My first online dating experience: how to scare off a guy in less than 48 hours

Meant to be?

Creating an online dating profile proved to be the most ambiguous way I could have started off 2019. I spent several of my last hours of 2018 letting the idea of meeting someone online for the first-time brew in my head. The more I did that, the more I felt like I should follow through just because it was something completely out of my comfort zone.

Before I knew it, my online profile was up in early January.

Wanting to prepare myself for what was to come, I went over the pros and cons with my friend Jordan, but little did I know that my emotional reaction spiked to a degree that caught me off guard.

You know those days that show you exactly how you’re going to feel for the whole day? Well, that was my Saturday morning – it was fucking cold and clearly screaming, stay indoors.

Guess who didn’t stay indoors?

That morning I dragged myself into campus, and lo and behold I was lost inside the new Highland Hall (HL) building at UTSC. Wanting to pass time, I checked to see my new matches and one in particular – his smile – drew me in (but seriously, it’s hard to find a guy genuinely smiling into the camera on this app!) and I decided to start a conversation with him.

“Hi,” I wrote.

He replied almost immediately.

“Hi. How are you?”

“Kinda lost… in a building actually.”

Oddly enough, the convo with him felt casual, and he always had something to say. My goal was to get the hell off the app as soon as someone agreed to go on one date with me. The moment I realized I could keep a digital conversation going with this guy, instead of working in the study spaces, I procrastinated for five hours analyzing and dissecting our messages.

Was he the one? Meh, he’d do for now. I knew it was time.

Ok you can do this.

Just. Nike. It.

So, on Saturday evening I told him that this was my first online dating experience and that my goal was to go on one date only.

“Wow that was fast. And you’d want to go on that one date with me?”

“Yeah,” I replied, “since our convo hasn’t been awkward on here. I’d really want to see what it’s like IRL with you.”

“I’d really like that too,” he responded.

And I, after consulting with two of my friends, Michael* and Jordan*, and examining about every text, I sent the message: “It’s a date then.”

Don’t celebrate yet, he’s not fully on board.

Immediately I asked Jordan how I could steer the convo back to setting a venue and time. Yet, at this point it almost seemed easy to slip in various questions. So, I tested the waters by sending one question at a time and he responded almost instantly, which was awesome. While my heart was skipping beats and my mind was racing faster than Tokyo’s Metro that night, I started to plan my outfit.

I also began to plan how Jordan could come to spy on us and keep an eye out for for stranger danger while I was enjoying myself.

Hey everybody, look at me I’m kicking off 2019 by leaping out of my comfort zone—yes, clap for me. I did it.

Opening Pandora’s Box

Sunday morning, I locked eyes with my phone and grabbed it from my night table to check it.

No messages.

He was on my mind all day, so much so that by the afternoon my eyes drifted to the clock each time I uttered “Hallelujah” in church.

Right after church, I begin a conversation with him. This time, it was different. I realized that my feelings for him had inflated overnight.

For some reason, I found myself asking questions about the sharks on his bio photos, and it’s like this switch turns on inside him to send strings of messages with loads of fucking info.

And then he dropped the f-bomb. Family bomb. And kept going.

This sent my attraction signals off the roof because the more I was learning about the kind of person he was, the more my desire to meet him in person grew. I noticed how strongly intertwined his family and work were.

Not long after, we reached a convo plateau.

It’s a good time to stop now, yes? Oh …n o? You want to keep going? Sure, don’t listen to reason. Go, be selfish, indulge yourself.

I wish I’d stopped there. Instead I took a guessing game a little too far – oopsie?

“What if I guess where you work?” I wrote. He hesitated, but still told me to give it a shot.

I should have at least asked him “Are you ok with me checking?” one more time before he said, “You can give it a try.”

I guess we were both ignorant, him with the huge amount of information he spilled to a complete stranger online, and me being the stranger who was cocky to admit that I knew enough about him to find out where he worked.

And inevitably, I guessed right. He was probably having a fucking panic attack then and there because he said, “I’m actually kind of worried that you know where I work now.” A short while after he stopped replying. I cried myself to sleep that night.

I knew things wouldn’t be the same, but a small part of me wanted things to go back to normal so Monday morning I asked him where things were at. Nothing.

It just went downhill from there I sent about eight or so messages mentioning that he was my first date online and I completely understood if he wanted to block me. Finally, on Tuesday night… after heavy convincing from Jordan we decided to delete his chat, so I sent him a final text saying I wasn’t going to be on the app much longer and ended off with “It was nice meeting you. This was definitely different.”

