time flies when you’re having fun

wow, can you believe it?

I don’t even want to say it, but this is the last blog post.
where does the time even go?

I think the university knew this would happen…maybe that’s why on the orientation guides we were given at the start of the year the cover page had a clock with wings on it and the phrase ‘time flies when you’re having fun’.

it does fly. it absolutely flew by.

but before I tell you that you absolutely have to go on exchange, let me tell you about two things I found out are going on next semester which I thought sounded like a lot of fun (and both of which are happening through the charities campaign):

race2prague and jailbreak!

the premise for race2prague is this: in teams of 2 or 3, students have to race to reach prague first.

yes, like in the amazing race.

except…
they can spend NO money on transport getting there.

since the start of the year people have been actively raising money…and getting ready to win!

jailbreak: I dont know who started the idea or how long its been around, but basically, students have 36 hours to get as far from st. andrews as possible…and last year the winner got to austria.

oh hold on, you thought it was just how far someone can go in that many hours? no no. its how far someone can go in that many hours without spending a cent.

ah. things just got a lot more interesting…

its just another way of showing you that st. andrew’s is like nowhere else. there are so many great things going on all the time, and you can get involved in so much!

but its not about one place over another, because I hope you have taken my posts as fun examples of the types of things you can see and experience if you decide to make the leap to go abroad too.

see the thing is, when you go abroad, you open yourself up to a million new experiences and adventures, and everything becomes a learning opportunity.

so let me say this: the way you grow when you’re abroad, the way you learn, and open up to new perspectives, and the amount of new experiences you expose yourself to is just amazing. I truly don’t know of any other place/or programme/or experience where
you are just pushed head-first into so many wonderful and different things–and they are all formative and important and wonderful and great.

I think you’d be at a loss for not even trying to see what you could do.

so go ahead, and start on your adventures. and make sure you blog and tell us all about them!

and I think you too will be amazed at how fast the time will fly.

Christmas is coming to town.

the town has been decorated and the lights have been lit, and its all feeling very magical with so many festive things to do!

to start things off, we’ve had a vintage Christmas fair, where one of the prettiest buildings (younger hall) was converted into the coolest Christmas market, with lots of beautiful things to look at and buy– there were clothes, and shoes, and hats, and glasses, and jewelry and purses and just about anything you can think of…with Christmas music filling the air as you hopped from table to table taking everything in there was to see.

throughout the last few weeks all the sports teams, clubs and societies have been meeting up to have end-of-term Christmas dinners too, all with really different but equally creative themes… some dinners were just meant to be black tie, others required everyone to dress up in half black tie, half sport kit…so lots of times you ended up seeing people filling restaurants wearing their jerseys and kilts…or long gowns and running shoes…or tuxedos and helmets

and all the halls had Christmas parties too!

one even had a santa visit with a bag of gifts after dinner–a gift for everyone in hall!

and all anyone had to do was sit on santa’s lap and tell him what they wanted, and they got to rummage through his bag and pick out a gift!

they were all wrapped so you couldn’t see what you’d get…but once opened, the most random things came out!

some people got chocolates, others cookies, others got packs of plastic forks, others a jar of mustard, others a bottle of water, others a bottle of wine, others a towel, others a laundry bag (jealous, that one is actually really useful), others a book, others a can of peas, others toothpicks, others spices…it was just SO funny to watch people unwrap their gifts!

I talked to the hall committee that was running the event afterwards and they said that they had the absolute best time shopping for all the gifts, because they got to go to the supermarket and literally, everything that looked funny, random, or intersting, they would just drop into the cart…and you could tell they’d had fun with the mix of things they ended up getting… someone even got a meat tenderizer!

but don’t worry, it hasn’t all been eating and gift-giving…we’ve had a wonderful Christmas ball too!

and it was exactly as magical as you’d imagine a Christmas ball to be.

it was organized by the Mermaids which is one of the university’s biggest groups, and it was held in an old converted barn that is used for big events, so there we all were, in the warmest, most beautiful barn in the middle of the country, dancing the night away, with every table, beam and wall decorated with holly and ivy, and mistletoe and candles and as if it all wasn’t enough, there was ice cream too!

and halfway through the night someone said look outside…and it was snowing!! the first snowfall of the year!

what a magical night.

