“My Life is Average”: A Student’s Perspective

“My Life is Average”
by Tian-Yuan Zhao (Music & Electrical and Computer Engineering)

This year, CTSI has worked with students to explore their perspective on learning at UofT. This blog post is the first in a series showcasing a student’s view of UofT, beginning with what brought him to study at UofT.

There exists an internet meme called MLIA which stands for My Life is Average, but if you were to have ever met me, you would know that my life is far from average.

I was born in Lanzhou, Gansu, China (People’s Republic of) in the fifth day of the fifth month – 1992, moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada when I was 5 years old with my parents, grew up there for most my life – having a forgettable elementary experience, forsaken junior high experience and an unforgettable high school experience, then arriving in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the age of 18. Which, by the way, I must point out that I went to the same high school as Marshall McLuhan, a famous alumnus of the University of Toronto – “Boundless Vision: Media Prophet ”. Anyway, I’m currently here at the U of T majoring in electrical/computer engineering and minoring in music history and culture. I have an intense and immense love for the arts, as I started playing piano when I was 8 years old, around the same time; I also took up drawing lessons, wrote a lot of fanfiction (fictional stories based on a fandom or more), sang in many choirs in high school, and performed at talent shows, etc. But, equally, I have a deep appreciation for the sciences and mathematics, as I’ve proven to be quite proficient in both. And finally, at around 8 years old, I converted to Christianity.

I chose to attend the University of Toronto for the following reasons: 1) it’s ranked number 1 for Applied Science and Engineering in all of Canada, 2) it’s within the top 20 for the same subject in all of the world, 3) I’ve grown rather tiresome of living in Winnipeg for 14 years of my life consecutively, which leads me to say 4) Toronto’s an alpha global city, which makes it an extremely dynamic place to explore yourself, 5) I wanted a change of pace, scenery and life, 6) I wanted an adventure, 7) living by myself would have been both a challenge and a thrill, 6) the close proximity of Toronto to other major cities in Canada makes it a very transportation friendly place to be, 9) the University of Toronto has Industrial Engineering, whereas the University of Manitoba doesn’t, and 10) the University of Toronto would have been a great launching pad for me to pursue a career outside of not only Winnipeg but Canada.

Ever since my journey here in Toronto began, I can say with all honesty that I don’t regret this choice at all. The strong emphasis on leadership, hyper international atmosphere, and sheer depth and breadth of what this city and university can offer is in simply… Boundless!