A Love Letter to My iPhone



Dear iPhone,

The day we met, I knew you were the best thing to happen to me since chicken nuggets. The first time I held you, I was blown away…no plastic, no bumpy keys. I could type and type and type without having to hear that hideous ‘click’ sound that pressing buttons makes. Your pictures makes the world look like a better place. And your front camera, oh, that front camera…it’s done wonders for my selfies! You never scare the living sh*t out of me when you vibrate, which, sadly, I can’t say for the others in my past. You rid me of that useless obsession, BBM, and for that, I can never thank you enough. You’re so caring…You inform me of the weather conditions before I leave the house so I’m never stuck in flats on a snowy day.

I won’t butter you up too much though. We’ve had our fare share of issues and there are some issues that I just can’t ignore. You frustrate me when you run out of battery in the middle of the day (even on those days when I barely use you) and when you quit apps mid-game. Sometimes you shut off for no good reason and leave me baffled. Why would you do that, iPhone? And when I’m in a heated argument, you keep cramping my style. ‘Shot’ and ‘duck’? Are those new swear words or something? I really thought you knew me better.

Regardless, I know that nothing is perfect, and I wouldn’t be able to do without you, iPhone. People may talk trash and say I can do better, but they don’t understand what we have. I hope that one day you will learn to accept my friend, Flash player, but until then, I can deal with loving you guys separately.

Yours truly,

Karuna Israni

Cold Days at UTM


Welcome to Canada, where having a jacket is a birth right. Going to school in more than 5 cm of snow (or most likely more) is nothing new for students attending Canadian schools. As for snow days, if you can manage to somehow drag yourself to school, then that, unfortunately, means someone else can drag themselves too, meaning:  No snow day.

So, how do you know what to expect? First, check the weather. Start with the temperature, which can be colder depending on the wind chill. Then there’s the wind blowing at a freezing km/h from what seems like every direction.

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Coping with Being Socially Awkward at School



Every time I start something new, like a new school, school year, or class, or even join a new club or team, I worry about having to interact with a new and/or large groups of people. Social confidence is not something that comes naturally to me, and I just don’t know how to act around new people. In social situations, I’m shy, quiet, and appear scared at times.


Living this socially awkward life means that us “social awks” tend to stay at home and become television nerds. We watch shows about people who are confident, smart, and are social badasses. In our heads we think, “Wow, I wish I could just strut my way through life like_____ does.”

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Secrets of a UTM Frenchie

Hot, crispy fries smothered in thick gravy and creamy cheese with guacamole at La Banquise. Fresh sesame seed bagels with chewy cream cheese at Fairmount Bagel. Milky hot chocolate served in wine glasses at Juliette et Chocolat. Five dollar pitchers of beer and dancing all night on Tuesdays at Café Campus. Strolling down Rue Côte-des-Neiges in the heat of July every afternoon. These are the pieces of Montréal I will remember forever.

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Taking Advantage of Our Resources



So, I have a confession. I started doing something this month that many students don’t get around to in their university career.

You guessed it. I…

Have been taking advantage of our campus resources. The RAWC, the Career Centre, the Office of the Registrar – even the student centre. Some might call this a resource-binge. Or I just created a super-cool, super-relevant, super-new word. Either way, in my first year I had no idea that UTM had so much to offer, and that I was already paying for. This year, I’ve been exploring our resources.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to pick up a weekly class at the RAWC. January was hectic (not an excuse, I swear!), so this month I’ve taken up Cycle-Yoga Fusion on Tuesdays at 5:10pm. Admittedly, I have to run from North to Davis to make it on time, but the class is definitely worth it. The instructor, Cindy, is really clear on how to do yoga poses. I’ve even ventured onto the elliptical and into the weights, and after only three weeks of gym time, I feel healthier and de-stressed every time I stumble out through the turnstile and climb back up the 58 stairs to the Meeting Place. My goal is to be able to touch my toes by the end of the month!

A few weeks ago, I saw an academic advisor at the Office of the Registrar. One of my friends suggested I talk to an advisor because I’m thinking about switching majors. And it’s easy! All you have to do is walk in, scan your T-Card on the screen to the left of the doors, touch some buttons, and bam: You’re waiting your turn to talk to an advisor. The advisor I spoke with helped me find clarity and direction for my degree, taught me about deregulated program fees, and pointed me towards the Career Centre located at DV3094. So, I went upstairs and made an appointment with a career counselor.

I kid you not, I waltzed out of my career counseling appointment with even more clarity towards my degree. The Career Centre is full of career catalogues by major, career and volunteer ads on their bulletin board, and experienced people. The counselor obliterated all of my degree-related questions such as the difference between a BA and a BBA to an employer, and trends in the job market today. She even opened my eyes to programs with internships and encouraged me to come back and touch base with her in a few weeks.

Now the student centre. It has never been a prime option for me to hang out or study. Until now. Not only can you grab bubble tea or chicken wings from the Blind Duck, you can browse flyers for upcoming events while you procrasti—I mean, while you take a break from studying. Events happen at the pub too! Just this month, I’ve been to UTM’s Got Talent, the Multifaith Dinner, UTMAC’s Laughter Therapy, and Leafs Night, and they were all packed with students. I felt refreshed to see spirit on campus, and I made a couple of friends while I studied and ate and attended these events.

