PHOTO COURTESY NICOLE DI DONATO

Year one: more like the freshman minus 15

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By Nicole Di Donato

When I started my final year of high school, I was so eager to move on and start a new life in university. Now that I am officially a university student, I miss the simplicity and day-to-day routines that came along with living at home.

In high school, I pretty much knew what to expect everyday. I would go to class around 10 a.m., thanks to my morning spare, go out with my friends during lunch, then I would attend the rest of my classes. After school I would go home, do homework, then watch Friends on Netflix.

Now that I’m in university, I find myself surprised by what each day brings. I try to stay organized by creating little to-do lists and prioritizing which assignments and readings I need to complete first. Despite my best efforts, I never end up sticking to these plans because something seemingly more important comes up.

One main thing that I have been struggling to adjust to is living on the same floor as all of my friends. Although I have enjoyed every second of it, it gets hard at times to pass up going out to stay curled up in bed doing my textbook readings. In high school I got to see my friends during lunch so I didn’t find it necessary to hangout with them everyday after school.

I went to an arts high school for drama, so it has been weird not having to go to drama class everyday. Acting was a huge part of my life before I came to university. I even considered going to university to study film acting at one point. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss having to memorize Shakespearean monologues and trying out for all the school plays and musicals.

Something I’ve realized while living on my own is that I literally have no time for anything. In addition to having to take care of myself and ensure that I have all the essentials I need, I also have a never-ending amount of textbook readings to do, on top of projects due only a few hours or days after being assigned. It’s funny to think that I used to get so stressed out in high school when I had only two hours of homework per night and three weeks or more to complete an assignment.

Not only is the workload in university a lot more, but the work itself is also a lot more challenging. In one of my classes we were required to take photos of strangers in Toronto and get some of their personal information, such as their name and age, in order to create a caption for the photo.

This may sound like a piece of cake to some people, but trust me it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Despite the initial awkwardness I felt, being forced to go outside of my comfort zone allowed me to grow more as a journalist and as a person, by teaching me to have thick skin and to not let rejection get to me.

This may come as a surprise to some people but since moving to residence, I haven’t been able to find the time to eat. I know, crazy right? Some days I’ll eat one meal, some days I’ll eat all three meals, depending on my availability. I’m really starting to wonder why the “freshman minus 15” isn’t a thing.

When I was living at home I always had the time to eat because breakfast, lunch and dinner was part of my daily routine. Now, my priorities lie with school and balancing a social life while still being involved in extra-curricular activities.

It also doesn’t help that the cafeteria in my residence, Pitman Hall, isn’t open on the weekends — which makes getting food even more of a hassle. Although it feels like my life is all over the place at the moment, I realize that it will take time to establish a new routine and get a proper balance on school and social activities.

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