My First Visit to the UTSC Campus
Our Student Contributors
It’s no secret that I was never exactly sure where I wanted to study after high school. Truth be told, I swayed back and forth between lots of different places for a lot of different reasons, each decision lasting about as long as the attention span of a goldfish. Read: not long at all. With the deadline for university applications looming on the horizon – and my mind still far from made up – it was more or less imposed on me (by my parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and the like) that I’d have to start visiting campuses on their open house days.
I’d always heard that a crucial part of choosing your school was actually “getting a feel for it” by spending the day there, but at the time, that line of thinking seemed a little too…hopeful. There was no way a few hours on campus would suddenly shine a beacon on what was best for me, and a couple open houses into the process, I was 110% sure that was the case, much to the chagrin of, well, pretty much anyone who cared about would what lie ahead for me. Then came the UTSC open house (cue dramatic music).
It was a typical Fall day; beautiful leaves and a brisk chill with an almost-guaranteed chance of disappointment, but this unbridled bundle of cynicism was in for a big surprise. I won’t say that everything clicked as soon as I stepped foot on campus, but walking through UTSC, there was just something there. It felt homely, and comfortable in a way other schools weren’t (at least for me). I remember each building feeling much larger than they were, intersecting in a maze that was more rousing instead of disconcerting, especially with the unique architecture. “How the heck will I find my way around campus?” I asked myself – notice the “will” instead of “would”.
Subconsciously, I’d already warmed up to the notion of UTSC as a home away from home. Attending both the English and Media Studies faculty talks is what made me consciously aware of the fact. I sat there wide-eyed and listened to professors whose collective energy inspired a desire to learn, explore, and discover unlike ever before. And that was just a welcome speech; what would their lectures be like?
For the first time in a very long time, I felt like I could be excited for what was to come – so much so that I even approached one of the Creative Writing professors in a fanboy fit of enthusiasm about lessons I hadn’t had yet, and courses I didn’t even know existed. I was personally told to contact him as soon as I got accepted, something I grossly overlooked as a simple courtesy.
So imagine my shock when, two years later, while at UTSC’s restaurant and pub celebrating the end of an incredibly fulfilling Creative Writing: Fiction course taught by the same Professor, he jokingly chides me for not taking him up on his offer at the open house event, which prior to that moment, I didn’t even have the slightest clue he had remembered (and was too scared myself to bring up).
Sitting there at Rex’s Den, amongst new friends, in a new home, with a new energy fueling my education, I couldn’t help but reflect on those final moments of my first visit to UTSC. I remember giving one last look at the campus, releasing a silent sigh of relief before I stepped into the car. My Dad turned around in the driver’s seat, shooting a quick “so?” my way.
“I found it,” I replied. And I’ve never faltered in my certainty of that fact since.