Letters from the dorm: The art of having fun while attending a demanding university

By Tacye Hong, University of Toronto, Canada
By Tacye Hong, University of Toronto, Canada |

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If you’re like me, studying at a university with countless tests and assignments, you might think that you never get chance to enjoy life anymore. But, the truth is, you will learn to seize any chance to have a break, no matter how short, because we all know the real break will not come until the summer holidays.

The past few months have been hectic but I managed to squeeze in a few fun yet free activities. I visited Toronto’s annual IceFest, which featured majestic ice sculptures of figures skaters, polar bears, and more. Each sculpture had been carefully and artistically crafted, so it was a shame when the weather got too warm and the sculptures couldn’t quite stay solid.

This year, we’ve had a pretty mild winter, and we worried whether our university could have its second annual campus snowball fight. But Mother Nature suddenly granted us a snow storm in early March. The snowball fight was every bit as cool and fun as it sounds. Everyone gathered on one of the snow-covered lawns on campus to throw snowballs at fellow students. In that moment, everyone forgot about their stress and unfinished work and just became young kids again. We all had a good laugh that afternoon.

The St Patrick’s Day Parade is another event that overseas students should not miss. Celebrating the Luck of Irish, the parade featured more than 100 marching sections, bands in kilts and floats in green. Many bystanders, including myself, were not Irish but we all came out to celebrate the Irish community, and the diversity that makes Toronto a great place. The atmosphere was awesome, and it was wonderful to see everyone so jubilant and alive on the street.

Some overseas students feel that they must take expensive trips with friends to other countries to make the most of their break. But there will always be time to explore other countries when we are not students anymore.

We should take the chance to live like locals and explore the community while studying in a foreign country. Doing simple things like this will help us to understand different cultures better.