Innis Inspiration – Shanaya Unvala



“I’m a pretty happy person, but my first year of University was tough. I ended up crying in a McDonalds when I visited home, just because my Dad asked how school was going. This was after only one week of class. It was embarrassing, but I couldn’t hold it in anymore. My three best friends had become roommates at Waterloo, and even though I was meeting new people at UofT, I felt so lonely.

But the point of that whole story is that I got past that year, I survived. In my second year, a professor told me that learning happens on the edge of discomfort. As cheesy at it sounds, I think that’s the most important lesson I’ve learned in University. We only learn when we’re put into situations we haven’t been in before. UofT is good at that. It’s hard to view it positively at first, but just when we think we can’t take any more pressure, we persist, proving to ourselves just how much we can handle.

I’m currently a Residence Don at Innis. To get here, I pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone, taking on more positions each year. It isn’t something you notice right way. Looking back, I don’t think I could have handled this in my first year, but that’s okay, it shows how much I’ve grown. My goal is to help other students feel the same way. I’m just a student myself, but if I can help one person feel like they’re going to be okay, that they can survive and take the next step forward, then I’ve done my job.”


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