Pulse 2016: All You Need to Know

“Mental health is tricky because its about really knowing who you are and being able to say that you need help in a surrounding where you think so many other people are stable.”-Sophia Shim

Needless to say, it takes a lot of courage to ask for help.

One of the most challenging parts of dealing with mental health is coming to terms with the fact that no one is invincible. On the outside, we may seem on top of everything, put together, ahead of the game and confident, but on the inside, no one knows how we truly are feeling. Coming to the realization that we must take care of our minds as much as we take care of our bodies is something that society has not come to terms with yet. We’ve seen the major changes that things like the introduction of the Health & Wellness centre at the University of Toronto, as well as the addition of Mental Health Awareness Month – and it’s about time. More and more students seem to catching on to the progress that the university has made. “On campus there are many options if you are in need of help, whether it be provided by your college or UofT as a whole”, says second year student, Sophia Shim.

One initiative, founded by Joanna Huang and Michael Bray of the University of Toronto aims to create a sense of community in the Toronto student population and encourage discussion about mental health in the GTA. Pulse, founded in 2013, has fundraised for three years to bring attention and create a positive space for discussing mental health in our community. “There is nothing I am more passionate about as I am mental health. It’s an issue that touches the lives of everybody, in one way or another.”, says Joanna, “The entire topic is muffled. It’s blanketed by a thick layer of societal stigma, and completely devalued. People don’t talk about it. I’ve struggled with my own mental health, and I find it very difficult to talk about. But I have no trouble talking about a sprained foot, so why should this be any different?”

Since it’s founding, Pulse has been partnered with Oolagen, a Toronto based organization who’s mission is to “listen, engage, assist, and empower young people to recognize their own strength and values”. Located on 65 Wellesley Street East, Oolagen provides counselling services for all ages and provide residential homes for people aged 14-18. Oolagen also provides on site school support in for three different Toronto high schools, giving students access to mental health services when they cannot otherwise. “[Ooolagen is] also planning to expand their services to cover university-aged youth”, says University of Toronto Pre-Medical co-president Alissa Mirochnitchenko. The Pre-Medical Society is partnered with Pulse as one of their main supporters on campus.

www.pulsetoronto,com
Pulse is on the 18th – get your tickets at www.pulsetoronto.com

Both Oolagen and Pulse are promoting mental health and discussion to Toronto, and have been gaining momentum ever since their start. “Pulse 2015 has raised over $2000.00 for Oolagen… This year, we will strive to surpass our previous earnings and continue to further increase awareness for mental health!” says Pre-Medical Society Co-President Victoria Malysmiuk. On March 18, Pulse and Oolagen are partnering again to bring an amazing fundraiser to Orchid Nightclub. As the campaign’s slogan states, “Good music. Good company. Good cause”, it’s sure to be a fun evening for an important charity. “We hope that our annual fundraiser, Pulse, remains a reminder for individuals to critically think about their own mental health and seek help if they feel out of balance.” Says Victoria and Alissa.“I think that my biggest goal this year was to make the discourse around mental health positive- we are all students and we all understand that university can be physically, mentally and emotionally draining at times. In my eyes, events like PULSE are important because it brings students together to have positive, happy experiences.”

Additional information about Pulse, Oolagen, and this year’s charity fundraiser can be found at the following sites:

www.pulsetoronto.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/1537362533224023/

http://oolagen.org/

We hope to see you on the 18th!

UofT Science Rendezvous is BACK!

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Are you ready for another year of FUN science activities? We’re back with more fun, more experiments, and more science!

Never heard of Science Rendezvous? You sure are missing out! Science Rendezvous is a FREE, Canada-wide science street festival aimed at highlighting and promoting science in all its aspects. Meet with world-class researchers, participate in hands-on experiments and activities, watch amazing demonstrations of the integration of science, architecture, and human ingenuity, and most of all, have fun while experiencing science in a whole new way! Want to learn more about us? Head to our newly designed webpage by our talented graphic designer, Science Rendezvous!

