Archives for the month of: February, 2014

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Dear Readers,

It is with melancholy that I am writing my last “official” utmONE blog entry.

First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to follow my blog!

I would also like to apologize if you found some (most) of my posts extremely boring.

I remember like it was yesterday receiving an email about the blogger position. I sent in my application, along with a writing sample. I didn’t really think that I stood much of a chance since I thought that my post was rather unoriginal and too lengthy, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn after the initial interview that I had gotten the job. I remember pinching myself a few times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming as getting paid to write about my experiences and thoughts seemed too good to be true!

Then, it dawned on me that I didn’t know how to do this. Growing up, I’ve never kept a journal and although I had some writing experience, it was always about telling other people’s stories. I wasn’t quite sure that I would be capable of finding new things to write about twice a week. Thankfully, last semester was quite eventful, and it has given me plenty of material to work with!

Throughout the months, I’ve been lucky enough to have gotten to know Jackie, Stephanie and Kathleen, who are the amazing people who spend hours upon hours making sure that outstanding utmONE programming is delivered to all of us. I have also loved reading my fellow utmONE bloggers posts, which were witty, interesting, and an excellent way to procrastinate on school work!

I have spent the past hour or so re-reading all my blog posts, starting from the very first one, and I think it’s safe to say that it has been quite a journey since September.

Quite frankly, it was tough. I would even go as far as say that it was probably one of the most challenging times of my life.

Countless times, I have felt alone and overwhelmed.

Transitioning from high school to university was difficult.

I think that going into it, I underestimated the amount of time that my academic work would take and ended up overbooking my timetable with way too many extracurricular activities, which made everything a nightmare.

Now, step by step, I am trying to re-organize my life and redefine my priorities.

Throughout the whirlwind that these past few months have been, blogging has allowed me to put my thoughts on paper and reflect on the various things that were happening in my life at different points throughout the semester.

Blogging for utmONE has instilled in me a discipline that has helped improve my writing as making myself write twice a week has allowed me to have a lot of practice and try different writing styles.

I think that I am now at a point when UTM doesn’t look so huge to me anymore, and it seems natural for me to wander around different buildings without getting lost.

With about two months left before the end of my first year, I can say that I am at a pretty happy place right now. Although it is still a work in progress, I think that I have developed a rhythm of life that works well for me and I am excited to tackle the next three years of my studies at UTM!

As for looking to the near future, I will probably spend my summer working either in Banff, Ottawa or in Montreal, as I continue my quest to check things off my bucket list.

Thanks again for reading these blog posts and I wish you the best with your finals (and everything else)!

Love,

Estelle  

P.S: I will continue to check in with you guys from time to time, so stay tuned!

 

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GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND MEET PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE. Walk up to them and say, “Hello.” What if you were standing next to someone at the produce aisle that could be the greatest love of your life, but could barely make eye contact with them because you were afraid? “Hello” could be the life-changing word in your life. Isn’t knowing better than wondering?”

 
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If you’re still afraid to said “Hi” to the guy/girl you’ve been crushing on since the start of school, this article might be the push you need to strike up a conversation with the person you’ve been pining for!

http://thoughtcatalog.com/kovie-biakolo/2014/01/revolutionize-your-love-life-tell-people-you-like-them/

In honour of Valentine’s Day, my blog posts this week will all consist of links to interesting articles/videos that revolve around the topic of love!

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First in the series: Grab a mug of hot chocolate and watch this fascinating lecture about the psychological theories of love and attraction delivered by Peter Solovey, a professor of psychology and the President of Yale University.

Specific topics include the different types of love, the circumstances that predict attraction, and the situations where people mistakenly attribute arousal for love.

I’ve always been an avid traveller; I love discovering new places and I tend to adapt pretty quickly to new environments. Thus, it was natural for me to assume throughout high school that I would be going away for university. When I decided to stay in Mississauga for various reasons (see my first blog post), the trade-off would be that I would spend all my summers away.

I strongly believe in travelling as a way to foster an independent spirit and build incredible memories that you will remember your whole life. It is while hanging on to my dear life on a picky picky in Nairobi or getting completely lost in Calgary that I discovered what I was truly capable of doing.

While school provides you with a lot of theoretical knowledge, travelling will give you street smarts that you wouldn’t be able to acquire within the four walls of a classroom.

This summer, I’m challenging YOU to face your fears, get out of Mississauga and see a bit more of the world.

This challenge is aimed particularly at utmONErs who are commuters, as often times living with our parents and enjoying a home-cooked meal every day gives us the luxury to live a rather sheltered existence.

Living by yourself for a summer means that you have to do your own budgeting, go grocery shopping, learn to cook edible meals for yourself and pay your rent on time amongst other things. These are all skills that will be essential post-graduation.

I also think that once we graduate and have to hold on to a steady job, it will become much more difficult for us to do some of the things that we fantasize about.

For me, one of these fantasies includes spending a few months working in the touristic activities department at a resort in Banff (one of the most beautiful places ever!). Since I don’t plan on having a career in the tourism industry, this will probably be my only chance to spend a whole summer in the Canadian Rockies.

I have a bucket list of things that I hope to do before I graduate (although, I know that realistically, it won’t be possible to do all of these because I only have 3 summers to go and way too many things on my list!). Here are also some ideas of cool things you should consider applying for:

  • The Parliamentary Guide Summer Program in Ottawa – How cool would it be to interact with visitors from around the world and get to see democracy in action?

http://www.parl.gc.ca/employment/library/guideprogram/index.asp?Language=E

  • Internships at the Girls Action Foundation in Montreal – I’m a huge fan of the work the organization is doing and they have an amazing team!

http://www.internationalpeaceandconflict.org/forum/topics/internship-communications-officer-kickaction-ca-coordinator-paid-#.UvKL326Ejrc

  • Whale Watching Tour Host/Hostess in British Columbia – How cool would that be?!!

http://www.orcaspirit.com/about/employment-opportunities

  • Summer Green Technology Certificate in Saskatchewan- Perfect for Environmental Studies majors!

http://www.help-international.com/InternshipStudent.php

  • Camp Winston in Orillia – If you want to do something meaningful this summer, consider this incredible residential camp that welcomes hundreds of special needs children every year!

http://campwinston.com/

Now tell us: What is on YOUR bucket list that you hope to cross off after this summer?