> Home Welcome Guide Time of My Life

Time of My Life

"This is your life and you are the lead curator. This means you can shape your education around your interests and values." 

Below, one student shares how her passion for photography brings a fresh perspective to campus.

Time of my life 4.jpg Time of my life 2.jpg
Time of my life 5.jpg Time of my life 3.jpg


Jemel Ganal,
Major in book and media studies, minors in cinema studies and English

Hometown: Toronto

One thing about me: I make lip-sync videos for YouTube in my spare time. And I’m obsessed with cookies.

Wish I had known: That plans can change, but everything happens for a reason.


Time of my life 1.jpgQ: What is Humans of the University of Toronto and how did it begin?

A: It is a photo journal I started, using social media to share the faces and stories of people on campus — stories that you otherwise may never hear. I was doing street photography for fun, and my friends suggested I start this based on the well-known Humans of New York. U of T is filled with people who have interesting and imperfect stories. It’s important to see the real, human faces and remember that we are part of a community together.

Q: What impact has it had on your time here?
A: I’m a sociable person, but can be quite shy and wanted to do something out of my comfort zone. There are so many layers to how it changed university for me. It is the first time I felt like I had a purpose. I got recognition for my work from students, staff and faculty, and I even had my work displayed at the Hart House Gallery, which was pretty cool. Professionally, it has been amazing for my portfolio and opened new doors for me.

Q: How did you find the time to balance Humans of the University of Toronto with your classes?
A: Learning how to prioritize my schoolwork has helped me find balance in my life. I keep the assignments for my major as top priority, followed by my minors and electives. Sometimes you can’t do it all, and need to have a method to choose where to focus your time. I also try to make time for activities outside of class, because that’s how I keep my sanity.

Q: What advice would you give to students looking to get involved outside of class?
A: Nothing is going to come to you. You can’t sit around thinking, “should I really do this?” Just do things. You need to meet people because that’s what helps you when you graduate. Go to a random event where you’ll meet people you would otherwise never meet. If it doesn’t work, try again. To thrive, you need to put yourself out there.

Check out Humans of the University of Toronto on Instagram @humansuoft.
Getting Involved

On the Record!

We believe learning happens in many ways, in many places. The Co-Curricular Record documents your involvement outside the classroom at U of T. It’s a great resource to find opportunities to expand your experience and horizons, and helps as you build your resumé.


Five days, five ways to shake things up after class

Day 1: Join a club or association that sparks your interest. With more than 900 to choose from, odds are in your favour to find your fit.

Day 2: Sweat it out at one of U of T’s many fitness facilities. There are workout classes, cardio machines, weights, swimming, and the list goes on. You’ll be buzzing from endorphins.

Day 3: Feeling great from yesterday’s workout? Throw your sneakers back on and head to an intramural sports game. There is everything from volleyball and cricket to ultimate frisbee and inner-tube water polo. You may need to register in advance.

Day 4: Add leadership experience to your resumé by joining a student government. You will meet other students and have a chance to bring about positive change.
utsu.ca / assu.ca / apus.ca

Day 5: Satisfy your Pinterest cravings and attend one of Hart House’s free weekly drop-in craft workshops. Not so crafty? Hart House offers everything from music and theatre to swimming and archery, not to mention an amazing brunch menu.

Want more ideas? Visit studentlife.utoronto.ca.