What marks a new year? Is it the turn of calendar page? A 10 second count down? A champagne toast on January 1st with all the glitz and glamour a girl in her early 20s could hope for? Maybe. But to me, nothing says New Year like the start of term and a few new pretty gold and pink editions to your handy organizing stationery (think girly planners and overpriced Kate Spade pens). The end of vacations, travels, warmth, and inevitable laziness…the 'new year' is marked by the time your hustle-mode is in full swing - when lounging in the sun is no longer an option (unless, of course, there is an impromptu trip to the Caribbean. Or perhaps, an unexpected heat-wave mid-October) and when it's time to buckle down and get real again.

Hello September.

We grew up on the notion that September marked the next year. A fresh start at school, the end of (or in this Toronto '17 case, barely existent) summer, and the opportunity to do and experience life (see: examinations) better than the previous year. Nothing makes a girl who spent 20+ years of her life in Western education feel like the imprint of "do some work now" is marked by any month other than September. Except perhaps, the six-month-mark of March in which we cram for midterms, final essays, juries, and major examinations. 

This September, I find myself spending most days in little cafe corners or sipping (anxiety inducing) lattes on patios with only my laptop for company. It’s been a rather remarkable turn since just a few weeks back. The summer was ridden with procrastination as one rushes to enjoy the small window of warmth granted to us - and after all the Casa Loma events, happy hour patios, and long walks towards various food destinations, my mind has finally returned to the state in which it loves to love/hate best: non-stop-think-about-your-work-mode. *In such case, think and 'stress' are synonymous. 

And so, the work load begins. I will admit it has been bizarre now that there is no longer a concrete schedule to follow. As much as we love to complain about University work-loads, in a way, they provided us with a sense of (if anything, temporary) purpose. An hourly schedule, for a gal like me, is perhaps the quickest way out of any stress-inducing over contemplation. School loads provided a sort of outlet from all of that - there was always a sense of urgency, followed by the relief of having completed set tasks. There was never nothing to do or nowhere to go, always someone to understand where your vents are coming from and to experience both misery and success unanimously. “Hang Outs” were spent at various library corners, late nights at Robarts, and ‘coffee runs’ were programmed right when we needed a well deserved break.

Yet inevitably, we graduate. Life continues and one must learn that creating your own schedule, with no one on your back but you, is no easy task. But through your passions, goals, and dreams, it is easily attainable. For me, this is where art comes in. There is no greater motivator than creating, growing, and sharing your art.

As artists, we are always evolving. Continually striving for perfection - the next "best thing," the newest way to innovate further. Figuring out how to turn old ideas into something unique and expand our knowledge further. Pushing the boundaries of our capabilities until there is a looming intimidation. The uncertainty of "can this be accomplished" - the burning, aching desire of total success - demolishing goals like there is no tomorrow. Now that is the "cutting edge" we strive for. Only by breaking the barriers set forth in our mind and embedded by our preconceived notions can we ever come close.

Let’s go do great things. 

Bon Voyage 

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