And a minute later all I got was:

“I’m sorry.”

At. Least. He. Replied.

But that was it.

There it is, a date that never happened. It promised a lot ,but my lack of patience ended it in less than 48 hours.

 

*Names have been changed at individuals request

Five types of people you’ll find in lecture  

If you’re sitting there reading this and telling yourself that you haven’t EVER encountered these types of personalities in your lectures during your time at university, then you are definitely kidding yourself. It may be a new semester, and you may have new classes, but no matter what, you will always undeniably and inevitably be blessed with the presence of the same type of lecture folk that seem to never leave your company.

Love them or hate them, you can’t really get away from them. Here’s a guide to identify these fine humans.

1. The Snack Attacker

It starts with the surprisingly loud crunch of a granola bar. Then, that turns into a candy wrapper fidgeting fiasco, and before you know it, this person has arranged a full-on buffet for themselves right there in your lecture hall. The passionate crunching, the chewing, the constant fiddling with candy bar wrappers, the opening and closing of surprisingly loud Tupperware — it doesn’t stop. And you ask yourself: is this person aware of the ASMR live podcast that they are giving? Probably not. They continue to sit there and destroy that extreme crunch apple cinnamon granola bar like their life depends on it without a care in the world.

Where can we find this person? Weirdly enough, always conveniently sat close to you maximizing the volume. As annoying as this all may feel, next time this person brings in some Popeyes chicken strips and fries, you may as well ask them to share, right?

2. The “Welcome to my Ted Talk”

A.K.A. the let-me-tell-you-my-life-story classmate. No matter what class you are in, no matter what the lecture topic is, this person will always — and I mean ALWAYS — find a way to weave in how their life story is totally relatable to the class content and therefore must be relevant. You could be sitting in a two-hour history class about Napoleon’s reign over Europe and this kid will probably find an opportunity to twist the conversation around and share with the class how he ‘totally gets it’ because it’s how he felt ‘this one time.’

Not only does this person turn the classroom into a show-and-tell experience for one, but they also derail the content for the rest of the lecture. By the time your exam comes around, you’ll find yourself gradually composing this person’s biography. And guess what? They’d probably love to read it.

3. The Debater

This person is like that one song that was sort of your jam for a while so you ended up listening to it way too much, and now every time it starts to play on shuffle you dash to switch it to something else. The only difference here? Well, it’s real life and you can’t shuffle past this person like an annoying song on your Spotify playlist.

This person will always, without a doubt, have something to say — or more likely, debate — with whatever the professor is talking about. Every lecture ends up making you feel like you’re watching the 2016 Trump and Clinton Presidential debates on repeat; you can’t help but sing to yourself ‘here we go again!’

So sit back, get comfortable, grab a soda or some popcorn, and settle down for what will feel like a long ride to the finish line — or to the end of class at least.

4. The Snoozer

Ah yes, the source of many student memes that circulate; the classic student with their head tilted back or hunched on the table where they appear to be trying to catch up on that extra hour of sleep  they lost when they woke up to scramble to class. Funny enough, this is the same person that probably stayed up all night catching up on their latest Netflix binge even though they claimed to have been studying.

However, while you’re sitting there being attentive as possible, you can’t help but envy how comfortable this person appears to be and how easily they have drifted away into a snooze. As they continue to rock their head back and forth as they drift in and out of sleep to the voice of your professor, you may think to yourself ‘why am I not falling asleep?’ Everybody’s got to do something to get through the day, even if it’s taking a wee nap, smack in the middle of all your peers. Go figure.

5. The Buzzfeed Baddie

Depending on the time of day, what class it is, or how much coffee you’ve had, this person could be you! Most likely to be located in the middle or the back of the classroom giggling and smiling at their computer screen, this person has occupied themselves with all the possible, ‘what does your coffee drink say about your love life’ quizzes to eye-catching rainbow cake baking videos you can possibly imagine. Needless to say, this person spends more time analyzing their Buzzfeed quiz results than understanding what is actually going on in class.

Now, every so often they’ll lift their head and give the occasional yes-I-am-listening head nod to try and appear as though they’ve been paying attention, but at the end of the day, this person is probably having a better time in class than you are. Some call it ‘distraction,’ but us students like to call it ‘entertainment.’

And then there’s you. You’re reading this and probably thinking to yourself how many of these characters you can — or actually have — identified so far. And if you’re having some trouble spotting them out, sit and think to yourself: which one am I?

