Hello from the other side!

Hey everyone, I’m Zainab! I’m one of the International Student Ambassadors originally from Dubai, UAE (where I am right now, hence the fitting title).

Before we get into it, allow me to introduce myself: I’m a third-year student in the Journalism program hoping to double minor in Fashion and English, and live my dreams of being Andy Sachs without the part where I have Miranda Priestly as a boss (The Devil Wears Prada fans, assemble!)

I’d like to say I’ve been pretty involved on and around campus, so let me take you on a quick recap of my life over the past three years at Ryerson!

1. I’ve commuted, lived and worked in residence!

When I first got to Toronto I commuted for a few months, but being the not-a-morning-person that I am – I decided to take the plunge and apply for a spot in residence! And boy, am I glad I did. 

Living in Ryerson’s residence was one of the best decisions I ever made. I made lifelong friends, learned how to cook a meal that was actually edible and it even lead me to what became the highlight of my second year, becoming a Residence Advisor! More on that later, but suffice it to say that I’m a huge fan of #RyeRes.

2. I’ve worked a ton of jobs all around campus, and let me tell you – there’s something for everyone.

Okay, let’s be real here for a second. Before coming to Ryerson, I’d never worked a part-time job in my life. I mean, sure, I’d done an internship, but I never actually worked a job where I was able to support myself. Coming to Ryerson for me felt like one of those moments from your childhood when your mom finally takes you to that huge candy store that opened up and told you to go wild. 

I’ve worked for the funds department, the auditing department, lead campus tours and even worked during the Ryerson Students’ Union elections. If you’re anything like me and like the idea of being a little financially independent so you can splurge without the feeling of guilt, have no fear – Ryerson jobs are here to fund your shopping (and all other) habits!

3. I’ve also gotten super involved with my fair share of clubs, student groups and publications!

So you might be catching on, but I love to stay busy and have my hands full. Sometimes it’s quite the challenge, but truthfully, it’s always been fruitful. Right from my first year, I got involved with the Journalism Course Union (JCU). I started out as a first-year representative (side note: you can too), and now I’ve worked my way up to President. Last year, I was also an executive on a student group known as Muslim Womxn at Ryerson and recently, I became a campus ambassador for PERIOD @ Ryerson

While I’ve also worked several positions such as Director of Events and Equity Director for Her Campus at Ryerson and New Wave Magazine respectively—both of which were super fulfilling experiences—in order to make just a little time for that thing we call sleep, I had to step back from a few roles. That being said, right now besides being President of the JCU and being an International Student Ambassador, I’m the Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus at Ryerson and I’m loving it. 

Fun fact: on the rare occasion that the student group, club or publication that you’re looking for doesn’t exist, you can start your own! I did. In my second year, I was one of the founding members of a student group called Ryerson Journalists of Colour and it was actually quite fun to build something from the ground up – I highly recommend it!

4. Like I said, I’m hoping to double minor in Fashion and English!

Coming into university, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to pursue Journalism or English—did I want to fulfil 10-year-old me’s dream of becoming an author, or did I want to fulfil 15-year-old me’s dream of becoming a fashion journalist? After grappling with the thought for a while and ultimately realizing the latter took priority, I made my decision. But the amazing thing at Ryerson is you can still indulge in a wide range of courses outside of your major. That being said, here’s a recommendation for probably the best course I’ve taken at Ryerson, FSN 223: Fashion Concepts and Theory with Ben Barry. 

Best. Class. Ever. Literally.

5. I’ve loved every single minute of it.

Yes, yes – I know. Everyone says university is where you find yourself, where you learn to become independent and where you’ll enjoy the best four (or more) years of your life. So at the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s true. I always thought I was pretty independent, secure and happy with life. And don’t get me wrong, I was. I just didn’t realize there was more. I didn’t realize how much I had to learn and unlearn and grow and do. Ryerson is quite literally my favourite place on this Earth and that’s coming from someone who secretly always cries happy tears at Disneyland. I’m a journalist, it’s my job to tell the truth—so believe me when I say there’s no place like Ryerson.

Anyway, that’s all from me for now! Keep an eye out for my weekly blog posts where I tell you all there is to know about going to Ryerson and take you on my journey.

Follow me on Instagram and let me know your thoughts, oh also: if you have come to the realization (as many do) that I’m fairly interesting and you’re thinking about coming to Ryerson, please feel free to book a one-on-one meeting with me—I’d be so happy to speak to you about any questions or concerns you have!

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