Winter Break in Toronto
All the joys of a holiday well spent
Joy Fan STAFF WRITER
Image: GETTY IMAGES
Winter break is a great thing. Any sort of break is great, really. This winter also marked the first winter I spent away from home for Christmas. There’s a reason for this. Well, a few actually. First, flights from Toronto to anywhere are expensive around that time of year because everyone is trying to fly. Supply and demand, supply and demand. Second, another one to do with money, is that I’m living off residence this year. So, every moment I don’t spend at home, I’m spending rent on a home I’m not living in, which is not worth it. Third, for the second year in a row, I’ve only had two exams during the final exam period in December! Unfortunately, it also marked the second year in a row that I’ve ended on the last possible day to finish exams, which cuts down on the amount of time I’d get to travel, and increases the cost of plane tickets.
I decided I would have to start planning things to do with all the time I’d have to spend alone. I should’ve gone to the Christmas market. But it’s hard to be surrounded by people you don’t know, and naturally will not like because they are a part of their own little mob of friends, when you yourself do not have a mini mob of people you like to be surrounded by. I decided to clean my entire apartment, live in it, and then clean it some more. I told myself I’d explore but it’s winter break, which means winter, which means cold, and cold is one of the temperatures that I do not like.
My Christmas wasn’t all that eventful. A full day of carols, cute snaps, and treating myself to a nice meal. I also called my family, and I realized that Christmas isn’t the only time I should be calling. I then binged various Netflix shows using my brother’s account. But the real event was about to begin.
Boxing Day: Canada’s Black Friday, but with less deals and only half of the store you don’t want to buy things from on a regular day are on sale. And probably only up to 70% off. I don’t know why I went out on Boxing Day since I really didn’t need anything, but I told myself that I should buy some gifts and that I’d just do some window shopping. Note to self: don’t do window shopping when there are sales in every store, since window shopping means not buying things. I ended up buying some stuff I didn’t need, but decided I wanted though! (The consumeristic nature of society got me again.) Was it worth it? Probably not, since a lot of them were Boxing Week sales, and what I really wanted wasn’t even on sale.
By the time New Year’s came around, luckily it was super eventful for me. I went to Montreal, glad to do something to escape the crippling anxiety of knowing that my exams were being graded. I went with an organization I’m in, called AIESEC. Around 30 of us in total went to a national conference. On the way there, I got to experience a fun 6-hour delay on the bus due to a multi-car collision, so I’d like to take this time to remind everybody to get winter tires. But the five-day event was packed, and I got to spend New Year’s the way I always imagined university students did — in a room with the countdown projected onto the wall. It was fun, and also my first New Year’s Eve not spent in Vancouver, and my first time in Montreal! I also got to try some poutine, though I’m just going to say it — Montreal poutine is not mind-blowing. It’s fries and gravy and cheese curds.
Overall, I did not get ahead in my readings, I finished a few Netflix shows, said I’d learn five new skills with all the time I had and learned none, and did nothing productive at all really. And to me, that’s definitely considered a winter break well spent.