Best specialty grocery stores in Toronto

Don’t be scared: specialty does not always mean expensive. A trip to a specialty grocery store is well worth the time and effort if you are curious about cuisine and pretty packaging. Specialty grocery stores are like soulmates: there is some place for everyone.

Pusateri’s Fine Foods: “I don’t want to cut my vegetables”

With three locations in downtown, personal service is Pusateri’s mantra, and it rings true. Spotty foot traffic makes the staff to patron ratio seem like 1:4 and most of them are happy to find items for you, as opposed to just pointing in its general direction. Butchers cut both meat and produce. Carrots can be washed and julienned, pomegranate seeds can go home with you without the stubborn rind, and someone else can cry over onion chopping for once. These veg-butcher services come at no extra cost, and neither does the help of a personal shopper.

Bring home what your roommate needs without taking responsibility for choosing the wrong sort of kale for her potluck. English shortbreads and beloved speculoos cookies are always in stock. Sample the sweets of the world without having to dig into your OSAP loan reservoir for airfare and accommodations.

Pusateri’s is my shrine, lay me in a bed of their ready-made quinoa when I die.

Organic Garage: buying rare expensive things at a marginally cheaper price

There is only one Organic Garage, sorry folks. One in the very west of Toronto, the part that doesn’t conveniently sit on the subway line. I haven’t visited their other location in Liberty Village, so I am vouching for the aforementioned location. Keele and St. Clair West can seem like a trek, but the trip is well worth it if you are interested in stocking up on vegan goods and organic produce. Despite the bougie brown brick facade, produce prices here tend to be cheaper than those at Metro. There, organic green kale goes for $2.99. Here, it costs a little less than half the price: $1.47. Produce is always fresh, and neatly arranged for easy access.

The space emits a warm ambiance with its wooden paneling and string lights, turning shopping for groceries into a welcome adventure. Their variety of organic foods (fresh and pre-packaged) is unparalleled. Yes, they have all the flavors of Daiya’s dairy-free cheesecakes (my favorite is key lime). Be sure to call in advance, if you are searching for a specific product. Parking at this location is free, and spots are abundant. The parking lot is nearly as great as my affinity for this hidden gem.

Cheese Boutique: for the cheese addict in you

This cheese haven has been around since the 70’s, bringing cheeses, charcuteries, and exotic fungi from around the world. Despite being on the pricier side, you get what you pay for and staff offer free cups of espresso and biscotti in store. With over 500 varieties of cheeses and three aging rooms, this is the spot to find the rarest of cheeses. The location also has a small produce section for fresh vegetables at slightly higher-than-normal prices. However, the pates and mousses they import from Quebec go for $7 in sizeable blocks. Their sandwiches, made with house-baked breads and cured meats, are also a popular choice; they’re priced at around $3.00 per 100g.

While gelatos and most bakery items are made in store, you can also find Nadege products like blue velvet bars and cinnamon cakes. This is the spot to be for unique food items and their aging room (open to the public) makes for an unforgettable experience.

A call to arms: student entrepreneurship

The story of the student or college dropout entrepreneur has become ubiquitous in our cultural consciousness. Whether it is through movies like The Social Network or through public figures like Kanye West, the trajectory of the college dropout entrepreneur encapsulates one theme ingrained in the moral fabric of our capitalist society: ‘work hard, and you will succeed.’

The magnitude of the stories we are exposed to daily can often make entrepreneurship seem foreign and unattainable. I highly doubt any of The Varsity’s readers would not pause and give serious thought to dropping out and working if they felt strongly compelled by an idea that seems larger than they are or perhaps ridiculously lucrative. Furthermore, the more impossible a story, the more we seem to glorify it — almost to a fault.

Even though the Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerbergs of this world are incredibly moving motivational forces, we sometimes collectively label the ‘dream chasers’ among our own generation as foolish. Zuckerberg’s story, in particular, reads almost like science fiction to me. Born to an unassuming middle-class family, Zuckerberg famously dropped out of Harvard to develop the social media giant Facebook. A decade after Facebook’s meteoric rise, Zuckerberg, born into very similar circumstances to my own, is called to the United States Congress to answer for the accused crimes of his company.

The result is a huge misunderstanding.

The weight of the celebrity of today’s entrepreneurs makes entrepreneurship seem intimidating and impossible when it’s a perfectly ordinary venture that anyone is capable of embarking upon. Entrepreneurship can be performed in degrees, at different levels, with varying levels of profitability. The overarching significance is that entrepreneurship should be viewed by students as an empowering venture. It doesn’t have to be a big idea that starts a company, generating income by expanding on your interests and hobbies is just as useful and may provide helpful lessons on self-sufficiency and the dreaded ‘real world.’

