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Updated on Wednesday, October 29

#20017

OMG: I first thought that getting a co-op job in Toronto would be great. I'd get to see downtown (and I did), try out different foods (that too), and check out festivals. This is just a rant, but its getting harder everyday to keep myself in check. Nowadays I feel so isolated and lonely away from my family, friends, and boyfriend.

The novelty of the big city wore off, and I find myself feeling so unhappy without the closest people around me. My relationship is on the line, and my family and friends aren't here. While I've met other co-op students, they live outside downtown Toronto, and they commute everyday. Meeting and maintaining friendships are much harder now, now that the days are shorter and I can't afford to walk by myself in the dark without feeling completely terrified.

I wish there was some kind of co-op support group or program. Especially with the issue of finding four-month leases (I was lucky). Developing an initiative where one-year leases are signed, and depending on the term, you would take over a certain timeframe with other rotating Waterloo co-op students so you wouldn't be so lonely (or have so much trouble finding four-month places). Or even on-campus info sessions about certain cities and where to buy passes, finding living places, taking public transit, etc. Co-op connection has been alright, though I feel terrible for those who are under the drinking age since all the events have been 19+. My rant turned out longer than I thought... but yeah. Is anyone else having issues too? I'd love to get your input!

17 comments

  1. Try to get involved around UofT or Ryerson. Use their gym, or join a club, and use that to make some friends.

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  2. Support for students doing co-op in other cities, and especially small towns in the middle of nowhere that nobody's heard of, is important. I know people who worked as far as Ottawa who said the transition was pretty easy for them but it differs from person to person.

    I just graduated with co-op and I'm now living downtown by myself for my new school. The commuting friends thing is true and I did start feeling lonely as the novelty of living downtown wore off, but I'm now doing extra curricular stuff to keep myself busy.

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  3. People get co-op jobs in places far away from family and friends all the time. I'm working in Sasksatoon this term. At least you have Toronto to explore and distract yourself. I would trade places with you in a second. Same amount of loneliness but actually stuff to do. I do feel for you in terms of finding a place to live for four months though. That's always difficult, and I would imagine more so in a big city.
    I'm going to work extra hard next term to find a co-op job in Toronto.

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  4. Quit your complaining I am in another country (not USA). its hard but you get used to it, and its only a short period of time relatively. If your relationship cant last 4-8 months without physical presence then you have bigger problems my friend. Also see if your friends want to come over or something, this might give you something to look forward to.

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  5. No I enjoy being in a new place

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  6. I've done that very same thing four times now. Call home regularly, distract yourself by developing hobbies, find reasons to make new friends, and stop whining. Loneliness is a product of your own inability to adapt.

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  7. Don't listen to others OP, big cities are very isolating. I've lived in Toronto for awhile now and technically I do a lot more than I did in Waterloo, but I feel much more alone. There's too many people with too different backgrounds to make a lasting connection, and everyone's always busy anyway. Doing things alone, while entertaining, draws attention to your loneliness, while not doing things makes you feel like you're wasting opportunities. Point is, you're far from alone, and at least it's only for another 2-6 months most likely.

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  8. OP, the trouble is not so much with your environment itself as much it is your perception of it. The problems you described only exist because you allow them to. There really are no such things as problems. Just events. "Shit happens". It your thoughts and your mental labeling of your situation that is causing you to suffer. You are attempting to externalize your happiness. "I'm not happy because my relationship is on the line, because I am lonely, etc etc" That is no way to live! Be happy because you CHOOSE to be happy. Be happy unconditionally, regardless of what your life situation currently is. Ultimately you must look within yourself for peace and happiness. Not outside, not at others. Nothing and no one is permanent and so if you depend your happiness on external things, you are only setting yourself up for suffering. Your situation is also impermanent by the way... You are halfway through co-op! So keep your chin up, be happy because you choose to be happy, do not associate with your thoughts because you are not your thoughts, you simply observe your thoughts; they are phenomena, another type of experience. Soon you will be back with your usual family and friends. Take the time now to do something different. Pick up a hobby or a skill. The world is your oyster and any limitations exist solely because you choose it to be that way.

    Something to make you think... if you were placed in paradise it wouldn't be long before you said "yes but...".

    If you like my comments perhaps check out The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Great books, helped me so much :)

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  9. OP here! I was kind of worried about posting this on omguw, cause I knew there would've been a slew of people telling me that I should be grateful, stop whining, etc.

    To those who responded encouragingly, thank you very much for your input! It cheered me, and you're right- I only have two months left and I know what to expect now for my later co-op terms. To others, I've have gone to the gym, and even checked out some clubs on other university campuses. The thing is that while I live in Toronto (kind of isolated though), I don't live right in the heart of Toronto- so trying to make long-lasting impressions with different students and keep in contact is hard. While I go home and rest, they are in the library studying. And since days are shorter, I don't plan on walking home so late in the dark.

    But I've been very lucky to have the opportunity to work at a placement I enjoy, in a city that has almost everything. As I said before, this is mostly a rant. Some people have a good time, some people don't. At least I know what to expect now for the future... Though having some sort of four-month lease program would be nice for students. Four month sublets are hard to find!

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  10. Hi,
    Just so you know we are listening in terms of feedback from the Co-op Connection service. In the future, we are going to ensure all funded events are open to everyone! Hang in there and thank you for your feedback.

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    Replies
    1. great. the sooner the better. winter is coming.

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  11. i recommend joining student clubs of your interest at any of the toronto universities :) i did that while working in another city away from home and made some friends that way!

    also there may be some events for waterloo co-ops in toronto on this fb group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/618762398231938/

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    1. thanks. what is the name of the group? the link you gave doesn't work. thanks!!

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  12. SO FUCKING RUDE. APOLOGIZE. U DID THIS TO HIM.

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  13. OK listen. Breakdowns happen. I had to live away from fam and friendz while i was away at school. I also stood out like a sore crap. It takes GIANT BALLZ to reach out to your community like that.

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