and if you really, really think it couldn’t get more wonderfully festive than all that…we had the most beautiful university Christmas carol service on friday with the St. Salvator’s choir singing and the chaplain giving a really funny (and heartfelt!) sermon.

and speaking of songs… the other day I was listening to some friends talking about the st andrews boys group I showed you last time–the other guys, remember?–and they were saying how they’d released their new Christmas song, so one friend told the other, oh yeah, its really good, they’re at number three on the charts…and the other person said, oh thats great! number three in st. andrews! noo, said the other…number three on amazon!

exactly. whattttttttttttttt?

see for yourself what you think of it: its called Christmas Gets Worse Every Year (but its actually a nice song!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YvZn1hgIvo

so here we are, covered in the festive spirit, with lots to keep us warm and cozy…

just think of all the incredibly wonderful and magical things you might be doing this time next year if you decide to go on exchange…

quintessentially st andrews.

they call st andrews the bubble…and to be fair, there are a lot of quintessentially st andrean things that help promulgate the idea

there are student newspapers, websites, facebook groups, student societies, st andrews radio…even a tv channel that all help to re-affirm the idea of the bubble. and now you’ll be introduced to some, so put your books aside, because this is going to absorb you for quite a while…you’ll see.

of all of the things that will be listed, this has to be one of the best: ‘overheard st andrews’. basically it’s a facebook group where people post funny/random things they heard/saw on the street, in class, in halls…anywhere around town.
usually it’s students who post…but even the taxi drivers get into it sometimes…go ahead, search it.

remember the student debating society? well, bubble tv (itself a student run organization) made a video about it, http://bubble-tv.com/culture/
watch and get a better idea of what the society is like. also, search around the rest of the videos– they’re all really good!

and for those who like to read, why not try the student newspaper? yes, quite right, there’s more than one…but this is the biggest one:
http://www.thesaint-online.com/

you know the best thing about all of these? people do read the newspaper articles, and post on the discussions, and talk about the issues
raised at meals…so it’s not a typical student initiative where no one participates…the students really do get involved here. and not just in regards to the newspaper– in literally everything.

want proof? well, one of the music clubs is an all-boys group called ‘the other guys’– and they’ve got quite a following. especially because of this video that they made which pretty much everyone now knows…

amazing right?

i told you, the creativity is just in the water.

St Andrew’s passtimes.

currently we are all covered under mounds of work; it seems you can’t have a proper conversation without some mention of deadlines or word counts. but it doesn’t seem to stop anyone from having fun. so in the spirit of things to do when you’re not in the library or stuck in a book, here is a post dedicated to two big ways of passing the time at St Andrew’s: sports and balls.

sports:

there are literally a million sports teams at st andrew’s, ranging from contact sports to leisure pursuits. at the beginning of the semester there is always a sports fayre (english spelling) where you can go and meet the committees behind every team, and they all have give-it-a-go sessions during the first few weeks of school. During these sessions you can just go and try something out, even if it’s your first time around and you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing.

case and point: me at fencing. I always wanted to try it out and it turns out the team is super nice! (except to be honest… that scene in the parent trap makes it look a lot more fun…)

and apart from practices and games, all the teams put on weekly socials. then, a couple of times a semester, all the sports teams have big socials together– and let me tell you about the last one we had:

the student union was rented out and everyone invited. on one condition: you had to go in your sport kit (aka, your team gear). which is lovely and fine if you’re a football (soccer) player, and even better if you’re a cheerleader…but no excuses for shy water polo players or surfers… rules are rules, and they had to be followed. so as soon as you walked in, there was everyone: a big mix of snowboarders in their jackets, rugby players in their shorts, rowers in spandex, kayakers with their life jackets, runners with their shoes, polo players in their boots, boxers with their gloves…

all in all a night not to be missed. well, for some, a morning not to be missed either. people were still running around at 7 in their sport kit… going to class I’m sure…

well, perhaps sports are not your thing…and you prefer something a little bit more dressed up… don’t worry, St Andrew’s is famous for its dances…that is, for its balls

yes, as the school year is beginning and the admissions office sends you their last reminders, they don’t just tell you about move-in dates and driving directions, they remind you to pack for balls, because there will always be an occassion to celebrate.

some balls are traditional and just beautiful: opening ball, Christmas ball                      some are for charity: bongo ball (to raise money for African relief)                                  and some are just purely St Andrews: welly ball

I know, what is welly ball? it turns out it’s a really original idea: the claypigeon (that’s the shooting team) has a tournament that day–a shooting challenge–where they compete against other Scottish teams. then, at night, they get joined by all the students, and everyone has a big dinner and a dance out in the country.

where they have to wear black tie. and, of course, their wellies.

