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What I saw along the way

What I saw along the way

Stepping back from the hustle of day-to-day life, a student learns from the city

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” These simple words, spoken by Ferris Bueller in the classic 1986 movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, have always lingered with me.

The trajectory of a Torontonian’s life is driven by a constant objective. We spend most of our time rushing from place to place, blind to what surrounds us in our immediate environment. In the midst of the chaos of our lives as students, we often forget about the intricate architecture that fills our streets and the enchanting beauty of our city.

So I took it upon myself to simply enjoy the things around me. I stepped back and explored. I quickly discovered that marvelling at sights and sounds outside of us can help us see within ourselves.


Maintaining balance in life is a seemingly simple task, yet it can be daunting when we try to put into practice. Prioritizing self-care allows us to be our best selves and enjoy all aspects of our lives — from school to extracurricular activities.

Allocating time for different areas of life and sticking to a routine can do wonders to ensure balance is maintained in everyday life.

Additionally, putting our phones away during these times can maximize focus and minimize any unnecessary distractions, so we are able to accomplish everything necessary in a given period.


Having compassion for ourselves is not the easiest task, but harvesting a sense of self-worth and confidence can do wonders for our minds and bodies. Life can be tumultuous, and rocky patches are inevitable, but through it all, it’s important to remember that we are worthy: worthy of love from others and compassion from ourselves. The resilience that clouds embody is something we should strive for in our own lives, knowing that we will get through whatever adverse conditions are thrown our way and that we will develop into stronger people because of it.


Gaining perspective in life can help us view situations with greater clarity. This allows us to come to terms with challenges and barriers, and it leads us to a greater sense of peace within ourselves. Looking around and enjoying the beauty that we come across in our increasingly chaotic world can be the door that leads to self-reflection. This provides us  with the opportunity to create positive appraisals of situations we tend to only see as negative.

In my experience, asking what advice you would give to a friend if they came to you with your exact situation, seeking viewpoints from trusted friends, and allowing emotions to subside before making any decisions have all been effective ways to truly gain perspective and create an accurate and rational narrative for a given situation.


Cultivation is a pivotal aspect of life. We can cultivate anything — from relationships with others to opportunities for ourselves. To cultivate, we must empower ourselves in order to become aware of our talents and what we would like to accomplish in life. We can also help others cultivate within their own lives by inspiring them to continuously seek fresh insights and motivate them to discover what they want out of life.

Green spaces need an abundance of resources to grow; we must make sure we equip ourselves with the necessary resources to grow and thrive in our day-to-day lives. Cultivating resources, which can range from meaningful friendships to passionate hobbies, can help us create opportunities and extract the benefits from these experiences.

It is essential that we embrace the hidden wonders around us — the things that would otherwise go unnoticed. They can inscribe new beliefs and values within our hearts and challenge us to be better versions of ourselves. Sometimes, when we’re hustling to complete a given task, we neglect the things along the way, the things in the present and in the now. So, as you go about your days, I challenge you to stop, indulge, and appreciate the things along the way.