Our exec team has been working very hard since December to put this event together. Want to know the most updated information about our event? Like our Facebook Page! You’ll be the first to know what we have in line for you this year (and maybe we’ll post some teasers just for you).

We are also on Twitter and Instagram! Definitely follow/like us, because you never know, we might post some cool stuff that’s exclusively for our fans. You don’t want to miss out!

I hope you are as excited for this event as we are! Hope to see you on May 7th! Join us and RSVP NOW!

The Intimacy of Strangers

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How do you get to know a person? You talk to them, right? Hi. What’s your name? What do you do for a living? Where are you from? Most relationships start with small talk, but there’s an intimacy to being strangers to someone that can’t be described with a single word or phrase. Because of clashing schedules and busy lives, many of us have spent at least one moment or another alone, whether it be studying in the library during a break, grabbing a quick bite or even commuting to school. When I’m not zoning out looking through a window or burying my nose in a textbook, I like to think about the endless possibilities to be had with strangers. As Alice Munro put it, it’s like “looking into an open secret, something not startling until you think of trying to tell it.”

Just the other day, I was waiting in line to order at Subway. I wasn’t sure what to order, so I decided to listen to the guy in front of me and copy his exact words. “One six-inch sub of the day on honey oat bread, please.” I noticed a slight tremble to his voice. Was he nervous to order? Was he, also like me, unsure of what to order? Or maybe he was just so hungry he couldn’t think properly. I wondered what it was.

Walking towards the 510 Spadina streetcar from the northbound subway, I trailed down the path where street musicians often play for small change. I happened to be right behind a girl who seemed to be my age. I figured we’d both walk by casually but then she reached into her purse and tossed in some loose change. Did she always participate in this random act of kindness? Or was the music especially deserving today? Was this something her parents or guardian had taught her to do? I wondered what it was.

I didn’t think much of these thoughts until we discussed Alice Munro’s Open Secrets in English Class (ENG215 if anybody is wondering). Through the few observations the narrator makes on a couple, she begins to wonder about the possibilities behind them and this startled her. We can see so much without even saying a word. We can choose what to say and what decisions to make, but at the end of the day, it’s the little things we do that reveal our open secrets.

U of T Relay For Life 2016

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The most common misconception about Relay for Life is that it’s a physically intensive marathon only open to the strongest athletes for participation. Not true! The word “relay” also promotes the notion that a competitive race is being held and further strengthens this misconception. For those of you who have heard about Relay, you’ve probably experienced sentiments of hesitancy and confusion. Doubts may have raced through your mind as you began to question your physical ability and lack of exercise in your daily routine.

The truth is that Relay for Life is a non-running event. Running shoes and physical agility are not required to attend. The only challenging part about relay is staying up till 1am, but from 5pm-1am, strangers become a community as they unite together to fight an important a cause close to their hearts. Relay for Life is a fantastic fundraising event filled with enthusiastic individuals fighting for a cancer-free tomorrow. It’s a night to remember and honour those we have lost, to continue to raise funds for cancer research, and to celebrate with a full event line-up.

Cancer affects us all, whether it be a family member of our own or a friend who has been impacted. The impact of cancer is impossible to ignore, but on March 11th, University of Toronto’s Relay for Life Committee invites you all to participate in the event to fight back against cancer. The goal is to fundraise as much as possible, but for a registration fee of only 15 dollars, you’ll receive a t-shirt, luminary, and supply of food to keep you energized. A night of comedy, music, food, and open-mic awaits and all you need to do is spend 2 minutes online to register. You can bring your friends and create a team online or even join by yourself and we’ll handle forming a team for you! Any friends or family are welcome to participate as well as non-U of T students. If you can find some time to spare one Friday night, you can make a difference. All proceeds from the event will go towards the Canadian Cancer Society. Join us in participating in this event and help those who need it most.