 

So you see, there is no end to the creativity floating around St Andrew’s, so no matter who you’re with, or what you’re doing, you’ll always be having fun.

food.

what to eat at st andrews…

well there are SO many options. because to do all the things you’ll want to be doing here, you have to fuel up!

scotland is known for its fish, and of course haggis…and st andrews is known for having lots of experiment test kitchens.

oh, wait, you thought i meant that there was some kind of culinary institute here…no no. what i mean is, with all the students and with all of the crazy ideas/no money to spare/too lazy to run to the grocery store factors, you end up hearing about lots of weird dishes being invented. that and sometimes you just don’t have all of the equipment necessary to make things. i walked into the kitchen the other day and my friend mary was stirring her pasta with her scissors. she claimed she didn’t have any other utensils…

but out of all the lovely restaurants and cafes and bakeries perhaps the most quintessentially st andrean food experience is the toasty bar.

every friday (and friday only) the toasty bar is open at night. it is one of the last places to stay open and everyone heads out there after being out.

so how do you find out about the toasty bar? well, the classic way.

someone is made to wear a sandwich sign and stand outside the student union (which is in the center of town) advertising “toasties, 50 p!”

and of course, you end up listening.

either because it’s so inexpensive–only 75 cents!–or well, because the person saying it is dressed as a sandwich.

it’s called the toasty bar but it’s not really a bar, it’s actually just the backroom of a church that has a little kitchen (well, the term ‘kitchen’ here is actually quite generous…it’s more of a place where they happen to prepare food…it’s actually a little gross…) but the true genius of the toasty bar is that you can literally get anything in your toasty! you can get something plain: just cheese. traditional: ham and cheese. italian: tomato, cheese, pesto. something sweet: mars bar and nutella.

or you know, mix it up: mars bar, ham, cheese, pesto, tomato, nutella.

you’d be surprised how many people ask for those ones…

(to be fair, student rationale wise its a) best value for money, b) not like you’re really exercising high culinary standards at university anyways, ditto at 2 am, c) it can actually be quite yummy. they claim.)

but lets say you want to try your hand at something else ‘st andrews’ and have a taste of the student experience…then you can make what they call “st andrews mess”:

all you need is:

-whipped cream, pieces of meringue, strawberries/blueberries/raspberries                        -a spoon & bowl

to make:

-just mix up!

see. i know what you’re thinking. after a pesto, ham, cheese, tomato, nutella, and mars bar toasty, st andrews mess just doesn’t even seem that good.

so go ahead, and make a toasty too!

raisin.

ahh raisin.

so you read all about the traditions associated with academic families, but the true reason you need an academic family here at st. andrews is for raisin week-end. because being adopted and joining part of a family finds its ultimate purpose in raisin sunday and raisin monday.

what happens on raisin sunday? allow me to explain:

the world turns upside down.

ok, maybe thats not the right way to say it. lets put it another way…

the world literally turns upside down.

on raisin sunday, as children, you are under the total control of your parents. and all parents here are on the same mission: to give their kids a day they will never forget (but are unlikely to remember).

the tradition holds that you go to your mom’s house in the morning and your dad’s at night. sounds lovely right? well, in essence thats what happens, but its a little bit more intense than that. it all depends on your parents, but…

some dads go into the residences and personally wake up their kids in bed (with a shot of whisky at six in the morning)

some dads invite you over and make you breakfast and you can have anything on their menu! (but you have to pay for whatever you have in proportion– one shot? one strip of bacon.)

some dads start they day off with a fun round of games (deal or no deal: pick a box, see whats underneath, drink up, or go for the mystery box and take your chances)

and moms arent much better…

some host a tea party (with vodka in the teapot)

some take you out to the beach (and force you in the sea)

some encourage you to get along with your brothers and sisters (by tying you all together)

regardless of what the activity might be, when they invite you over, you have to go over. some parents will be kind and let you know the day before what time they expect you; others just send you a little text… “my house in 5 or pay in shots for every minute you’re late”. and of course, regardless of having set a time, they can always change their mind… “change of plans, we meet at 3. punishment if you’re late”

and all the activities are really creative.

