I was talking to a young person who moved to Toronto a year ago and was surprised to hear about her life here. She lives with a relative, and her day consists of going to work, going home, doing chores and the going to bed … most weekends she heads out of town and back to her home town.
There is so much for a young person to do in a city like Toronto that it struck me as a lost opportunity to NOT get out and experience life.
Certainly we all make our own life decisions and my choices might not be the same as the next person, but I have to believe that we get more out of life when we engage with society.
“Life is for participating, not for spectating.” Kathrine Switzer
If I were new to Toronto (or any city), short on friends then what might I do?
1. Join a team. There are a million types of activities that look for participants at every level of capability … just getting together with others play is a good thing. Soccer, basketball, beach volleyball, baseball, rugby, rowing, biking, dragon boat racing, badminton, hockey and a million other such opportunities.
2. Join some kind of club. A choir, a debating society, a book club, toastmasters, wine club, cooking club, dancing club etc.
3. Take some “non-job related” courses. Culinary classes, sommelier courses, carpentry, automotive maintenance, learn a language or check out the local colleges for a myriad of ideas.
4. Get involved with a charity/not for profit. Help out at a shelter, work with children, older people, others that need help. Join committees that organise charitable events.
5. Start your own network. There are lots of ways to identify people with similar interests … it could be an alumni group, a “home town” group, a “soccer supporters” group or any such thing. Invite them to get together … because they are all feeling just like you!
Don’t let life drift by without taking advantage of at least some of the many opportunities open to you!
“We always hear about the rights of democracy, but the major responsibility of it is participation.” Wynton Marsalis