The last three weeks have absolutely opened my eyes to campus resources and have helped me feel more at home on campus. I can’t wait to explore more tuition-included resources on campus during my time here, and I hope you will too.

Have any campus resources you think I should check out? Let me know, comment below!

Referendum Troubles Or Why Students Just Aren’t Interested



So, if you keep up with the goings-on at UTM, you’ll probably know that, for the second time, UTMSU failed to pass the recent referendum to expand the student centre (the first failed due to a voting issue), and now people are asking why.

Well, to be honest, there are a bunch of different reasons on both sides. I don’t think anyone in the entire school is against expanding the student centre – an expansion that would include a larger pub and clubrooms, both of which are currently WAAAAAAY too small in my opinion, and cramped to the level of claustrophobia when packed. It would be impossible to argue that the student center does not deserve some kind of expansion. But then again, I never use the club rooms and I barely go to the pub – and I think idea-wise, that’s part of the issue. Most of my friends, except for literally two, almost refuse to go to the student center. Their reasons may range from it being crowded (obviously a reason why it needs expansion, once again), to not having any interest in clubs or the pub in general, which I totally understand.

Now, both The Varsity and The Medium have reported on this story, but for those who don’t know, another change that would have arrived with the expansion would have been increased fees. According to UTMSU, if the referendum had passed, there would be a permanent increase in tuition fees of $10.50 for additional programming and maintenance, and for the next three years the current student center fee of $12.50 would go up to $50, which would be lowered to $23 after that, with UTM promising to match the money.

Personally, I think money was the issue on most students’ minds. Add that to the amount of people who don’t use the student center on a regular basis, and one can understand why the referendum failed. Students are already paying a ridiculous amount of money for their education, and the idea of purposefully raising our tuition is almost painful. Additionally, I’ve heard people say that if it had passed, the student center expansion would have finished long after they graduated, much like the current expansion to the North building. Yes, that sounds rather selfish. Yes, $50 in fees for three years is nothing compared to the increase in tuition every year (which some students question).

But I can’t really blame people: Ontario has the highest fees in the entire country so when I listen to students complain about $50 (including myself, admittedly), I really can’t be angry that a large majority of students don’t care or don’t use the student centre and pub enough to see the NEED for an expansion.

And there is a need. One of my very good UTM pals visits the student center every single day so by association, I’ve seen the cramped rooms. The thing is, I don’t know the solution to the cramped rooms – I want to help, but I don’t want to pay more. But is it that much more? Do we have a duty to our future students? Maybe if the club rooms were larger they would feel less exclusive and attract new recruits. Maybe the Blind Duck would be more universally loved if we could get our food faster and have more room for moving around.

One of the comments on The Medium’s article on the referendum mentioned a greater need to expand the library for studying purposes – pointing out that they personally go to school to learn, not to go to clubs. But you have to understand: Some of us want both. And presumably, expanding our library would be vastly more expensive. But ultimately, the failed referendum isn’t about a different expansion or hating UTMSU nor the idea, but down to money and lack of interest. I think if people were more into clubs and the Blind Duck in general, people would be more interested in the expansion.

It’s a weird paradox: the student center expansion would have generated more interest in the student center but no one wanted to pay to generate it.

What’s your opinion on this?

Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking


Everyone is staring at you. Your hands start shaking. Your heart beats faster. Eyes stare at you, a smartphone, or the clock, while you eye the nearest exit. Why shouldn’t you run out of the room? One reason: You’ve got something to say. OK, so maybe it’s a school assignment and you hate the topic or the class, or you hate speaking in public; maybe you’re first to present and you hate being first. The list is endless. But public speaking is a part of life.  It won’t go away after you graduate and neither will the audience.

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Singleness is NOT an Epidemic

Kimberly Johnson

Last year, I got into the show How I Met Your Mother. The show is basically a story about a guy, named Ted, who sits his kids down to tell them the “long story” of how he and their mother met. I’ve been binge-watching the past eight seasons, and I’ve totally misjudged the level of awesomeness that the cast and the writers are on. The way they tie things together throughout the seasons is mind bogglingly brilliant. I’ve realized something about Ted though. I think Ted had to go through the journey that he went through to get to a place where he was mature enough to be in the kind of relationship that he and the mother have.

I bring them up in a post like this because I’ve learned something from that show, and it’s something I was told years ago, but never really listened to.  It’s this:

“Everything has a season.”

My parents used to say that to me all the time, and it’s something I seem to find true.  I firmly believe that everything happens when it needs to happen, and wasting time worrying about something (or someone) not being in our lives does nothing for us but cause unnecessary stress.  There is a time to be single, and there is a time to be in a relationship, and while neither option is entirely perfect, both are important parts of our lives that co-exist, on some level, for some reason.

I am so sick and tired of seeing people feel bad about their singleness (this goes for me too). I can’t count the number of times when I’ve had the following conversation,

“Are you single?”

*Sighs and shrugs/sags shoulders*


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