some parents tell their kids to meet them at the beach in togas only to find out they’re competing against another family at beach olympics (with laurel crowns for the winners). others send their kids off on scavenger hunts around town (“build a 10 person pyramid in tesco”, “take a picture with a person over eighty”, “buy twenty cauliflowers and one grape”). others hire bouncy castles and set them up in their yards.

all around town crazy things start to happen, so when you see someone in front of you at the supermarket getting down on one knee and proposing to the cashier you dont really pay too much attention, mostly because across the road someone will be sitting contentedly up in the fountain and you’re often a bit more entranced by the thought of how they got up or how they’ll get down.

and if you think raisin sunday sounds like fun, let me tell you all about raisin monday.

on raisin monday you start off they day with a breakfast of champions (because if you’ve made it to breakfast, it means you’ve survived). and then after breakfast its off to your moms to get dressed.

yup, on raisin monday your mom has full say of what you wear. guaranteed itll be something ridiculous– especially since all the other moms are watching and she’ll want to impress.

smurfs, teletubbies, the jamaican bobsled team…you name it.

then its off to your dads to get your raisin receipt– a gift of their absolute choice which has to bear a traditional latin inscription.

so, once dressed and gifted, its off to st. salvators quad for a foam fight (the biggest, most wonderful shaving foam fight in a six-hundred year old university you will ever have).

but wait a second…what do you think? that you’ll just casually stroll along in a silly outfit with a lovely gift in your hand to the fight? have all the other stories taught you nothing?

no, no, no.

on your way down north street towards st. salvators quad you can fully expect to see people dressed as animals, in rows of two, carrying an ark. or a family of children dressed as dogs, tied together into formation, pulling their parents on a sled. or a person trying to manage pulling a piano.

wait a minute, did i say keyboard?

i didn’t think so.

p-i-a-n-o.

what was my dads receipt? not as creative as those i’m afraid. he cling-wraped our family together and inscribed us with the latin phrase. it was odd that being in the middle of the wide sidewalk he should have asked us to move back a little bit…we weren’t blocking anyone…and then the answer came why. his flatmates made us look up at the same time they let buckets of water pour down on us.

ah but that’s raisin.

and it is SO much fun.

magic moments.

Now that you’re well acquainted with the idea of going abroad and what st. andrew’s is like, I want to show you how wonderful being on exchange can be.

Case and point: wednesday night, 8 pm

walking back from the library it wasn’t too cold outside…no wind, no rain…actually nice weather. an especially strange fact given that its really started to get cold here lately. and as i’m walking i’m thinking hm…if there was one night to do the may dip and jump into the north sea it would definitely be this one… so i run into my room drop off my stuff and knock on my friends door:

“hey, you know how we always said we wanted to go into the sea? tonight is the perfect night.”

(perhaps at any other place in the world with any other people the response would of been HA! swim in the north sea. in october. FUNNY.)   but we’re here on exchange. you have to live it up.

“ok. let me get my stuff.”

“wait actually? whoah ok…um, alright, 5 minutes. get your stuff. bring towels.”

(five minutes later)

“i’ve sent out a facebook message. three more people are coming.”

“oh my gosh are we actually doing this? this is crazy.”

“wait…why are you bringing your gown?”

“…for after we go in. its warm.”

“(…) right. ok, lets go and see if more people want to come”

so we go and scout out more people: “hey, we’re going in the sea, tonight’s the perfect night. wanna come?” (one boy was literally talking to his mom on skype when we came to ask, and he goes, “hey mom? yeah, sorry, i’m going to have to leave you now, i’m going into the sea.”)

twenty minutes later and we’re at the beach screaming as we’re running into the water…head under. full dip.

oh my gosh it was SO MUCH FUN!!!

and then, in the middle of drying off someone goes, “hold on… what time was the wine and cheese tonight?” (we’d forgotten there was a wine and cheese party that had been organized so students could meet with and talk to a number of professors.)

and so there we were, end of the night, sitting on the couches, laughing, talking and telling stories with our friends all around us, some people eating cheese, some just trying out the wine, the professors mixed about the room, absorbed in pockets of conversation.

who knew that in the span of about half an hour you can see the same boy in his swimsuit and boat shoes, running beside you into the north sea, and the next hes talking to his professor, shirt, tie and jacket, drinking wine and chatting as if nothing had happened.

