SARAH JOAQUIN | Creating Lasting Friendships in University


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So no one told you life was going to be this way…

Hello friends!

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather that we’re finally having, summer is officially upon us!

Here’s what I’ve been up to since my last post:
– We had our grad gala hosted by the Ryerson Commerce Society at the Atlantis Pavilions. It was a beautiful night spent with beautiful people (video recap at the end of this post)
– I’ve been getting ready for my mini grad trip to Cuba with a group of close girlfriends from Ryerson! Which leads into the topic of this week’s blog:

The importance of creating lasting friendships in university.

Let’s rewind to the very beginning…
In my very first semester at Ryerson, I was extremely shy and introverted. I was that student who went to class and went home immediately after. I didn’t make an effort to make any new friends because I felt that it would be difficult coming from a different city, plus being 2/3 years older than the majority of students in my classes given that I had transferred in from engineering.

All it took was a really bad breakup to change that. You always hear those cliché lines, “when one door closes, another one opens” or “everything happens for a reason” – both were very applicable to me. Getting out of a really negative situation was the push I needed to gain a newfound confidence in myself to meet new people and make new friends. So I put myself out there. I started attending various events at school, made conversation with people in class, and applied to be a part of the Accounting Society. It’s there where I met students with similar interests as me who eventually became my core group of friends that I am still very close with today.

The 2014-2015 RUAS Team. Accountants can have fun too!

Looking back now, I can’t imagine going through university on my own. Whether it be studying together, calling someone late at night to ask a question about advanced financial accounting, stressing out together, or getting drinks at the Ram to celebrate a good grade on a project- I can’t stress enough how important it is to build a solid support group of friends, especially if they are going through the same struggles of university life as you.

Bay and Dundas - Ryerson we run that!
Bay and Dundas – Ryerson we run that!

One of the most stressful times I’ve experienced as a student (& in my life) would have to be going through the recruitment process for an internship at one of the Big 4 accounting firms. It’s extremely competitive and I remember having anxiety attacks every day leading up to my interview. Luckily, 2 other friends of mine from Ryerson were going through the same process and although we were all applying for the same position, it lowered my anxiety levels tremendously having them there to call if I ever needed encouragement or an occasional “you got this Sarah” pep talk. In the end, all three of us went on to receive internship offers, we completed our internship last summer, and will be working for the firm full-time come fall.

On the topic of creating new friendships, something I wish I could tell my first-year self is get to know your professors earlier, Sarah! Ask questions in class, go to their office hours, anything so that they can put a face to the student number. Your life while in university is much more than what you learn in the classroom. It’s about building that network and most importantly, maintaining the relationships you’ve made because in the end “your net worth is your network”. I’m very thankful to have met the people I have during my time at Ryerson and in Toronto because they really have helped shaped me into the person I am today and have truly become my second family out here.

Happy Times! Left: After my last lecture. Right: After our last exam.
Happy Times! Left: After my last lecture. Right: After our last exam.

So if you’re a first, second, third, or fourth year student reading this and am in the same situation as I was in my very first semester, you have nothing to lose by making new friends! I guarantee that 99% of the time the other person may be just as nervous or shy as you. So say hello to the person sitting next to you in your class, attend any of the many events that Ryerson hosts, join an intramural team, sign up for a student group that interests you, and put yourself out there, I promise you won’t regret it!

“I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.” – Charles R. Swindoll


Grad Gala 2015. Couldn’t have made it through 4th year without this group!
Grad Gala 2015. Couldn’t have made it through 4th year without this group!

With that said, I’d like to dedicate this week’s post is to all the friends I’ve made at Ryerson and in Toronto. You’re all so amazing- thank you for making my time in Toronto incredibly memorable!

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, here is a video recap of my night at the RCS Grad Gala- an Oscar-themed night of celebration with the graduating TRSM class of 2015.

Here’s what to expect next week: my grad trip recap and hopefully (if I don’t chicken out) the video footage of my very first skydiving experience (…now I really have to do it).

Until next week,