Register or make a donation here, and find us on our Facebook event and cause page.

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5 Reasons To Make Your Bed Every Morning

There are two kinds of people in our universe: people who make their beds in the morning, and people who do not. For the latter category, mornings are the worst. We barely have enough energy to get out of our beds, let alone make them. As a kid, whenever my Mom told me to make my bed my instincts would kick in and I would reply ‘Why? I’m getting back in there in a few hours anyway’.

Besides the fact that your mother told you to do so, there are 5 good reasons to keep your sheets neat:

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  1. It gives you a feeling of accomplishment.
    Simple as it may seem, keeping your sheets neat first thing in the morning gives you a kickstart to being orderly and efficient. These two minutes of work set the tone for the rest of your day. It may be small, but it’s mighty!
  2. It keeps you motivated.
    Keeping your sheets neat gives you a feeling of success. This in turn keeps you motivated to take on other challenges over the course of your day. Quoting Emmet Fox, “a small spark can start a great fire”.
  3. You learn to manage your time more efficiently.
    Making your bed literally takes two minutes. By squeezing in this simple task between the time you turn on your kettle and the time it starting whistling, you learn to become more efficient with your time management skills overall, getting you used to accomplishing smaller tasks between your bigger ones.
  4. It keeps you healthier and happier.
    Unappealing as it may seem, every minute your skin sheds over 30,000 dead cells; over 50% of the dust at your place is actually dead skin. By straightening up your bed in the morning and giving it some air to breath, you prevent dirt and dust from joining you under the covers at night. You are in control of your own space, how it looks, and therefore how it makes you feel. A tidy space is very calming and can help you create your own soothing sanctuary at home.
  5. It’s a minor commitment.
    For those of you who, like me, are not big fans of commitment, making your bed is a small morning ritual that builds momentum for a greater positive change. Picking one little task to improve your life, and doing it regularly, will help you get in the habit of progressively dedicating yourself to smaller, and gradually bigger, commitments.

If I haven’t convinced you to make your bed already, watch this short video by Admiral McRaven, who claims that changing the world starts with making your bed!

 

Highlights from Music’s Biggest Night

The 2016 Grammy Awards have concluded, and what better way to relive the star-studded night than to highlight some of the best performances?

Tori Kelly and James Bay performed a duet of their songs “Hollow” and “Let It Go”

The 2016 Grammy Awards was a first for both Tori Kelly and James Bay, who both received their first Grammy nominations and made their first performances at the show. Their mashup of the singles Hollow and Let It Go was captivating, with powerful vocals complemented by the strumming of acoustic guitars. The harmonizing of these two artists was certainly a great addition to the show.

Lady Gaga performs a tribute to the late David Bowie.

Dressed in the iconic clothing of Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie’s alter-ego, Lady Gaga performed a medley of Bowie’s hit songs in an almost 7-minute set. She comanded the stage with her back-up dancers (dressed in Bowie-inspired clothing, of course) and received a standing ovation at the conclusion of her performance.

Aside from his Grammy wins, Abel also celebrated his 26th birthday.

The Weeknd hit the stage and performed his hit songs, Can’t Feel My Face and a slow version of In the Night. He also celebrated wins for Best R&B Performance and Best Urban Contemporary Album. The singer celebrated his 26th birthday at the Grammy Awards after-party.

Adele performing “All I Ask” from her new album, 25.

Adele once again delivered an emotional performance. She performed the song All I Ask from her new album 25. Although there were technical issues that caused a slight hiccup in her performance, she recovered flawlessly and delivered with her powerful vocals.

Kendrick Lamar’s electrifying performance got people talking

Finally, as for the most talked-about performance of the night Kendrick Lamar’s performance of The Blacker the Berry and Alright from his award-winning album To Pimp a Butterfly brought down the house. The fiery (literally) and energetic performance was politically charged, and won’t soon be forgotten.