It’s been about a month of school now and I feel like I’ve finally settled into being a third year student. I’m not particularly smarter per se (minus my use of Latin in my everyday life), but I’ve acquired enough of what I like to call ‘GLintelligence’ (patent pending) over the previous two years to make the transition almost seamless. Seamless in the sense that I’m not scrambling to class hungry, and without any money to quiet the monster living inside of my stomach.
For one, I’m more confident now in my ability to know exactly how much time I need to get from one side of the campus to another than I was in my first year. Even though Glendon is a small campus, it’s important not to underestimate the time it takes to go from Point A to Point B… especially if getting to Point B includes walking up the million-and-one steps to get to class from the GAC (Glendon Athletic Club). Walking in late and sweaty from this trek wasn’t my greatest moment.
Pretty much me after I walk up the steps in the summer.
By far the most important piece of ‘GLintelligence’ I have acquired isn’t something that can be learned from a book, or even a blogpost, but rather my stomach. It was about mid-way through first year when I discovered that for a handful of change I could get a Deluxe Breakfast from the cafeteria consisting of 2 eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, 2 hash browns and 2 pieces of toast. IMHO, it is by far the best thing to order at the cafeteria and it’s available all day long. ALL DAY LONG. This means that I could potentially eat breakfast for every meal if I wanted to. Let’s be serious, I already have. Many times. It’s that good.
I had to!
How I came to appreciate and love the Deluxe Breakfast in all of its inexpensive-yet-delicious glory definitely came out of my insatiable hunger in finding the best deal possible in any situation. A fixed priority I have at the beginning of every new school year is finding and buying all of my course books for as cheap as legally possible. As much as I love books, some of the courses I’m taking can get pretty pricey which is why I’m happy that there is a Facebook page dedicated to book buying and selling. Big shout out to Bryan for setting that up! Thanks to him, I was able to continue supporting my caffeine addiction. Kudos.
It took some time to get where I am now, and a lot of trial and error to become more independent, but I’m excited to see what this year brings, and more importantly for whatever other tricks I pick up along the way.
Obligatory Scott Pilgrim TTC gif
If you are anything like me, the commute to and from Glendon can be almost unbearable. I spend almost 4 hours sitting and standing on the TTC, Subway, YRT and Viva Buses every day (#2Fares), and am constantly coming up with different ways to pass the time. Below is a list I have compiled over my travels.
5. Draw the Person in Front of You
Keeping a pen and some paper handy is essential for any commute. Without being too obvious (read: creepy), try to sketch whoever is in front of you. Whether you draw them as a caricature or more realistic is up to you, art is subjective anyway. I can’t draw worth crap, so I tend to lean towards the more doodle-y style of commuter drawing.
4. Write a Subway Soap Opera
Sometimes, on the subway I will choose people to star in a soap opera. I come up with backstories for each of them without them knowing and play out scenarios in my head. For example, I might decide that ‘Guy With Bike’ is on his way to meet his mistress ‘Old Woman Napping’ but her husband ‘Crossword Steve’ knows about their affair and is plotting revenge. It’s surprisingly easy to come up with elaborate stories when the people involved have absolutely no idea what they are doing. The facial expressions and mannerisms of each actor or actress only adds to their character.
3. Listen to your Favourite Podcast
This is a personal favourite of mine. Do a bit of podcast exploring to see which ones might interest you, and start listening to them. A few of my favourite are Cracked, The Bugle and The Nerdist Podcast. Podcasts are very relaxing, and can actually become quite informative. I learned that the smell of freshly cut grass is actually a warning sign to other plants that danger is near. Grass tears never smelled so good.
BONUS TIP: Because podcasts have no visual component, it leaves you to double up on activities to do on your commute.
2. Do Your Readings
As nerdy or keener-esque as it may sound, the hours spent sitting on the TTC or YRT buses can be spent doing a reading or two for your classes, or reviewing right before a test. Instead of staring blankly at the subway map feeling pity for those that have to take the RT line, you can read a few chapters in that novel due for class tomorrow, err today.
Whether it is an early morning or a late night, grabbing a few minutes of shut eye is important. Trying not to burn yourself out from studying late at night (or watching an entire season of Scrubs on Netflix) is essential.
Me too 😦
My patented back to school dance
Despite the casual, disinterested, sarcastic tone the title to this post may indicate, I am actually quite excited to be starting my third year here at Glendon. I love the classes that I am taking and haven’t had any nightmares about the obscene amount of essays I have to write this term. Although I am physically in the class listening to how much Shakespeare has influenced and been influenced by Elizabethan England, mentally I am still stuck in a suspended state of wanting to sleep in until 2 pm then roll over and watch Netflix. Unfortunately, they do not offer a class that meets this criteria at Glendon. Instead, I have series of particular steps that I follow to help me transition from Summer Mike to School Year Mike.
The first step for me is to set
one multiple alarms in order to unearth myself from the cave of blankets and pillows I constructed. Something that I found helps immensely in this aspect is not deciding to go to bed at 3 in the morning. RIP Netflix binges. I hardly knew ye.
See you after exams…
After I have risen from the comforting abyss that is my bed, I make sure that I give myself enough time in between sitting at the edge of my bed half asleep contemplating my own life decisions and sitting on the Viva Blue awkwardly napping against the window contemplating my own life decisions to have a shower while my face attempts to create a permanent imprint in the cold tile wall. Each of these is essential to the process. How am I supposed to analyze the life defining soliloquies in Hamlet without looking at my own life? Sure, his are maybe a bit more profound and put together but mine have a certain uniqueness to them only found amongst those with 9 am Monday classes.
After I have woken myself up and arrived at school, an immediate dosage of caffeine and everything bagels with cheese from the campus Timmies are needed to complete the steps required for me to take on the day. Or at least the next few hours until I need another dose.
My general attitude if I don’t have any coffee
It feels good to be back.
Although it isn’t as graceful of a transition as a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, I find it beautiful in its own way. Butterflies are overrated anyway.