Photo Credit: Candy Hua
Being a commuter student adds to the university fun! More sights, more experiences.
Candy Hua, Contributor
The rhythm of my weekdays begins at 7:30 am. The first hour is a dance of routines: tidying my room, grooming, and a quick breakfast before stepping out. My journey to university is a scenic train ride from Unionville GO station to Union Station, an opportunity to witness the city waking up.
My morning ritual includes a stop at either Starbucks or Tim Horton’s. The choice between a robust coffee or a creamy latte depends on my mood. Soon after, I find myself in the comforting familiarity of Brennan Hall’s Coop, greeting familiar faces and settling into my work.
At noon on Mondays, I break free from the academic world to explore the city’s offerings and grab lunch. My day culminates with an evening class, POL224: Canada in Comparative Perspective, a captivating dive into Canadian politics led by the dynamic Professor Greenaway. The themes of the Canadian constitution, federalism, and elections are brought to life in his lectures. My day, much like my city, is a blend of routines, discoveries, and intellectual pursuits.
Tuesdays are a whirlwind for me. I kick off with POL200, Political Theory: Visions of the Just/Good Society with Professor Walton. He’s a beacon of knowledge and passion. The material often gets dense, but I never shy away from asking my TA for clarification.
From there, it’s a quick subway dash from Museum to St. George. I have to get to University of Toronto Schools for HIS264: Critical Issues in Canadian History, taught by Professor Penfold. His teachings on Toronto’s history last year were enlightening, so I’m glad I get to learn even more from him this year.
Next, it’s time for POL222: Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning, with Professor Ariga. Even though the course has a dash of math, which isn’t my strongest suit, Prof. Ariga is always there to support.
After a day full of lectures, I’m done. But the day isn’t over. I grab a quick dinner at Tim Horton’s to refuel before my Model UN meeting on Zoom. Once that’s done, I start my commute back to Markham. I’ve gotten used to missing my regular GO train, but thankfully the TTC gets me home after a 1.5-hour ride. Exhausting, but fulfilling!
Wednesdays are my tutorial days, a chance to dive into what I’ve learned. First up, POL224. We’ve just kicked off our tutorials, but I’ve already met some amazing folks. Then it’s HIS264, where we dissect our weekly readings. We finish with POL222, focusing on our assignments. It can get a little much sometimes, yet it always remains very rewarding.
Thursdays start early. I’m on the 7:25 am train, heading for a 9 am lecture on European colonialism (HIS245) with Professor Jennings. His knowledge is vast, covering power, gender, culture, violence, slavery, and abolition. Post-lecture, it’s off to the POL200 tutorial at Queen’s Park. It’s a great and unique setting, although there’s always a little risk of getting distracted with people-watching!
During my spare hour, my best friend and I hit the U of T bookstore. I snagged a My Melody Squishmallow — so cute! Then it’s back to business with the HIS245 tutorial, focusing on our assignment, which is due next week.
A quick detour to the mall was needed after an unfortunate clothing mishap. Despite rush hour, I found a new outfit without breaking the bank. The day wrapped up at the graduate school program fair in Charbonnel Lounge. Chatting with representatives from Rotman MBA programs, the Munk School, and OISE was so reassuring and informative. I even got to leave with a clearer picture of my future plans! Definitely worth it.
Fridays are my day off, a chance to unwind with friends and explore the city. Our first stop was Yorkville, where I replenished my skincare stash at The Ordinary. From there, we hit Queen Street, then back to the U of T bookstore. My friend grabbed a book, while I snagged another U of T sweater.
Next, we ventured to Kensington Market for some thrift shopping. We went to various shops and the owners I met were lovely. I found a gorgeous slip dress for such an affordable price. Our day culminated in a pub night, complete with drinks and toasts. The camaraderie was at its peak. It truly felt great to reconnect with friends.
Post-pub, we retreated to a friend’s condo to chill before our karaoke reservation. The singing was cathartic — we belted out tunes without a care in the world. I got home late, to the disappointment of my parents, but I was buzzing with happiness. The day was a perfect blend of retail therapy, bonding, and letting loose. It was a reminder of the joys of friendship, the thrill of finding a thrift store gem, and the freedom of singing your heart out. Aside from the parental disapproval, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was a day well spent, a testament to the beauty of youthful spontaneity.
This week has been tumultuous, but in the best way possible. Each day, I dive headfirst into subjects like POL224 and HIS264, immersing myself in the material, and engaging in thought-provoking discussions. The days are busy but invigorating. Lunch breaks are spent exploring the city, and evenings are filled with Model UN meetings and bonding with friends over karaoke. Even the long commutes are cherished, offering their moment of reflection amid the hustle. After everything, the highlight of all my weeks always ends up being the time spent cherishing every moment with my friends. Despite the occasional parental disapproval and the tiredness, I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything. It’s a busy life, but the thrill of learning and the joy of friendship make every moment worth it. Here’s to another week of knowledge, discovery, and new experiences!