones, I love you) is difficult during the year amidst assignments, midterms, tests, and readings, I feel relieved when I get a moment away from my textbooks to watch a show. No reading, no writing, no stressing. Another world, characters you feel like you know, and a plot-line that keeps you wanting more—TV is the perfect escape from our book-bound lives.

I think that every student needs at least one TV show they love to watch to keep up with throughout the school year (ahem, Game of Thrones in the summer semester this year). If you don’t have a show to watch, ask your friends or Google for a suggestion. You could use the escape.

Once you’ve found your magical TV show (or five, or Game of Thrones), start watching! I guarantee you will feel less stressed about your life afterwards. Fair warning: although TV is great for relaxation, an overdose or a binge-watch could be catastrophic for your looming deadlines.

When it comes to shows, the watcher absolutely must be cautious about how much time they allot to watching episodes. Time management is essential here. Like any other relaxation method (the gym, meditation, food…), too much TV might put you in a time crunch for finishing that essay or studying for that midterm.

Try using TV as a reward. For every two hours you study or write, you get to watch an episode. Or for every 50 minutes you study, you get to watch 10 minutes of an episode. Finishing an assignment and a series simultaneously has never been so easy. Personally, I follow two shows maximum at a time so I can put school first.

So grab a blanket, a healthy snack, and some tea. De-stress and watch something!

Humans of UTM

 Second Year, Major in Criminology, Minor in Psychology and Sociology

“What’s the strangest thing you’ve done?”

“When I was 9 I was at my grandma’s house for the summer and there were these guys who used to hang out in my grandma’s backyard but they always made fun of me and were really rude. One time there was a wasp that landed in my hair and the boys ran away and laughed at me so I borrowed a jar from my grandma, knowing they would return later. I used the jar to collect wasps and when they returned to gather in the backyard, I retrieved the jar, shook it violently, and then threw it at the group of boys. So, I created a wasp-bomb when I was 9 … I think that’s kind of strange.“


Humans of UTM

Second Year, Major in Environmental Management, Minor in English and Biology

“I think my childhood has a lot to do with why I’m fascinated with nature so much and why I study what I study. I had tons of animal books and watched Zoboomafoo religiously. Rest in peace little buddy. I don’t want to be just another person aware of but still ignoring ocean acidification or climate change. Those things are really important, and no one seems to care much. It’s frustrating but I want to do something. I want to save the world and all the things I’ve grown to love. Like cuttlefish, they’re rad.”


Humans of UTM

Second Year, Specialist in Finance and Major in Economics

“When you are eighty, what is the thing you would most like to be able to say you achieved?”

“I want to be able to say that the world is a tiny bit better because of me. If I have the chance of making any kind of impact on the world, I’ll definitely take it. And if everyone thought this way, the world would be a better place.”


Where should I study?!—Your Inexhaustible List of Study Spaces at UTM


Have you ever wished for a giant list of study spaces that you can close your eyes, point at, and choose from?

Have you ever wondered where to study in the library, or where you can pop open a book anywhere on campus and cram in some study time?
Have you run out of ideas for where to study, or need more options for study space?

If you answered yes to any of the above, I present to you a list of study spaces I’ve discovered during my time at UTM!

Keep in mind contextual factors before choosing a study spot, such as if you are studying alone or with friends, if you need to work on a group project, how much noise you can tolerate, what time of day it is, how long you’re going to be there (ie. Do you need a place where you’ll be setting up camp for a few hours?), how soon you need to get your studying done, and if you need an outlet for your phone or laptop charger, to name a few.

1. The library aka. HMALC (does anyone call it that?)—conventional spots
a. Silent study on any floor
b. The fireplace by silent study on the third floor
c. The long table with stools on the third floor
d. The living room-esque area of couches on the fourth floor
e. The couches by the long window in the basement
f. The couches with round tables in between them on the third floor
h. The computer labs on the first floor

2. The library aka. HMALC—unconventional spots
a. In between bookshelves
b. On the carpet… anywhere

3. The Meeting Place

4. TFC

5. The rotunda in Kaneff (IMI?) by the Registrar’s Office

6. Sitting in front of lockers in Davis

7. Any empty classroom you can find
– Check the schedules posted beside classroom/lecture hall doors to see if          there’s a class inside. If not, and the door is unlocked, go forth and study!
8. The green couches in IB

9. The chairs in cozy corners of IB, upstairs
a. In front of the vending machines on second floor
b. By the long row of windows on the second floor
c. At the ends of hallways on the second or third floors

10. The random area with white tables on the third floor of IB

11. In your friend’s lecture
– Ask your friend if the prof will notice or care, or if it’s a large or a small                lecture, first.

