Architecture & Cooking: Meet Our Very Own Ibukun Adeleye

Meet Her Campus UToronto's very own Ibukun Adeleye! She has been the woman behind all the awesome events hosted by our chapter this year, some which includes our recent She Lead's conference on women empowerment and ending sexual violence against women, as well as our upcoming clothing drive on March 27th, and our pub night social on the 30th. For more information about our events, check out our chapter's Facebook page. But first, make sure to read more about the lady herself. 

Name: Ibukun Adeleye 

Program of Study: Honours Bachelor of Arts, Architectural Studies

Major/Minor: Architecture and Human Geography double major

Year of Study: 3rd Year

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria. 

Current role on Her Campus: Events and Marketing Director 

Why did you decide to join Her Campus? What does the publication mean to you?

I decided to join Her Campus firstly because I have been reading the magazine since I was a teenager and when I found that there was a chapter at my University I couldn’t wait to get involved. The second reason why I joined Her Campus was because I was at a stage in my academic journey that I realized I didn’t want to just pass through the University, but I wanted it to pass through me. So, I searched up Her Campus and a majority of other clubs that align with my interests and values and well here I am! Working with Her Campus has allowed me to meet and connect with a lot of amazing and hardworking people and for that I do not regret being a part of the team. The publication as a whole, especially our chapter at UofT represents to me, a space to destress, a place where you can get bite-sized information on a variety of topics and of course endless clicks while procrastinating. 

What other activities are you currently involved with besides Her Campus?

Besides Her Campus, I am involved with the youth ambassador program at the Canadian Urban institute, an external organization that deals with empowering youth to become more active leaders in their city. 

In your opinion, when is the best time to get involved with campus clubs and organizations?

Based on my own personal experience, getting involved with a campus club is a gradual process or journey. From experience, it is tempting in your first year to sign up for all the clubs you are excited about. However, you might find yourself not showing up or following up with them throughout the year. I would suggest going to the first meetings of those clubs you are interested in and try to get as much information as possible. It is important to go in with an open mind and also essential to ask yourself if you would prefer a leadership role or simply prefer being a member. Second year might be a tough transition from first year and you might not have a lot of time on your hands and so going to club meetings might not be at the top of your to-do list. Although you might not attend the meetings as often as you’d like, make friends with the existing members and check with the progress of the club and if indeed, they are making any impact on campus. Third year, in my opinion is best because not only do you have a somewhat firm  grasp of the direction you want to go career wise, but you would have had time to filter the clubs you want to  join based on what was mentioned above. 

As a third year student going onto your fourth year, how would you describe the past three years of your undergraduate career? How has every year's transition differed from the prior year?

The best way to describe my last years at UofT would be a learning curve. I came into University knowing exactly what I wanted to do when I graduated but that has changed due to various experiences, challenges and opportunities. Coming into UofT as an IB (International Baccalaureate) student, I felt first year was a breeze, well almost.  It was at this point I began to question if I really wanted to be an architect due to the stress and workload of my studio projects. More so, I started to doubt my abilities and this feeling developed in my second year which was my most difficult year. Although the transition to second year was filled with self-doubt, stress and much sleep deprivation, third year has been a bliss. I would like to attribute that to my involvement with more campus groups and people who share the same passions as I do. There’s also been more clarity in my academic journey, which came from being able to select the more specific courses that I was interested in from my program, rather than general courses like in first and second year. 

How has your social and academic experience as an international student at UofT differed from domestic students?

From my own experience, being an international student whose parents are paying five times the domestic fees, the academic pressure is definitely there. This internal and external pressure can sometimes act as a deterrent to changing your major or program of study. This is especially the case if you find that your present program is not something you have passion for. It can be hard communicating that, especially if you plan on changing from a STEM or professional major to one they might not consider as such. On a more social aspect, I don’t think my experience personally has been that much different from that of a domestic student. However, I would say that there is always that inner voice telling you that whichever social activity you might be involved in, it is important to be cautious. Partly because your parents don’t live here, and more so, they would be terribly disappointed. However, this experience might be more familiar to students with strict or African parents. 

What's the biggest misconception people have about international students, or what's one thing most domestic students don't understand about the different experience lived by international students?

There are two narratives I have often heard from domestic students about international students and the fees they have to pay. On one hand, people often characterize some of the countries that international students are from as poor. Yet, they fail to draw the parallel as to how they are able to afford the high fees often times without sufficient scholarships or aid. On the other hand, because of certain lifestyles that might be exhibited by some international students, there is also that idea that some international students’ parents are people who are involved in some dubious activities. What both of these do, is they generalize a diverse group of people and assign to them whatever story is deemed fit. My take on this is to understand that international students are a diverse group of individuals who have different stories and struggles like other students. Furthermore, it is important to note that most parents of international students do not love sending their children far away from home but make such sacrifices so that they can get the best education. 

What are your plans post-graduation?

The big question I’ve been trying to avoid! My plans post-graduation are simple really, to be open-minded and not settle. This seems really basic and obvious but it has guided my thinking in what I hope to do. Based on this thinking, I don’t have one post-grad path, but rather multiples. So there’s the path to my architecture license which involves a 3 year masters and a 3 year internship. Or my path to working for the city in transportation planning, which involves continuing my internship with the city, and then there’s travelling, writing and soaking in all the cultures I can before joining a design start-up, and then there’s going back home to seeing how I can give back. Go read Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, Chapter 7, p.20-21 on the fig tree to get a better sense of this confusion. 

What's one thing most people would be surprised to hear about you?

I’m addicted to cooking shows and always try to emulate my favourite chefs when cooking. What’s even more surprising is at some point, I wanted to leave UofT to go to culinary school. No one really knows this, but I searched online, applied and everything, then ditched last minute for reasons I don’t know today. 

What’s the most played song on your playlist at the moment?

21 Gun Salute by Stromzy 

What’s your guilty pleasure?  

Chocolate cake, white wine and a good book. 

What can’t you live without?

I would say my planner and journal. It’s where I write my goals, worries and endless to-do lists. 

What’s your favourite motivational quote? 

Practice radical self love

Never settle for mediocrity 

Undo all that unhealthy shit.