When I graduated from high school, I was peppy, involved, and confident. I had been active in Student Council, Theatre Night, the Sears Drama Festival, Zonta, and numerous other clubs. My extracurriculars were my life.
But when I came to UTM for my first year, I got stuck in a sad bubble without them.
I felt like a robot at work, in school, and in life. It took a lot of motivation for me to find a new outlook and some extracurriculars for my second year. I didn’t even realize that my involvement was what had kept me happy in high school.
As a workout junkie, the gym facility was the first spot I explored at UTM.
The RAWC gym has housed my adrenaline-deprived body for the last five years. I swim, run, and cycle there. I practice Yogilates and Pilates. If fact, in my opinion, nothing beats a good ol’ boot camp class—an intense cardio session that challenges every physical limit you have.
But I used to stay away from two spots—the inside part of the gym near the weights section, where the men mostly are, and the high performance centre, a strength training facility.
For some context, Spotted at UTM is a Facebook group students can join to anonymously shout out random people at UTM. Most posts are about unrequited love, although you can pretty much say anything you want as long as it’s not incredibly rude.
If there’s one thing that’s clear this year (to everyone but the freshmen), it’s that there’s suddenly way too many people on campus. The Starbucks and Tim Horton’s lines literally never end, and you have to wade your way through crowds of people before most classes. Still, there’s one problem that tops both of these annoyances: there’s not enough seats in the cafeteria.
You’re sitting in class, taking notes, comprehending today’s lesson. You stop typing. You gasp. You have absolutely no idea what the professor just explained to the class.
“If you have any questions, stop by my office during office hours or schedule an appointment if those hours don’t work for you,” your professor announces at the end of class.
Scary, isn’t it?
…But, it doesn’t have to be.
There will come a time when you have to make direct contact with your professors. But don’t freak out, professors are there to help you, not hurt you. So stop watching those Frankenstein movies and you won’t feel like a victim. Just follow these guidelines to tackle your anxiety, and talking with your professors will no longer seem like a scene from a horror film:
I blame television for my false expectations of university.
Remember shows like Beverley Hills, 90210 (Donna Martin graduates!), Saved By The Bell, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Boy Meets World, The O.C? I most definitely do. How could I not? I lived and breathed these shows. I followed Brenda, Brandon and the gang to university; I was there in front of the TV when Zack proposed to Kelly; I watched Summer Roberts dominate university while coping with the loss of Marissa.
Oh yes, I was there, watching and learning, maybe a little bit too much. Most, no, all of my ideologies and influences have come from these popular, American teen drama shows from the 90’s/2000’s. They showed me how to dress, how to act, how not to act, what I should expect in my high school years, and more importantly, what to expect of university (or college as these popular American TV shows called it). But what these shows did not prepare me for is the harsh reality of university, or rather University of Toronto.
Let’s stop using the word “loner.” Yes, I’m serious. And you know why? Because when I googled it, the results were a mixture of girls sitting in the rain (all in black and white for some reason…why?) and quotes about unrequited love, and my brain went into rage mode and so I’ve decided that “loner” is officially banned from my life. People, not all loners are sad people who write love poetry and listen to mellow music! Some even have friends!
Remember back in the day when you would get so excited about going back to school? Remember when you would carefully lay out your brand new clothes? Remember when you would wake up at six in the morning because you were just so DARN excited about going back to school that you could barely sleep?
Yeah, I don’t remember that either. Not anymore at least.