12. Deerfield’s silent study cubicles on any floor

13. The Mac lab on the second floor of IB—also has study rooms

14. On the RAWC staircase, the larger stairs to the right of the railing

15. The tables inside of Starbucks—grab a coffee and hit the books

16. The wooden benches outside of lecture halls in IB

17. The tables by the Circuit Break Café/by CC 1080 in CCT

18. The computer lab in the same area in CCT, by CC 1080 and parking staircases
In order to make this list “inexhaustible”, we need each other’s help. Comment below and add your favourite spaces to study, or anywhere that I’ve missed!
Study on, friends.

Humans of UTM

Second Year, Economics

“Who has had the greatest influence in your life?”

“My parents, of course! They were always there to support me. They were there to give me the right reasons to make the right choices…I always listen to them even though they might be wrong sometimes but in the end, everything that they decided for me is the best. And I really want to make them happy and proud of me. All this effort, money, time and distance–I want all of it to be worth it.”


The Power to Inspire, The Responsibility to Succeed


I’ve learned in my life, now more than ever, that getting involved is difficult. Going out into the big, bad world and finding your way is eye-opening, motivating, and incredibly challenging. Hever, it’s important that students seek out new experiences because of all that they will learn about themselves. Personally, almost every quality that I’ve come to respect about myself was discovered from a completely new experience. My boldest endeavour: taking a trip to Kenya to contribute to a school building project. For someone who had only traveled outside of the country once in his life, it was a huge step. I was (and still am) quite shy, not to mention a little immature and naïve, but it turned out to be the greatest learning experience I’ve ever had. If you have yet to travel internationally, your first trip will be the most challenging and rewarding opportunity you’ve ever had.

The inspiration to do something courageous is often sporadic and it always occurs differently for everyone. I look to one of the world’s greatest pop culture icons for motivation; I’m a geek, so it’s obviously not a singer, an actor, or an athlete. He’s a fictional character with girl problems, teenage angst, and super villains. You guessed it: it’s your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man! You’ve obviously heard the news: Spidey will be joining Captain America, Iron Man, and the other Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s exciting news for everyone’s favourite wall crawler; fans will finally (hopefully) receive the Spider-Man movie we’ve been wanting for over a decade, which means the hero will be bigger and more popular than he’s ever been. That’s saying something, too—Spider-Man is one of the most profitable pop culture brands in the world, with over $1 billion worth of merchandise sold with his likeness last year alone. He’s a big deal for Disney, and an even bigger deal for millions of people around the world.

Spidey isn’t my favourite superhero, but I would argue that he’s the greatest one. He’s imperfect but relatable, besides the fact that he has spider powers. More importantly, he overcomes and inevitably triumphs whatever hardships come his way. Be they super-villains or challenges with his girlfriend, Spider-Man keeps on keeping on stronger than ever. That’s what I admire about him; despite the odds, he doesn’t give up until he ultimately succeeds. Through personal tragedy, he forged his destiny as an under appreciated good guy with great power and the greater responsibility to do what’s right. He doesn’t do it for the fame or the glory (which, surprise, he doesn’t often get), but to honour a promise he made to himself after he refused to act selflessly. Spidey represents the power of the human spirit to persevere and inspire others, which leads me to believe that he’s the ultimate pop culture hero.

The character is fictional, but he represents human qualities that are entirely real. His exploits invigorate me to get involved, even if that might seem downright impossible to do. But if Spider-Man can overcome, then I can too. Whoever serves as your inspiration, real or not, remember them when in pursuit of your goals. You might not have superpowers, but you’re capable of anything when you put your heart and soul into it.