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5 Things I Don’t Regret Doing Throughout My Time In University

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

As a fourth-year creative industries student at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) about to graduate this June (knock on wood), I figured it was a good time to reflect on my university experience. After all, a little self-reflection never hurt anyone.

Do I have regrets about my time at TMU? Plenty. There isn’t a day that goes by when I think, maybe I should have tried XYZ or went to XYZ event.

But then again, who doesn’t? You live, you learn. However, I like to think I did some things right during my four years here.

Here are five things I would happily do again if I were a freshman again.

Joining student groups

This is an absolute must. If there’s one thing I would do again on this list, it would be joining various student groups. You read and hear about it all the time from alumni, professors, and even Reddit posts, but it’s true! Not only do you gain a laundry list of new skills and experiences, but you also meet a ton of people from various programs and grow your network *snaps* just like that.

Think of all the memories you’d make! It also doesn’t hurt your resume either. If joining an organization seems like an intimidating step, volunteering at The Eyeopener or Met Radio is also an enjoyable experience.

Throughout my four years at TMU, I’ve been a part of Her Campus, the Society of the Creative School, the Rise of Entertainment Conference, and Met-TV. From these experiences, I’ve learned how to write listicle articles, take down meeting minutes, secure industry guests for panels, and produce a talk show, among other things.

I’ve met people in fashion, media production, business management, graphic communications, journalism programs, and many more. Time-consuming and exhausting? You betcha, especially as a commuter. But boy, was it a lot of fun.

Applying for internships that seemed out of reach 

As Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Even though he talked about hockey here, it’s also relevant when applying for internships and jobs.

The minute you doubt yourself and self-reject, you already know what the outcome will be. If they say no, well, at least you tried. But what if they say yes? What if you end up getting that dream role of yours? Just try! Yes, it’s cliché, but you will never know who will say yes if you don’t apply for that position.

Here’s an example. Last spring, the internship coordinator posted an internship at CBC Kids to work on their TV team. As someone who aspires to work in the television industry and having grown up watching CBC Kids, this seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime. You would think that I would jump at the chance to apply.


Up until the last day that applications were due, I self-rejected, believing that I didn’t have a chance to get this prestigious internship. Why waste my time applying for something I won’t get?

But on the day that applications were due, something shifted, and I thought, screw it, let me try for fun. Fast forward a couple of weeks later, and two interviews later, they offered me the internship.

Mind blown.

My time at CBC Kids turned out to be the highlight of my university experience. Don’t wait until the last minute, and never self-reject.

Taking fun and interesting courses

The use of “fun and interesting” here is subjective. While it was tempting to take bird courses to fulfill my open electives and liberals — and man, was it tempting — some of the best courses I took were about subjects I was passionate about. 

For example, HST 540: History of Espionage was one of the toughest courses I had taken, but it ranks as number two in my favourite courses I have ever taken during my undergrad. And if I’m being honest, I learned so much more in this course than I did in some of the mandatory courses in my program. As someone who has been fascinated with all things espionage since I was six years old, taking a course like HST 540 was a dream come true.

On the other hand, courses like RTA 956: Children’s Programming (number one on my list, by the way) opened up my eyes to a world of possibilities I never knew existed and helped set in motion my goal of working in children’s television.

If you can, and it fits into your schedule, take courses on topics you are genuinely interested in. I promise you they will remind you why you’re pursuing higher education in the first place.

Talking with the people beside me in class

As an introvert, this was hard. It still is. I like keeping to myself. However, in the creative industries program, where there are a lot of group assignments, it helps to know at least one person in the class.

Moreover, a professor in a class I took in my third year told us something that stuck with me. She said something along the lines of, “Look around the room. These are the people you are going to be working with after you graduate, so it helps if you get to know everyone here.”

Since then, I’ve taken his advice to heart and made it my goal to talk to at least three new people in every class.

Even if it was uncomfortable and awkward to turn to the person next to me for help, sometimes, introducing yourself would lead to a new friendship. At the beginning of this semester, I walked into RTA 945 and saw no familiar faces in the class. From just introducing myself to the people who sat near me, I’ve had hilarious and eye-opening conversations about who the best quarterback in the NFL is, what not to try at 18feet Espresso Bar & The Cheong (the new cafe across Eric Palin Hall), and Toronto Met Theatre Company’s (TMTC) production of Catch Me If You Can.

You’ll learn quickly that everyone has a cool story to share, so be open to listening! Knowing a person or two in every class also makes the class a lot more fun.

Reaching out to industry professionals and alumni for informational interviews/coffee chats

Put simply, informational interviews are 20-minute conversations between yourself and a person working in an industry that you’re interested in. You’re not asking for a job here, but rather, the purpose is to extract valuable tidbits about their role and their journey to where they are today.

During the pandemic, I had a wild idea of reaching out to industry professionals and setting up virtual meetings to learn more about their careers. Not only would I grow my network, but I would also learn what it was really like working in the television industry and if it was something I wanted to do. I thought to myself, everyone’s at home right now. I’ve got nothing to lose.

That turned out to be a lie. I lost a bit of my pride along the way from all of the rejected and ghosted replies to my request for a short informational interview. In the grand scheme of things, it was a small price to pay for all the knowledge I got and the connections I made. For every three rejections, there was one person kind enough to share their wisdom. 

If you have doubts about reaching out to industry professionals for a coffee chat or informational interview, I get it. It’s scary putting yourself out there. However, one professional told me that the majority of people are more than willing to help students. They remember what it was like being on the other side and asking for advice.

So, what are you waiting for? This is your sign to go on LinkedIn and send them a message asking them for a coffee chat. Who knows? They might just say yes.

Four years later…

Truth be told, I’m glad my time as a creative industries student is almost over. I am exhausted. But was it worth it? I think so. It’s amazing how much has changed over the last four years. I can only hope freshman me would be proud of how far we’ve come.

To anyone who reads this, I sincerely hope this article helps. If things don’t go to plan, that’s ok! Embrace the failures, misses, and imperfections. So long as you do your best to make the most of these years, that’s ultimately what matters. There are so many opportunities at TMU, it’s crazy. Learn, network, be gutsy, and don’t forget to have fun. You got this!

Amanda Noor

Toronto MU '24

Amanda Noor is a fourth-year Creative Industries student at Toronto Metropolitan University. She's a huge movie and TV buff and American history and political junkie. When she's not writing articles for Her Campus, you can find her watching sitcoms from the 80s and 90s or daydreaming about living in New York City.