hair still dripping from the sea.

st andrews traditions.

st. andrew’s thrives on traditions, so i’m dedicating this blog post to all things traditional:

the pier walk:

this is perhaps the most famous of all st andrews traditions. No one really knows where the tradition comes from and there are in fact a few stories that people tell to explain its origin. Of these I know two: the first is that a priest from the local parish used to go and pick up church-goers coming in on boats from far away towns at the pier every sunday before mass, from where he would accompany them to the church. As the story goes, he was such a beloved character that following his death the townspeople still made the weekly pilgrimage down the pier in his honour.

The second story involves a nineteen year old student from the university who heroically saved the lives of men shipwrecked just off the shore of east sands (where the pier is). Although he died shortly afterwards, students commemorate his bravery by walking down the pier every week in his honour.

Whichever story you chose to follow, the fact remains that every sunday after the morning service, students gather in st. salvators quad and head down to the pier together. It isnt mandatory, but most people wear their gowns and the sight is absolutely beautiful—lots of red-gowned students walking down along the coast and down to the pier.

During the pier walk is also when random tourists ask to have their picture taken with you, well, ask…most just take… You cant blame them; what other school do you know of where every sunday the students walk down in their red gowns to the pier? yes, the pier that is conveniently located in their university town. Thats right, on the north sea.

Ok, i know what youre thinking…cool…definitely something id consider…

but ‘gown’? Please elaborate.

Why yes, with pleasure.

the gown:

ok, yes, get it out of your system, its like in harry potter.

And thats what most people here liken it to anyways.

Gowns have been used at the university for hundreds of years, and here again there are a number of stories accounting for the tradition. The one that gets repeated most often is that they were put in place to help regulate student behaviour around the town: if you wore a red gown it meant you were underage, and youd be immediately recognizable so you wouldnt be allowed into taverns and no one  could serve you alcohol.

Today wearing a gown is optional, and theyre usually reserved for more formal school events. But every week the debate society (established in 1794, oldest in the world. no big deal.) puts on a debate and people wear them there. Ditto morning chapel service on sunday. Ditto anytime you feel like it.

And how you wear your gown is also a tradition all its own…

wearing the gown:

the way you wear your gown depends on both your year and area of study. First year students wear their gowns normally—but never done up! Second year students wear theirs slightly off the shoulder. Third year students studying arts wear their gowns with their left shoulder off, and third year students studying sciences wear theirs with the right shoulder off (because science is always ‘right’). Fourth year students wear their gowns resting down on their elbows.

You’ve figured it out: the older you get, the lower you wear your gown. The idea is that as you grow and learn you shed your academic ignorance, and the way you wear your gown is meant to symbolize that.

The thing you have to know is that the gowns are actually really, really warm. Sometimes youre studying and its really cold and you reach for it. And if you think about it, its like the original snuggie.

academic families:

speaking of all things academic, st andrews has a pretty unique tradition in academic families.

All the brochures say that it is a completely spontaneous, student-led tradition. It is, and its a big deal.

Its hard to explain unless youre here, but basically during the first few weeks of a new school year in-coming freshers are adopted by a mom and dad, usually in their third year. Parents don’t have to be married (‘academically married’ is the correct term) or even be friends, your dad could adopt you one night at a party and your mom could adopt you three weeks later during class… regardless of how you are made theirs, your parents guide you through st andrews life.

In reality, they just keep you busy partying.

And the funnest thing is that parents will adopt multiple children so you end up with brothers and sisters…a whole family. Some people end up with really complicated relationships (they have uncles, aunts, cousins…dont ask me how theyve figured it all out…)

Traditionally during the first weeks your parents will invite you over for dinner with the rest of your brothers and sisters and cook you a meal. I went to my dad’s flat and there was a huge dinner for all the children of all the flatmates, so there were eighteen of us in all…and it turns out our dads are excellent cooks!

Thats one thing you have to get used to: everyone refers to their academic family as their family so its hard to keep things straight.

