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Campus Cutie – Rayzel Bermudez

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Toronto chapter.

Everyone, I want you to meet my friend and first year student, Rayzel Bermudez. We talked about her first year experience at the University of Toronto Mississauga Campus and just got to know her a bit better! 

Name: Rayzel Bermudez 

Program: English 

Age: 18


1. How do you feel about being chosen for Campus Cutie? It was a pleasant surprise, though I was apprehensive at first. I know I can sometimes be at a loss for words.


2. What was the hardest part about transitioning from high school to university? In terms of academics, the marking was slightly different. When I received my first assignment back, I realized I would have to work harder if I wanted my current grades to reflect the stellar ones I had in high school. It took some time to adjust to the professors’ expectations and really learn how to write a good paper. But it’s all part of growing as a student, and I welcomed the challenge.


3. What is your favourite part about university so far? I love the freedom and independence that university brings. I love it when I become really engaged in a lecture because the professor is passionate about the subject. I love the beautiful forest trails spread throughout the campus, and the amazing friends I’ve made over the past few months.


4. What tips would you give to someone about to attend university? Time management is key for balancing that work and social life. In addition, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to the stranger sitting next to you in class. Everyone’s a bit nervous in the beginning, and the connections you form can prove rewarding later on.


5. What were you expecting before starting university and how have your views changed now? I was expecting university to be a lot more stressful, and that I wouldn’t have time to just pause and enjoy life. And it definitely can get that way when the work piles up and exams loom over the horizon. But there are so many opportunities on campus to meet other students with similar interests or join activities that will help you get your mind off school, and as a result, the idea of spending another few years at university becomes less intimidating.


6. What are your New Year’s Resolutions, if you made any? I’ve always been into fitness, but this year, I’ve decided to take it up a notch by engaging in winter sports. My first experience snowboarding during the break was one of the most discouraging but exhilarating things I’ve ever done, and I’m determined to get back on the slopes. I also want to commit more of my time to writingrefining my vocabulary, aiming for higher word counts, enrapturing potential readers with my stories.


7. What are some of your hobbies? Creative writing and art—basically anything that requires me to make something from scratch. Curling up with a book. Binge-watching YouTube videos. Pilates, ice skating and runningcardio and strength training are the most underrated stress relievers.


8. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you want to go? Anywhere in Europeperhaps London, Paris or Berlin. I’ve taken a fair amount of art history/world history courses and to see the actual architecture and monuments in person would be indescribable. Japan is also at the forefront of my list, because I’ve always been a huge fan of its culture and cuisine. 


9. What is your dream job? I think it would be really neat to work in book publishing. I’d love to be a part of the team that meticulously polishes up a manuscript and releases it to the masses.


10. Favourite things:

  • Food: At any given time, I’m craving a slice of pizza, a bowl of pho or pad thai at a Vietnamese/Thai restaurant, or a stack of buttermilk pancakes from Denny’s. 
  • Drink: Water will always be my go-to. But when I need to warm up, a cup of French Vanilla or tea always does the trick. 
  • Place: My bedroom, where I go to unwind and nap and just think about life. 
  • Colour: Blue, although 80% of my closet consists of shades of black. 
  • Books: Just to name a few: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.