GO Transit chronicles, pt. 1

8:57pm on a Sunday night: dreading the thought of a 5:55am alarm the following morning to get to an 8:30 class on time. A 15-minute drive and an hour and a half GO bus ride will separate me from the warm coziness I find between my sheets and the harsh reality of forgetting to print off the bibliography for my paper due in the morning.

I’ll be honest, living at home is pretty great. Mostly because there’s a fully-stocked fridge. Kind of because I like living with my parents. But mostly because of the food.

Tomorrow I begin week five of my new life as a commuter student, travelling from Burlington to either Glendon or York three days a week and my teaching placement in Etobicoke one day a week. All of these journeys take me two hours each way which is a big jump from my 30-second saunter to class during my three years living in residence, but there’s nothing I can do but make the best of it. Some of my amateur tips:

Sleep. Just shut your eyes and pretend you’re back in the warm coziness of your bed. Empty seat beside you? Fetal position.

Read. As liberal arts majors, Glendon students have a $%*# load of reading to do each and every week. Before you cry yourself into an oblivion where reading doesn’t exist, remember that your commute affords you the opportunity to read. A lot.

Write or draw, if you’re not fighting over the armrest during a busy rush. But elbow fights can be fun for many. Give it a shot.

Be a music connoisseur. Take the time every weekend to put some new music onto your iPod so that you’ll be entertained for the week ahead! But for the love of God, DO NOT FORGET YOUR HEADPHONES!!!!!

People-watch. *Oh god she just looked me in the eye look away ASAP so it doesn’t seem like I was staring right at her face* —It’s happened to all of us; don’t lie.

Gulp down a grande non-fat latte. I told myself until about a month ago that I would never ever in my entire life rely on coffee to keep me awake. HA!

So, to conclude, commuting has its ups and downs. So far for me it’s been a huge learning process; I’ve had to learn to prioritize my time in a way that I’ve never had to before. I’ve also found myself to be more productive than ever before. Hooray for my procrastination habits [kind of] circling the drain!

Stay tuned for partie deux; because you know I’ll have more transit stories to share! À bientôt. 🙂

Mike, Viva and YRT veteran, posted about his commute last week. I’ll be honest, I’ve never committed myself to a podcast but I’m going to be sure to subscribe to a couple tonight! Maybe that 5:55 alarm won’t be so bad after all.

Why you should keep an open mind about your university experience (and why everyone at Glendon already loves you!)

I was so excited for Frosh Week. SO. EXCITED. I knew 100% that I was going to make so many friends and have an amazing time! Having been an active student leader in high school, I was also positive that I was going to carry those skills into university and really make an impact. However, I had this (looking back on it) really odd mindset about going to university.

“Be cool, Gillian. Be cool. They’re judging you. Ease your way into their hearts.”
“Don’t be annoying. Don’t ask questions on the Facebook group. Google it. You know how to Google things.”
“Wow them when you get there. Don’t let your novelty wear off before Frosh Week starts.”

SERIOUSLY, GILLIAN?

A few words of advice to all of my incoming first year friends (we’re friends, by the way. I don’t care that you don’t know me yet; we’re friends), don’t worry about what other people think of you before you even get to Glendon! From day 1, I could see very clearly that I had entered the most friendly and accepting community I could ever imagine. There’s no one to impress, because you’ve already impressed us by choosing to study at the BEST SCHOOL EVER. Just saying.

So, Labour Day came around and I was SO ready.

Voice in my head: “Here we go. Show ’em what you’ve got.”

Big shot.

Me in my res room after setting everything up; I look terrified and it's hilarious.

Me in my res room after setting everything up; I look terrified and it’s hilarious.

This was the part where I let go of all of my inhibitions; I didn’t worry about anyone or anything. All I knew was that this was going to be the best experience of my life! It didn’t matter that Frosh Week had a no alcohol policy, or that we cheered so much that my voice was gone; it was still the best possible way to introduce me to this new stage of my life. So here I am now, looking back on the opportunities that Frosh Week introduced to me. The biggest of those opportunities was the Glendon College Student Union, with which I was a First Year Representative, Vice President Social, President, and now one of the Orientation Chairs with my ~BFF~ Aedan. Can you say keener? My goodness.

Aedan and I being all candid and stuff

Aedan and I being all candid and stuff

So obviously, as an O-Chair, I am obliged to do some shameless advertising in my blog posts. If you have not yet purchased a Frosh Kit, do it ASAP! Just head to glfrosh.com to buy your kit, check out the schedule of events, and have your questions answered. I hope to see you on September 2nd!

To wrap this up, here are the biggest things that I learned during my transition into university life:

1. Keep an open mind about who you become friends with! Glendon is much more diverse than many of your hometowns, so here’s the perfect opportunity to make friends with the kinds of people who you never had the chance to be friends with in high school.

2. Residents, make commuter friends. Commuters can help you to get accustomed to life in the city and show you some great spots!

3. Commuters, MAKE RESIDENCE FRIENDS. I cannot bold, italicize, or underline this enough. Do not get caught in the commuter trap! It’s a real thing. Commuters have an awesome Frosh Week, make a couple of friends, then drop off the face of the Earth. They go to class, and go home. It sounds absurd, I know, but it seriously happens! With friends in residence you have a place to hang out in between classes, and a place to crash after late-night events and on weekends. I’d say that the vast majority of my friends at Glendon are all commuter students from Toronto!

4. It’s okay to be shy, it’s okay to be crazy and wild, and it’s okay to be who you want to be. Despite popular belief, you do not need to change who you are just because you’re ‘starting fresh’ at a new school. You will find your ‘people’.

There are a lot of cheesy “be yourself” gifs. Here are my favourites:

#gpoy

You go, Drake. YOLO and stuff.

That’s all, folks! À bientôt!