Hello Toronto... - Shreya Sachdev
Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a nice day. For today’s blog post, I wanted to tell you guys all about my first few days in Toronto and my experience with moving into college, since I actually moved in just a few hours ago. For those of you who don’t know, I recently finished high school in Geneva after completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, and I decided that after high school, I would go to college like most kids, and I also decided that I wanted to get out of Europe since I had lived in Europe my entire life (born in Marseille, lived in Paris, and then lived in Geneva) and I just really wanted to experience another continent and another country to step outside of my comfort zone, so originally I was planning on going to the United States of America, but due to many complicated reasons I realized that the US wasn’t the right place for me and therefore chose to go to Canada instead, since I figured that I could get just as far if I went to Canada whilst also receiving an amazing education. In the end, I chose to go to the University of Toronto, and on the 27th of August my parents and I landed in Toronto and since then, I already know that I’m going to love it here. It’s of course extremely different from living in Geneva, since Geneva literally had a population of two hundred thousand people and Toronto has a population of over three million people, so I have to get used to the big city life which is something I’ve never been exposed to before. Anyways, I’ll be sharing all of my experiences so far so make sure you stay tuned for that. Without further ado, let’s get started!
So, like I said, we arrived in Toronto on the 27th of August and unfortunately it was pouring, so when I first saw the city I wasn’t getting very positive vibes, only because of the weather. Nevertheless, it soon cleared up and because we had reached in the afternoon, we had the entire evening and the night to hang out in Toronto. We went to Yonge Dundas Square, which was absolutely amazing. It reminded me a lot of Times Square in New York City because there were so many people crowded on the streets and because there were so many billboards and live music everywhere. There were also so many shops and restaurants on the street that we didn’t know where to begin with our shopping, or what we should have for dinner. One of our top priorities was getting my phone number sorted out, since I want to have 3G to use Uber and to use Google Maps to be able to walk to the university from our hotel. Therefore, we headed to CF Toronto Eaton Centre, which is an extremely popular mall in Toronto for those of you who don’t know. It’s always very crowded and there are many shops which have pretty much everything. We were able to get my phone sorted out quite quickly, and then we decided to walk to the university so that I could see the residence in which I would be living in as well as how far the colleges were from each other since my classes don’t just take part in one college, they take part in all the different colleges. Luckily for me, the two colleges that I’m affiliated with (one that I’m living in and one that I’ve been assigned to) are just three minutes walking distance from each other, so that’s quite nice. Anyways, once we had finished touring the university we decided to just head back to our hotel since we had an extremely long flight (Madrid to Toronto is eight hours) and we just wanted to eat some food and rest. The next day we were glad to see that it was extremely sunny outside, so I definitely got a better vibe about the city since it was so bright outside and the weather was so nice. Unfortunately, we didn’t spend too much of that day outside because we needed to get my bank account, health insurance, and all those other things set up. However, we did go to Nathan Philips Square and saw the iconic “Toronto” letters near the fountains which was extremely beautiful. For the rest of the days that I’ve been here, I’ve began to love it even more and more. I had the pleasure of going to see Niagara Falls, and then exploring the city which was a really great experience. Then, we went on a hop on/hop off tour in which I learnt some interesting facts about Toronto, as well as learnt about the importance of the Toronto International Film Festival here, which made me really happy since I do want to go into the entertainment industry. After the hop on/hop off tour, my family and I had dinner on top of the CN tower which was incredible due to the views on top of that tower. Throughout my time here, I’ve also gotten to see some of my distant relatives who are all so sweet and it really reassures me to know that they’re here, since I do want some family around me.
Anyways, now it’s the 1st of September and I have officially moved into my new dorm room. Luckily, I have a single room which is really nice for me just because I do want to have some alone time and be able to follow my own schedule, and I feel like if you have a roommate then it’s a little bit harder to do. I really love the way my dorm is looking. I have my own bed, a desk, a chest of drawers, a bookshelf, and my own closet with a mirror, so I have more than enough space for my things. Originally, I was actually worried that the closet wouldn’t be big enough for all of my clothes, especially since I have a lot of jackets and coats for the winter, but everything fits perfectly fine and I’m not worried at all about where I’m going to put my textbooks and all my work, once I start getting assignments since they’ve given me lots of shelves. Another thing that’s really nice is that there’s a set of drawers underneath my own bed, and when I was in Geneva I also had a bed that had a set of drawers below, so in some ways it feels quite homely. I’m also on a high floor, so I have a really nice view of the university and Toronto in general. My orientation officially starts tomorrow, but I had some activities today, like I went out to dinner with my house and then we got to know each other by playing some games, and yeah it’s all going well so far. I think I’ll wait two more weeks until I write my next post about Toronto, just because by then I’ll be able to have a proper outlook on the university and because my classes start this Thursday, I’ll be able to talk about my classes and which ones I like the most and which ones I don’t. I’m really looking forward to all of it, so make sure you stay tuned! And if any of you are starting college, then trust me I know how scary it feels and how hard it is, but everyone’s in the same boat so just be kind to everyone and you’ll end up having a great time.