What you should be picturing centres upon taking a talent or interest and viewing it from a different perspective. As a university student in any discipline, look into perhaps tutoring some of your peers or younger students. You can find work online editing or consulting on the works of others. Music students can do the same and look to perform either at venues or busking — there are collaboration platforms like HitRecord that facilitate networking and artist collaboration.

If you think you have a big idea, U of T also has multiple incubators that offer help to prospective start-ups. There is the Creative Destruction Lab, the Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab, the Entrepreneurship Hatchery, the Health Innovation Hub, iCube, and the Impact Centre — just to name a few. These organizations operate with the goal of providing students with the means to see their entrepreneurial ventures succeed. They provide mentorship, occasional funding, workshops, networking opportunities, and other tools for students wishing to undertake an entrepreneurial venture.

Beyond U of T, the federal and provincial governments offer grants and other programs to student entrepreneurs such as the Summer Company grant program that provides funds to students managing operations of any size, whether that be mowing the neighbors’ lawns or launching tech-related start-ups.

The tools you need to explore the possibilities of entrepreneurship are at your fingertips. Don’t be afraid to reach out and use them.

How to maximize your smugness after a European semester abroad

So, you’ve just come back from a semester abroad — or maybe a whole year. You really enjoyed your time there, but now that you’re back in Canada, you’ve realized that’s not enough.

Other people need to know how much better your semester was than theirs. But how do you manage that? Here are The Varsity’s eleven tips for anyone who has been to Europe at any point in their life — and who needs people to know about it.

1. Show off your pictures

Yeah, anyone can google a picture of the Eiffel Tower, but can they Google you with a glass of wine in front of it trying to get an angle that cuts out the thousands of others in nearby cafes and bars doing the same thing? I think not.

2. Mention less popular destinations

Pick obscure places to bring up in conversation, but here’s the trick: this only works after you’ve seen all the popular stuff, so that you can definitely insist it’s overrated.

“Yeah, like Paris was amaaazing but after so much time there I definitely preferred Nantes, it’s just way less touristy, you know?”

3. Lie about what languages you’ve learned

The trick here is to find out quickly what language the other person doesn’t speak, so that you can insist you’ve learned a lot of  new phrases from your totally real friends.

“Do you speak any Czech? No? Oh my GGoddd I learned so much, it’s SUCH a beautiful language!”

4. Insist that it was way more than just a vacation

Yeah, you may have been to Europe, but have you’ve lived there? You bought groceries and paid rent; that makes it better, and makes your experience way more legit.

5. Compare everything back home to Europe

Now that you’re back home, you’ve returned to fix all of North America’s problems through your new-found European insight. The trick here is to think outside the box. Out at the bar with friends? Talk about Europe’s totally progressive drinking culture. On the bus? Talk about Europe’s superior public transportation. Out for dinner? Talk about just how much fresher and more organic all European food is. Walking literally anywhere? Talk about how much more walkable those damn fine European cities are.

“Wow, I just can’t get used to Toronto’s downtown anymore, every European city has so many squares and such an extensive metro, it’s honestly so much better.”

6. Don’t let anyone out-Europe you

When talking to anyone, find out quickly if they’ve been to Europe before. If they have, you’ve got to shut that down right away. Try to see if they’ve spent as much time abroad as you. Turn your weeks into months if you have to. And never deny going to a place in any given city; you’ve seen so much, it’s hard to remember, but you’ve definitely been to every museum and seen every site in all those cities you listed.

If they’ve been somewhere you’ve also been, pick a different month and insist that the vibe is totally different.

“Yeah, Vienna in the summer was cool, you were there too? Really filled with tourists though… Honestly, Vienna in the winter is sooo different, it has those beautiful Christmas markets, I really prefer it in the winter, too bad you couldn’t go.”

7. Try to move the conversation East so you can appear totally cultured

London, Paris, and Amsterdam are soo mid-2000s. You, a true European, have travelled to crazy obscure places such as Budapest and Prague. Careful, you don’t want to move too East; you still want people to be jealous, so don’t mention Belarus or Moldova.

“Oh, you’ve been to Budapest? Have you been to Bucharest though? No? Ohhh my God, I used to love Budapest, but it’s just way too corporate now, Bucharest still feels like authentic and real. You should really go some time!”

