A Walk Down Memory Lane

by | Mar 31, 2020 | Jewish Life at Ryerson | 0 comments

As our time at Ryerson Hillel comes to an end, we started to reminisce on the days spent laughing with our friends and the nights spent pondering our future. All those beautiful thoughts quickly became overshadowed on the ominous Friday the 13th when Ryerson announced it was closing. How fitting of a day to find out life as we knew it would flip upside down.

Sitting in our student building watching everyone scream excitedly at their phones, we were sad because we realized all our lasts had passed without us knowing. That past Monday was the last time our crew skipped to the bathroom together on break, the last bubble tea date with friends between classes, and the last time we sat on the swingless swings that squeezed our hips a little too tight. It was a scary feeling knowing that the longer we spent downtown, the more coronavirus could spread around us. Yet, how could we leave if it would be our last time on campus as Ryerson students? There’s so much we still didn’t get to do during our time and we knew that once we left, that was it.

Although we may never get to do any of these things again, we do get the chance now to reminisce about how fun they were. And as our good friend, Or, constantly quoted from Winnie the Pooh himself, “how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

So, let’s be nostalgic and remember the good times spent with Hillel Ryerson:

Remember that time we got free Ben & Jerry’s on campus, or our party in second year when the weather channel put us on the giant screen in Yonge and Dundas square?

Remember the yearly multi-faith Shabbat dinners hosted by Ryerson when we got to socialize with all the higher ups of campus, or when we would laze around the loft while eating free lunches?

Remember that time when we listened to Geoff belt Pocahontas in Hebrew, or when we would pile up the bean bags next to the swings to create an American Ninja Warrior course? All of our Mario Kart and Just Dance competitions and of course, who could forget about working on Out of Sync for months and then having the time of our lives on stage as a team?

Looking back at our four years, it’s crazy to think how many changes we’ve had in our staff from 2016-2020. However, each group of staff brought a unique element to Hillel Ryerson that ended up making each year amazing. So we’d like to thank Allysa, Or, Emily G., Tehila, Emily C., Elyse, Leore, Einav, Mitchell, and Ashira for all the hard work they each put into making Hillel Ryerson the best.

To the various exec teams we’ve been a part of, thank you for being such an awesome group of people to spend the years planning and executing events with. You all became more than just team members to us and we know that our friendships with you all will last a lifetime.

With love,
Jess and Adina <3

Written by: Adina Saban and Jessica Kline

My First (Virtual) Year at University

My First (Virtual) Year at University

The pandemic has caused school to feel very different compared to what I’m used to. I used to go to class and make friends in person. Now, all of my courses are online and it’s significantly harder to do things – even ask questions in class. Times have changed, so the way I make friends has changed too. One method I’ve used is to talk to people through the chat feature on Zoom during class. This way, I can still connect with new people and form new friendships.

Hillel has also helped me adjust and make friends at Ryerson University. Hillel invited me to many events where they displayed a lot of positive energy toward me and other students and made sure we felt welcomed and included. I attended a few virtual hangouts and met other students from Ryerson and UofT at the in-person hangout at Earl Bales park. They even sent me a welcome bag, which included a Hillel blanket, a toque and a water bottle.

Ever since I was accepted to university, I’ve wanted to be involved in the Jewish community. And, being a social person, I always loved being around and meeting people from around the globe. From the first day, the staff have welcomed me with a smile on their faces and have been excited to hear about my origins. My story feels different compared to other Jewish people, being from Romania. But the staff at Hillel have encouraged me to share my history with others and have helped transform my story into something to be proud of, and to learn and grow from it. 

Hillel cares a lot about people. The way they treat you makes you feel wanted and valued and it’s obvious that the organization is here to help students. Hillel has provided an amazing experience and I recommend them to any student that wishes to get involved in the community. I feel lucky that an older Jewish friend told me about Hillel and I’ve been part of the community ever since. 

Erwin, Ryerson University ’24

Dear First Year Me

Dear First Year Me

Dear First Year Noa,

Here are 10 things you should know upon entering your first year of university.

  1. That other new student sitting beside you in class? They’re just as nervous as you are! Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself, and hopefully make a new friend. You can never have enough people to exchange notes with, especially around finals.
  2. Get to know your professors! Just saying hello and thank you at the beginning and end of class is a great way to start. Let them help you do your best, and build that relationship in case you have any problems during the semester. They’re also a great resource when you start exploring what you want to do after you graduate – it happens faster than you think!
  3. That class you’re thinking about skipping? Don’t do it. Get in the habit, from the beginning, of thinking about university as the job you have to do now – you’re a student! You wouldn’t want to skip out on work, don’t skip out on school.
  4. Don’t be afraid to use your connections! University is the best time to start working on those networking skills – your new friends and profs will be more than happy to be part of your journey.
  5. Thinking about studying abroad? Do it! Take this chance to explore a new place, culture and language, with the added bonus of an awesome support structure at your host university.
  6. Get involved! That can be anything from attending an event or joining a planning committee. There are so many amazing organizations both on and off campus who are looking for someone with the skills only you have. Show them what you’ve got!
  7. You know how great pulling an all-nighter looks in movies? It’s almost never worth it. Keeping on top of your workload won’t always be easy, but maybe skip that party the week you have something big due. An amazing teacher of mine once said, better to keep up than to catch up. It’s even more true in university!
  8. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You aren’t the first person to be  starting university, and you won’t be the last. Learn from the people around you, practice your writing and learn how to reference – it’s a skill you won’t regret.
  9. Not quite sure where you’re heading with your degree (or your life)? Find someone who you look up to! It doesn’t even have to be in the industry you think you’re interested in. People are more generous with their time than you might think – reach out! Worst case scenario, you don’t hear back but in the best case, you get a coffee with someone awesome and you can learn about how they got where they are.
  10. Most importantly, remember how lucky you are to be here! Though it may not always feel that way (read: tests and papers), enjoy this amazing opportunity to totally immerse yourself in your learning, and be a little selfish!
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