cookieOptions = {...}; secondhand rose: PERSONAL/ Ontario College Strike 2017

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

PERSONAL/ Ontario College Strike 2017

I wasn't going to talk about this on my blog because I couldn't find the words to explain my feelings toward this situation.

I'm still finding it difficult, but I'm going to try.

I moved to Toronto in September for college. The college that I attend, and the rest of the colleges in the province of Ontario, have been on strike since October 15th. It has been an entire month.

I quit my job and left my stable life in Ottawa to start over. I knew that going to school would help me succeed so it was a step that I was eager to make. I thought that all of the sacrifices that I had to make would pay off. I chose a program in Toronto because it was exactly what I was looking for and I knew there would be more opportunities for work in my chosen filed once I graduate. Toronto is a city that I adore but it is an expensive one - it is a city that I would never be able to afford to live in without the help of either student loans or a well paying job (that I'm hoping to work toward with the help of a post secondary education and the connections that I'll make in college).

I calculated how much I've spent since moving to Toronto. This includes my tuition for the semester, my rent until December (which is supposed to be the end of this semester and including the last month's rent that I had to pay upon signing my lease) and the metro passes that I've bought so far (because school can resume at any moment and I'll need to get there somehow) - that number is $5721.29. That's not including actual moving fees or the price of laundry/food/day to day expenses, the lost wages from my quitting my job to move here or the monthly fee that I pay for my Adobe Creative Cloud that I'm supposed to be using for schoolwork.

$5721.29+ is a lot of money for me personally to lose out on if the semester ends up being completely lost (I'm hoping that it's not) and it's difficult for me to not feel bitter about this. The whole issue of not knowing a firm date on when we will return to class is wreaking havoc on my mental health; my anxiety is sky high and my depression has hit a low. I know that this is something that I have to live through and I'm trying my best to make it through but it is hard. It's overwhelming, it's exhausting and it seems to be the only thing that people want to talk to me about. And I hate talking about it. I never know what to say about this situation. I'm not even going to get into my past experiences with post secondary education because that's a story for another time, but being out of school this early on in the semester is bringing up a lot from my past and it's draining. My emotions are all up in the air and my thoughts on this subject change constantly; one second I support the strike, the next I'm upset about it. There isn't much that I can do about this situation and I can't stand the feeling of not being in control of this part of my life.

I encourage other students that are affected by this strike to speak out and share their stories as well. I have read a lot online about the faculty and what they are fighting for and against - but I haven't read much from the students or about what we are currently going through. Our stories matter. There are 500,000 students that are affected. We have to have our voices heard.

I empathize with the faculty who are striking and at the end of the day I do support them but the students are losing a lot. It feels like we are forgotten in all of this. None of this is fair for any of the parties involved and we all deserve better than this.

Current reading (15/11/17) and more information about the strike:
Students start class-action lawsuit against colleges over ongoing strike
ODESPU urges Ontario colleges' striking faculty to reject offer as vote set to begin - general information on why they're striking
OPSEU (the union's) - information on why they're striking and they're actions

This started out as a Twitter rant today but I decided to chronicle this in my blog because I'm hoping for my blog to be more of a reflection of my life. And this is my life. Since this technically is a fashion blog I'm going to be adding in some outfit pictures at the bottom of this page. This is a dress that I bought while on strike and these pictures were taken in my hometown of Ottawa when I visited during the start of the strike. I'm writing this blog post from my bedroom in Toronto.

HANDBAG/ Rebecca Minkoff SHOES/ Vans

Photos by Laura Kidd and Michael Tundo


  1. oh strike for the entire month:( it really seems very long. isn't? the photos you shared are nice and you are looking pretty in this outfit. well, i wish you very good luck in your future.

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