8. Compare Europe to other parts of Europe

Nothing says ‘experienced European’ more than contrasting the different cities you’ve been to. For example, talk about how the night life is totally different from city to city. Act like you’re informing people of something interesting when you compare the clubs in Belgrade and Budapest. But remember, even though Europe is so amazingly diverse, it’s still nothing like Canada, and Toronto definitely has a worse clubbing  than even the worst in Europe.

“Yeah, North Europe and South Europe are sooo different, it’s crazy. But I loved both Barcelona and Edinburgh, just in different ways, it’s so hard for me to choose! I love all the friends I made in both!”

9. Try to be sly in your bragging

People don’t like talking to smug bastards. Avoid using the word ‘abroad too much; people will catch on to what you’re doing. Use fictional European friends and events as an avenue for talking about your time there.

“Yeah, me and Andreas got sooo drunk in Budapest… oh I didn’t mention Andreas? He’s my German friend. My friends in Budapest were from all over Europe. Anyway, we got sooo wasted in public, but it wasn’t a problem because of Europe’s superior drinking culture and the convenient public transportation…”

10. Be as general as possible so nobody can disagree

If all else fails, talk about things like ‘the vibe,’ ‘the spirit,’ ‘the people’ and ‘the culture.’ It’s important that you make sure that they know, whatever it is, you’ve been there and experienced it, and they haven’t and are missing out.

“Honestly, like, have you been to Europe? For more than a month though? Yeah, see, there’s just such a different way of life there, it’s honestly something you can’t even understand without living there. I can’t really describe it to you, but I don’t think I can get used to Canada ever again.”

11. Become European

This is probably most important. What use is going to Europe just to come back a Canadian?

Measure your height in centimeters. Use the 24-hour clock. Remember, all your friends are European, and you now have authentic European friends in every city. Always insist that you are planning to move ‘back’ eventually. You can’t stay here, a European trapped in Canada!

I hope some of you take these tips to heart. What’s the point of doing anything in life if you can’t prove to anyone it was worth doing? That semester abroad? Stretch it out for years if you can. This is now the most interesting thing about you. Hold onto it for dear life.

Five shows to binge on Netflix if you have already given up on the semester

You’ve come back from your winter break and are ready to jump right back into months of hardcore readings and assignments, perfected sleep cycles, and a fresh new laundry schedule for yourself. Alright…this may not be a total reality, but one can dream right? While starting a fresh new semester of school may be exciting, sometimes we feel like we just need to sit back, relax, and type that seven letter word that permits us to escape to another world: N-E-T-F-L-I-X. Yes, that’s right.

If the new semester jitters and workload is hitting you hard, not to fear! The top five TV shows to binge watch on Netflix is here!

Gilmore Girls

Queue Carole King’s “Where You Lead.”

Welcome to the wondrous world of Stars Hollow where the characters are fresh and the coffee at Luke’s is hot and ready to go! From 2000 to 2007, the dramady’s heartfelt characters make the experience all worthwhile. Together, this sensational TV show has captured pretty much every aspect of life; from relationships, ambition, friendship, education, romance, and a never endless supply of witty and referenceable Instagram captions. They’ll make you laugh, cry, and smile all at once, so that by the time you hit season 7 you’ll be asking yourself where all that time went.

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Get ready to dance…for…your…LIFE! Step into a world of glamour, spice, and everything nice with these fabulous Queenz. From Naoimi Smalls to Trinity Tailor, these Queenz did not come here to play and will not sashay away. You don’t just ‘watch’ RuPaul’s Drag Race, you become inevitably enchanted by the fabulous world of spanx, incredible makeup, unforgettable fashion, and irreplaceable Queenz that makes the experience more than worth-your-while. Do it. Put on a face mask and treat yourself to a night of binge-watch worthy entertainment because hey, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else! Can I get an amen up in here?”

The Office

Nuf said.

Gossip Girl

Ever doubted the nature of your friendships and relationships in your life? Give yourself more credit and watch some Gossip Girl; nothing can get more complicated than the ups and downs of New York’s Upper East Side elite. No matter how many times you’ve binged watched this series, every time you do the content just gets juicier and juicier. The lies, the scandals, the complicated relationships that honestly make your own love life drama feel like a blessing, all of it is just fantastic. So, what are you waiting for? Wrap yourself in your coziest blanket, pour yourself a glass of champagne with some chocolate strawberries and launch your heart into the juicy and heart-wrenching world of the finest of the finest.

