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By Dominique Blain

Dear Ryerson University Financial Services:

This is a open letter to acknowledge the fact that you hate me.

Don’t worry, it’s all right. I’ve come to terms with it. Plus, you’ve always hated me with a lovely smile on your face. Let’s be honest: you hated me before I even started at Ryerson.

Oh, don’t you remember? Yeah, you lost the $1,000 deposit that secured my spot in J-Skool. But you were good at reacting with surprise and blaming everyone else — including me — when I shoved my receipt in your face. Don’t worry, I’m not expecting an apology. It’s all right.

I will say I was a little insulted when you asked me for my entire tuition upfront — I still haven’t found another post-secondary institution that does that — seeing as you know perfectly well that I don’t receive my entire student loan upfront. But it’s all right: you deserve every single penny of the $677.78 I’ve doled out in interest for the last three academic years.

Speaking of OSAP, remember that time in second year you took my entire loan without warning me? Fun times. I had planned on paying rent with that OSAP installment, but when I went to pick it up — whoosh! — you’d beat me to it. I realize you can’t let me know ahead of time that you’ll do these things; then I’d be able to plan my budget accordingly and worry about studying, not, you know, paying rent. I can sleep when I’m dead, so I don’t actually need a place to sleep. It’s all right. But then, this semester, you really got me — oh, you’re just so cunning, financial office, it’s almost cute. Cute in a bunny-got-hit-by-a-semi way.

I knew you were going to swoop in on most of my January OSAP, so I planned ahead. Imagine my surprise when I found that you’d not only taken what I owed you, but more. You nabbed an extra $1,267.20! Don’t worry, I won’t charge you interest on that. It’s all right.

Without a doubt, however, I am most indebted to you, dear Financial Services, for the invaluable advice a young woman employed by you gave me a year-and-a-half ago. I had made an appointment with her after finding out that I’d be taking the next year off to work. I didn’t want to get dinged by OSAP payments because I intended on returning to school the following September. “Don’t do it,” she said. “Stay in school. It’s more important to stay in school.”

“I can’t do that. I’m asking you what I should be doing, financially, during this year off.”

“You’re really pretty. You know America’s Next Top Model? I heard they’re creating a Canadian version. If you take time off, you should look into that. I think you’d do well!”

Dear Financial Services, you were right! They were indeed creating a Canadian version of ANTM. Thank you for your invaluable life lessons: keep your receipts, never count your eggs before they’re hatched, and if all else fails, try modeling.

Yours truly, Dominique Blain

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