By Nicole Di Donato
When I moved into residence at the end of August, I did not realize how hard it would be to say goodbye to my parents. Although they are only a twenty-minute drive away, the reality that I was officially going to be on my own left me feeling very anxious, mainly because I did not know anyone living in residence and I was worried that I would be unable to handle being completely independent.
Living in residence has not only granted me the freedom to do whatever I want, but it has also forced me to grow up. Things that never would have been my responsibilities at home, such as buying paper towels and making sure I have enough laundry detergent, have become main priorities on my to do list.
So far, life in residence has been extremely exhilarating and memorable. Although it has only been a couple weeks, I already think of the people on my floor as family. We go out on late night walks to Yonge and Dundas Square for food, attend residence parties, have breakfast together in the cafeteria and have intense lip-syncing battles.
During frosh week, two of my close friends from residence and I went to Fiesta Del Fuego, then we went to a commerce frosh party at Tequila Jacks. Although the events were a lot of fun, my favourite part of the night was when we were walking home late, talking about all the crazy things that had happened while planning all the things we want to do together in the city. Something about that moment made me feel like I had finally found a group of friends that I truly fit in with and want to have for a lifetime. What I love most about Toronto is the diversity. The city is filled with people from all different backgrounds and life experiences. I find that this has been particularly useful for my writing and for my self-development because being a part of such a diverse city has allowed me to look at things from a different perspective.
Now that frosh is officially over and classes have begun, I cannot deny that the stress of first year is starting to get to me. Even though the first week of classes were not that difficult, I have had a hard time adjusting to the amount of textbook readings and online assignments I am already required to do for my courses. I also worry that I am going to accidentally miss a quiz or assignment because I have no clue how to work D2L Brightspace.
School is no doubt my number one priority, but I will admit that I have had a hard time overcoming the temptation to hangout with my friends in residence instead of doing homework. I never had this problem in high school because I had my parents there to help keep me on track, so this is an entirely new challenge I have had to face while living on my own.
I also find that most young adults place a huge emphasis on being in a relationship. At this age, it is almost unavoidable to develop feelings for another person, especially during a time like this when you are meeting so many new people for the first time. I have noticed that there are already so many people in residence who have either hooked up or are currently hooking up.
Having just come out of a relationship I am a lot more focused on making friends rather than making out, but all jokes aside, I feel like university has helped me realize that relationships at this age should not be the most important thing. This is a time to be selfish and to focus on yourself so that you can figure out who you want to be.
In this short amount of time I have grown more than I thought possible and I am excited to keep going.
Nicole Di Donato will be chronicling her first year at Ryerson in her column which will be published every Tuesday.