— Xoxo, Gossip Girl.

Friends

There’s a reason why it didn’t pull a stunt and leave Netflix in 2018 — we need them! They’ll be there for youuuu! Friends is like good ol’ Dominos Pizza: its been around for ages, is loved by everyone, and most importantly, you don’t know what life would be like without it.

You honestly can’t write a list of binge-worthy Netflix TV shows without including the most notable of them all. So here we are. Rachel, Ross, Phoebe, Joey, Monica, Chandler and, of course, Gunther are people that you can always rely on for a smile, a laugh, a couple tears, and ongoing happiness. These guys check all the boxes! The quotes, the witty chat-up lines, the apartment goals and, not to mention, a theme song that will always be Saturday night Karaoke goals, these characters have guided us on how to live our lives for the past 22 years; with a group of people that make us happy and a little laughter. So if you’re not binge-watching Friends then are you even doing Netflix properly?

So there you have it my fellow readers. Netflix has become a portal of 21st century entertainment that has provided us with these gems of shows to keep us smiling. But the list doesn’t end here. There’s a world of more TV-shows out there waiting to be blessed with the presence of dedicated binge-watching. This list is just getting us started.

Do I have to be a Trin student to…

Trinity College may seem insular and exclusive, with high barriers to entry. I’ll have you know though, you don’t actually have to be a Trin student to partake in some of the quintessentially Trin experiences. Whether you want to though, is totally up to you.

If you’ve ever wanted to ask, “do I have to be a Trin student to do this?” Here are the answers to all your pressing questions.

Can I step on the grass in the quad?

No one is allowed to step on the grass in the quad anymore. The grass has been fenced off for the season.

Can I use study rooms in Graham Library? 

Yes, and no. Study Rooms 1 and 2 can be booked by any U of T student. The exclusive study Rooms 3 and 4 can only be booked by groups with at least one Trin student or Wycliffe College student.

Can I walk around in a gown (like a pompous ass)? 

Yes. You probably know that academic gowns are steeped in tradition at Trinity College. You don’t have to spend $125 to traipse around in a Harcourts gown. You don’t even have to be a Trin student to borrow one from the College. Sign out a gown from the Porter’s Lodge – I mean, Welcome Desk – and leave your T-Card or driver’s license as collateral.

Can I dance the night away at Conversat?

Yes. Find a Trin friend to buy you a guest ticket to the 136th Conversazione: Conversin City, if there are any left.

Can I dine in Strachan Hall

Yes. Feel free to pack your lunch and eat in the Hogwarts-esque space that is Strachan Hall. You might feel a little out of place, I recommend you visit with a Trin friend or acquaintance. If you, for whatever reason, desire the dining hall food, you can pay in cash.

Oh, and make sure to sit at the right table – rules may not be enforced, but upper year tables are for upper years, and God forbid you sit at the don’s round table or the high table.

Can I submit artwork to the Trinity Art Show?

Yes. You don’t actually have to be a Trin student to have your artwork featured in the hallowed halls of the college. You don’t even have to be a current U of T student – recent alumni are invited to submit their work too. The call for submissions is on until January 31.

Can I get involved in a Trinity College Dramatic Society production?

Yes. If you look at any TCDS playbill or program, you will see names not affiliated with the College. Talent is talent, and Trin recognizes that.

Can I join a Hart House Committee

Yes. While it seems that every other Committee is chaired by a Trin student and can be disproportionately populated with Trin students, everyone can join. Hart House values diversity, including diversity of colleges, faculties and campuses. No matter where you come from, there is space for you at Hart House.

Can I get married in the Trinity College Chapel?

You don’t have to be a Trin student, alum, or affiliated in any way, to get married in the Chapel. However, booking priority  is given to Trinity College graduates and their family members.

Can I also be “the salt of the earth”?

No, not if it wasn’t instilled in you throughout the course of orientation week. Because Trin students are truly the salt of the earth. Damn the dissenters, hurrah for old Trinity!

 

Eight upcoming campus events you should definitely check out

1. UTHS Website Launch Party: The University of Toronto History Society is launching their long-anticipated website. The group’s website is a digital database of U of T’s history, curated entirely by students. The free event will also feature displays by U of T Archives and a keynote by Historian and Professor Robert Bothwell.  As an added bonus, there will also be appetizers and a cash bar.

When: Thursday, January 24 at 7pm

Where: Hart House Debates Room

2. Hug As Many Schoolmates As You Can In 3 Minutes To Spread Warmth: This event needs no explanation. And it’s something we all need, even if we won’t admit it.

