It’s safe to say that university students are unlikely to live by a systematized daily schedule. Course works are continuously assigned and just stack themselves on top of one another until they have completely submerged an individual in a pool of books and papers. Despite the sheer amount of stress, university life is still enjoyable. Especially when students realize that their classmates experience similar situations. There do exist some activities that everybody at the University of Toronto is sure to experience in their daily schedule. Some nerve-racking and some less so, here are six situations that describe a typical day of a student at UofT. Accompanied by tips that will help organize any chaotic schedule and confront demanding school conditions.
1) Struggling to get your morning in workout before classes.
Getting up early in the morning is frustrating and that is before calculating the time it takes to get a good workout. Let’s be honest and say that the warmth of your bed cannot compete with the agony of running a couple of miles or lifting weights. When I am debating whether or not to leave the comfort of my bed, I convince myself by thinking that a morning workout always helps me to stay focused and energized throughout the day. UofT is lucky enough to have three fully equipped fitness studios that appeal to everybody; from the fitness nut to someone just starting with their regiment. So why not give it a try?
2) Refueling with coffee and your favorite breakfast food.
I find that most students, like myself, use coffee as their primary source of fuel to recharge throughout the day and seldom think about accompanying their drinks with an appropriate meal. Nevertheless, it is important to not forget what our parents and teachers taught us in Elementary School when they said that, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Therefore, it is best not to enter class on an empty stomach. Spare yourself from the embarrassment that comes when it growls so loud during lecture that it even wakes up the student sitting three rows in front of you. My favorite place to grab a quick bite and a coffee is a bistro called L’Espresso Bar Mercurio. It’s located right at the intersection of Bloor and St. George. With food and coffee at hand, you’re always ready to overcome the academic obstacles of the day.
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3) Finding the best study space for assignment completion.
The best way to find the perfect study spot is through trial and error. Personally, it took me three years to determine the perfect study places to appeal to my mood and provide me with encouragement to finish my assignments. Early morning studies, I find, are best completed at Woodsworth College study areas with a cup of coffee or tea purchased at L’Espresso Bar Mercurio just a minute walk away. Or, at the Second Cup location inside the building. Afternoon studies at Robarts Library, of course. However, avoid the stuffy study spaces in the stacks because their air quality can make anybody light headed. Instead, try out the calm Media Commons and Reading Room on the library’s third floor. There is no odor of decaying books and the areas are generally accompanied with large windows and natural lighting. My third option is the Graham Library part of Trinity College or the E.J. Pratt Library at Victoria College. Both locations are open late and always remain quiet, making them perfect to finish assignments on a tight schedule.
4) Negotiating with a professor or TA to increase your mark on an assignment.
Engaging in conversation with your professor or TA can be difficult for a student, especially if that particular academic personifies an intimidating personality. However, this should not deter anybody from confronting them to discuss assignments or to defend your work in an attempt to improve your grade. Teachers are obligated to appeal to the concerns and demands of their students. As a result, it is likely that you will confront your TA or prof at least once during your UofT career. In order to succeed in your request, make sure to have reviewed your work and have made arguments or particular points that require additional points. Be confident in your speech and posture. Also make sure to listen to the reasoning of your professor’s or TA’s assessment so that you improve your future work.
5) Meeting up with friends for drinks and dinner.
Meeting with friends to discuss life’s problems or just to crack some jokes helps to unload the pressure of school. It may be inconvenient for everybody to meet up. Although, communicating daily with at least one friend can help. It makes an individual feel like they have a support system and encourages them to continue working.
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6) Engaging in a de-stressing activity at the end of the day.
After engaging with friends, it is also important to find some downtime for yourself. Although I have to admit that I seldom make time to add a personal de-stressing activity into my daily agenda. But when I do, I distract myself from social obligations and school pressures and ensure a regenerated mind and body for the next day’s demands. Therefore, take some time just for yourself. Turn off social media, unplug electronics, and engage in an activity or past time. Some of my favorites are to draw, write short stories or poems in a journal, or to cook something sweet.
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The demands of university can generally make students feel overwhelmed and pessimistic about their situation. Nevertheless, the struggles any student faces throughout their typical school day are manageable with organization and encouragement from schoolmates. Don’t let the pressure distract you from finding the enjoyment in the little activities and adventures that you experience everyday. Even if at times, it is only the aroma of a dark brewed coffee waking your senses as you travel to the library on a breezy Monday morning.