Making the Most of York’s Strike

It’s going on two weeks that York has been on strike, meaning I haven’t had classes since Monday the 2nd. Instead of having days filled with classes, I’ve had empty blocks of time that I have been determined to make the most of. I’ve tried to accomplish something each day that I wouldn’t be able to have done if I were in class, alongside catching up on work I should have done over reading week.

The most boring of the things I’ve done has been spending time in the library, but as someone who prefers to do work in her room, it has actually brought out a new appreciation in me for these quiet alleys of books and clunky computers. I find myself to be much more productive while I’m at a school computer, and even if I stray from my work (for example, by writing a blog post…) I still end up doing something much more enriching than a Netflix marathon. As a result I find myself less stressed out because I know I’m in more-or-less a good place when classes start up again.

What I love about University can basically be summed up by saying this: it is not high school. In high school, or at least at my high school, your social sphere had a lot to do with who you had classes with, who you had lunch with, and where your locker was. People did hang out outside of school, but with the structure of full day classes and people’s hobbies and jobs, it was hard to find free time. In University, classes don’t have the same social aspect and most people’s schedules are more flexible, so who you’re friends with is more of a deliberate choice. I like making plans with people a whole lot more than just hanging out because of convenience. It’s kind of like a mini date, because it’s something you want to do and the other person (or people) wants to do and you’re all agreeing to do it together. There’s a structure and it’s nice and it feels like you’ve accomplished something.

While I’ve made more plans with friends in University than I did in high school, essays and studying have been overwhelming and I have spent more time stressing and doing work than socializing. Since I’ve had more free time, I got to spend more time with friends. I’ve taken advantage of the beautiful forest behind Glendon and today I went on a walk with my friend and we got to talk about life and have fun together. There’s a dog park on the other side of the forest, so we spent a good chunk of time there petting dogs and explaining to the people there that we were missing our own dogs back home.

I’ve also adventured off campus quite a bit. Glendon is beautiful and feels somewhat secluded, which is nice, but luckily it is also just a quick trip from downtown Toronto. I went to the ROM two weeks in a row, since it’s free on Tuesdays with student ID. I got to spend time with friends and enjoy some cool dinosaurs and art. I’ve also gone out to dinner quite a few times, the highlights being breakfast food for dinner, a restaurant where everything costs $4.95 and they play weird 90s music videos, and watching hockey and celebrating my good friend from high school’s 19th birthday. And then today I got to have dinner with my friend who I haven’t seen in two years! We’ve always been meaning to meet up, so even if that had been the only thing I accomplished over the strike, I would have counted these two weeks as a success.

I’m hoping that the strike ends soon and we get to go back to classes, but I’m glad that I’ve been able to find a way to be productive despite this gaping hole of time where I could have potentially just binge-watched Netflix and hoped the strike didn’t mean I would lose a month of summer.

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