When: Thursday, January 24 from 4:12pm to 4:15pm

Where: Front Campus

3. Undergraduate Research Conference: The Arts and Science Student Union is hosting their second annual Undergraduate Research Conference where students from various academic backgrounds present their research to the U of T community. The conference is all day so you can easily squeeze in a presentation or two between class. The keynote speaker this year is Political Science Professor Lynette Ong.

When: Friday, January 25 from 9am to 3pm

Where: Sidney Smith Hall

4. U of T’s Annual Snowball Fight: Cause, why not? There’s no better way to de-stress than letting loose and throwing some icy snowballs. Unsure what you’re walking into? The Varsity’s got you covered. Check out this video we made of the snowball battle last year.

When: Friday January 25 at 6pm

Where: Front Campus

5. Poker Night Social: The University of Toronto Poker Club and Innis Poker Players are hosting a relaxing evening of poker and tea this Friday.

When: Friday January 25 at 6pm

Where: Innis College Residence Events Room

6. Pathways to Sustainability Conference: This Saturday, the Sustainable Engineers Association is hosting 2019’s U of T Sustainability conference. The conference’s theme is “Pathways to Sustainability” and will explore a variety of topics related to sustainability. The event is stacked with great keynote speakers and will have food.

When: Saturday, January 26 from 8:30am to 6pm

Where: MaRS Discovery District

7. ASA Arts Night: U of T’s Afghan Students’ Association is hosting their fifth annual Arts Night on Saturday. The evening provides a platform for various forms of Afghan art. In addition to visual art, the event will also feature spoken word poetry, traditional dance, and musical performances. Last year 250 people came to the event, and this year the association is hoping to expand further. Individual tickets are $20 and, if you purchase in a group of five, each ticket is $15.

When: Saturday, January 26 at 6pm

Where: Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East

8. Design for The Varsity: Come help design our weekly print paper! If you have used Adobe InDesign before you can sign up for a weekend production slot by emailing one of our designers at [email protected] or [email protected] If you don’t have experience — no worries! You can sign up for a training session by emailing our designers as well.

When: Saturday, January 26 between 11am and 3pm

Where: The Varsity‘s office, 21 Sussex, third floor

The ten best vegan restaurants in Toronto

The popularity of plant-based eating has skyrocketed in the last few years, as evidenced by the mounting number of restaurants dedicated to vegetarian and vegan cuisine in the city. The following 10 gastro-tastic places to eat offer options ranging from deliciously indulgent to heartily healthy that omnivores and herbivores alike will enjoy!

1. The Hogtown Vegan: Specializing in Southern-style comfort food, their meaty seitan sandwiches like the Philadelphia “cheesesteak” and Unchicken Burger could fool even a true carnivore.

Location: Kensington Market

2. Planta: For a more upscale dining experience, Planta offers a beautiful ambiance and freshly made gourmet food. Try the artichoke heart crab cakes and cocktails.

Location: Yorkville

A delicious meal from Planta. MADELEINE KELLY/THE VARSITY

3. Fresh: One of the OG veggie restaurants in the city, with a large menu featuring fresh cold pressed juices, salads, burgers, bowls and offering brunch on weekends.

Location: all over the city.

4. Urban Herbivore: Offers everything from generous helpings of protein-packed salads to gluten and nut-free vegan cupcakes!

Locations: Kensington Market and The Eaton Centre.

5. Mythology Diner: This retro-inspired diner was opened by Chef Doug McNish last year, located in a community that is now known as Vegandale. It offers all the comfort food classics. The menu is constantly being updated with seasonal favourites. Staple menu items include seitan wild wings and the Reubonator sandwich.

Location: Queen and Dufferin.

Mythology Diner brings classic diner treats with a vegan twist. MADELEINE KELLY/THE VARSITY

6. Doomie’s: Mythology’s former neighbour, Doomie’s recently relocated to the Vegandale Brewery, but still offers a huge assortment of burgers and other greasy gluttonous goodies to devour, like deep fried oreos and waffles. Try the vegan Big Mac!

Location: Queen Street West.

7. Copenhagen Vegan Cafe & Bakery: The newest edition to Vegandale, Copenhagen is a classy little bakery offering savoury and sweet baked goods, milkshakes, and specialty caffeinated drinks. It’s a great place for a coffee or study date.

Location: Queen Street West.

