When I moved into residence this year I had several fears: that my furniture wouldn’t fit, that my love of music would create neighbour problems, and that I would forget how to bake. After about a month in my room, I know my furniture fits (I still recommend not bringing too much at first, there is always a handy-dandy IKEA not to far away where you can splurge on beautiful, modernist European furniture). While my floor is becoming a quiet floor, it’s not going to be as big a deal as I thought, and the benefits of a quiet floor are immeasurable when trying to read a chapter for class in the morning. Yesterday, I had a chance to finally test the last fear on my list, by helping bake for Don Sweets.
When you live in residence it can be difficult to get kitchen access, as the kitchens are meant to be used for those with allergies that would make it difficult or impossible to eat from the cafe. Since I’m not deathly allergic to anything, I’m kitchen access-less, so I took the logical next step: I jumped on any opportunity to get into the kitchen with someone else. In this case, my don Chantal (who is a pretty awesome person, as all dons are) was baking chocolate chip cookies and banana bread for Don Sweets, where all residents get to run around getting free food and answering trivia questions with the hope of winning a prize at the end of the year. Sounds like a good time, right? Well, it’s even better when you’re eating cookies made by me and Chantal, unless you got ones without salt. Count yourself lucky if yours has caramel syrup.Let’s just say consistency isn’t one of our finer points.
To cut to the chase, it’s definitely frustrating at times to not be able to bake, just like it is not being able to drive, or have a bath, or get back to campus when the 124 is being stubbornly late. The thing is, it’s part of residence life. It leads you to appreciate things all the more. Baking, which is always a de-stresser for me, became a really fun social activity that I enjoyed more than all the other times I’ve baked. Not being able to drive means that when I get home for a weekend at Thanksgiving I’ll love driving the Windstar all the more. With Taylor Swift blaring, in all likelihood (that’s just how I roll). Having a bus that stops early on pub nights makes the walk from Yonge to Bayview with friends a memory you might even remember in the morning, and for a while to come.
Anyways, if there are things you really enjoy back home, it’s not likely you’re ever going to have to give them up entirely. A lot of the times there’s other people who want to do the same things as you! You miss baking? The guy in the room down the hall does to, and your friend off campus has a kitchen available for use. You miss your dog? Dog Day is tomorrow, and you can try to replace your furry friend for a day. If you’re a cat person, track down the cat on campus and shower it in love! If you miss bubble baths, find the rare residence bathrooms with bathtubs (I lucked out here) and sneak in one night. Treat yourself to a spa night and ignore the frustrated knockings of people who wanted to use the tub that night, too. There is always an opportunity to get out there and have some fun with your fellow residents!Our cookies turned out phenomenally well, and though our banana bread turned into banana biscotti, Chantal and I got rave reviews. After Don Sweets there will be more opportunities to get involved – theres Glee Nights, bake offs, and a whole bunch more residence-wide events that you can easily take part in. Get to know your don especially, they keep you up to date with events and always have a sympathetic ear! Good luck finding one like mine, though. You might be better off requesting her next year on your application, well in advance. The line starts behind me!