Case and point: we’re sitting to dinner the other day, and one girl starts talking about how she’s doing medicine, and its cool cause her parents both do the same thing. And so someone asks her, wait, what do your parents specialize in? And she said oh no they’re both still in their third year…

(and that’s when you have to make the click…shes not talking about her actual parents)

“Oh! wait, you’re talking about your academic parents

“yeah… if not i would of said my biological ones…”

right.

may dip:

in may students get up before sunrise and jump off the pier into the freezing water for the may dip. The tradition holds that in order to be cleansed of your ‘academic sins’ you have to jump in…and ‘academic incest’ aka, falling for your mom or dad, demands a dip

martyr’s memorials:

another sin for which you have to jump into the north sea to be cleansed is stepping (or worse, walking) on certain spots around the town. In st andrews many people were martyred, especially protestants during the reign of mary queen of scots. Throughout the town markers have been put in to commemorate the sights of these martyrdoms, and these often make use of the person’s initials. Just outside st salvators (a place you are bound to pass at least a couple times a day) there is one of these spots, and if you accidentally step on it legend says you will fail your degree.

Unless of course, you do the may dip.

 

Small price to pay for not failing your degree…

after all, how cold can the north sea be…

The Beginning:

You can’t start a book in chapter three, and it’s the same with this blog; to really start you have to start at the beginning.

So a bit of background to get us all acquainted:

U of T is a great school, we all know it and that’s why we chose it. But it can also be a very overwhelming place, because with a million choices it’s hard to hear about everything that is going on and it’s even harder to choose what it is you want to do. We’ve all know it.

Now, in my first year, I took a renaissance studies course in which the professor used a lot of his own travel pictures to illustrate the various cities, buildings and monuments he taught about in class. Every other sentence in his lectures started with “and if you go to siena this summer and take my course there you’ll of course see this…and this…”

Hmmm a course in siena for the summer…

I know, I thought exactly the same thing you are now thinking… ‘so..where exactly is siena?’

This is what I came to find out: it was to be a five week course in italy, taught by a ]       U of T professor for a transferable1.0 university credits.

That was the official pitch. study in tuscany for 5 weeks during the summer, let italy be your textbook, and learn in a way you’ve never learnt before.

The truth is it was the best thing I ever did.

I know, I know. I just did it. I pulled the ‘that was the BEST thing I ever did oh my gosh’ line. It’s true, everyone always claims they know/did/saw/experienced the absolute best thing ever.
But let me tell you this: when you’re in venice, rushing off a gondola with your friends because the bells in san marco just rang three and you have to go meet up with your class for your tour of the cathedral, and that’s just a normal thursday afternoon, then yeah, it’s pretty fun.

And after a Summer Abroad you end up with a thousand stories like that.

I’d tell you all of them, but the truth is, the most important part you have to hear about is the start. Because the only part that is stopping you from doing it yourself is actually starting.

Let’s re-iterate that for emphasis: the only part that is stopping you is actually starting.

Everyone will tell you about the adventures and the stories and all of the funny jokes, but you need someone who will tell you what it’s like when you’re at the airport and you have to get on a plane all by yourself with strangers to go far away for weeks without even being sure you’ll have a good time.

So here we go, July 2009, at the airport:

Me- in tears, lining up for the check-in counter repeating over and over in my head ‘this is the worst idea…’
My brother- offering wise words of encouragement: “stop crying. everyone will think you’re a loser and you’re not going to make any friends.”
My mom- “you’re going to have a great time, this is a great thing you are doing”
My dad- “those bags are overweight. You’re going to have to take something out”

Yes, they were overweight. But they weren’t the only ones. Directly infront of me was a girl who was rifling through her suitcase trying to make it lighter while her mom watched on. (and she began chatting with another mom, “25 skirts! 25 skirts! She’s going there to study…what does she need 25 skirts for?”).

And maybe you’d think that once in italy the nerves would have subsided and it would all be done. No way. It was even worse, all I kept thinking was what am I doing here?    I should be home!!!!

So yes, you know it will be fun, but you also know you haven’t done anything like this before and you know it scares you. Because it is scary. Of course it is. But you have   NO idea all the magic that is waiting on the other side.

I went to italy to do a Summer Abroad and had an incredible time; so incredible that I went back to U of T wanting more. I took another leap and signed up to go abroad
for a semester in England and WHAT an experience that was!! and now, here I am abroad again and already having a BLAST!

So this is it. You are young, the world is literally at your fingertips, and you can do it. U of T has a whole centre devoted to helping you do it. Stop stopping yourself. GO. Because it will be the best thing you ever did.