8. Cosmic Treats: In the heart of Kensington Market, Cosmic Treats has out-of-this-world desserts like scrumptious sundaes, brownies and baked goods galore. They also have a menu full of comfort foods like lasagne and chicken pot pie.

Location: Kensington Market.

9. Grasshopper: With one location close to UTSG, Grasshopper is a great place to hit the books while munching on some mac and cheese or deep fried Mexican rice balls.

Location: College and Spadina.

10. Apiecalypse Now!: Donuts, pizza and punk rock! Located across from Christie Pits, the Pig Destroyer Destroyer pizza is a must-try, and they recently opened a bar above the diner!

Location: Bloor Street West.

Vegan Pizza from Apiecalypse Now!. MADELEINE KELLY/THE VARSITY

 

Breaking down U of T’s Mental Health Resources

At the University of Toronto, it may be hard to sift through the various mental health services offered across campus. Here’s a breakdown of some college, campus, and general mental health resources available for students: 

Innis College

Innis College focuses on hosting wellness events, including yoga sessions and collaborations with Hart House to offer drop in dates for board games, hot chocolate, crafts and more community activities during the month of December. Innis college also aims to raise awareness on practicing safe sex, managing stress and learning how to effectively manage your time.  

New College

New College advocates for mental health anti-stigmatism. The college participated in the Student Voice Project bringing speakers from a variety of disciplines together to talk about the importance of mental health. The college also offers many activities that encourage creativity and critical thinking when discussing matters of mental health. New College strives to create a sense of community for its students in advocating for mental health and support.

Woodsworth College

Woodsworth College strives to be a safe space for its students by providing activities and initiatives in which students can partake. Every Wednesday, the Woodsworth College Students’ Association (WCSA) offers free pancakes to all its students to encourage a sense of community. Students can also reach out to WCSA’s Mental Health Director, Amelia Eaton, at [email protected] for support. WCSA also hosts activities that help students academically such as ‘cam jam’ sessions prior to exam periods. Students are also encouraged to join the running club at Woodsworth to destress with physical activity.

Victoria College

Victoria College believes that addressing the right resources for help is crucial. The Office of the Dean of Students, Vic Information Desk, and the Office of the Registrar are all contacts that students can approach in times of need. Victoria College also hosts “Wellness Wednesdays,” a weekly program to support the mental and physical health of Vic students. Additionally, Victoria College also offers weekly mindfulness and weekly yoga sessions for its students.

St. Michael’s College

The University of St. Michael’s College (USMC) offers many different resources for students such as learning strategies, health and wellness, and a wellness counsellor, Nicole LeBlanc. Students can approach her with various mental health concerns ranging from depression, anxiety, addiction, and trauma. Her services are confidential and in compliance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA).

Trinity College

Trinity College strives to provide academic balance with a sense of community, relationship, and responsibility. The Health and Wellness program at Trinity aims to support student success across all disciplines with a concentration on managing food, equity and diversity, sexual violence education, prevention and support, and mental health management for dealing with stress and crisis situations.

University College

University College (UC) focuses on a systematic approach of considering the role of the university at large to create a healthier framework. UC advocates increased mental-health communication; preventive, educational, resiliency, and anti-stigma programming; supporting the mental health needs of diverse communities; expanding partnerships with off-campus health resources; and increased peer mentorship offerings. In January, Daphne Wang, along with Tisha Hasan and Lynn Ly, founded Peer2Peer at University College, which holds anonymous weekly drop-in talks led by trained peer facilitators on topics like stigma, homesickness, and post-grad angst.

UTM

University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) offers individual mental health services. To contact the UTM Health and Counselling centre where students can interact with a personal counselor, nurse, or doctor, and book appointments students can email [email protected] or call 905-828-5255.

UTSC

University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) offers personal counselling and a Health and Wellness Centre for emergency or crisis situations. Students can email the Health and Wellness Centre at [email protected] or call 416-287-7065.

Other resources

Students also have access to Good 2 Talk (1-866-925-5454). This is a free service for post-secondary students in Ontario, and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Good 2 Talk is a free, confidential helpline providing counselling and referrals.

If you or someone you know needs someone to talk to right away, you can call:

  • Canada Suicide Prevention Service phone available 24/7 at 1-833-456-4566
  • Good 2 Talk Student Helpline at 1-866-925-5454
  • Ontario Mental Health Helpline at 1-866-531-2600
  • Gerstein Centre Crisis Line at 416-929-5200
  • U of T Health & Wellness Centre at 416-978-8030

Disclosure: Amelia Eaton is a Comment columnist for The Varsity.