The First Photo I Took at Ryerson

For many, the transition into university life is at times daunting – matched with excitement and anxiety. It can offer a unique and interesting perspective on the beginning of their university life. The first few weeks are filled with new people, new engagements, and new experiences which add to the overall curiosity of going to university.

In this digital age, people are incredibly prone to post these new experiences to social media – a shaky-hand photo in the middle of a Frosh concert, an embarrassing selfie from a Pitman party with new friends, or even just a photo of a one-legged pigeon captioned #OnlyAtRyerson. We have all probably taken a photo that defines our reaction to the beginning of our university experience. So we asked our masthead at Folio to share their first photo they took when they came to Ryerson, along with a little bit of context so you, our audience, can enjoy them.

Kelsey Adlem — Fashion and Lifestyle Editor

“This photo was taken on Sept. 15, 2016 (according to my photos app) at the Ryerson’s Fashion’s Night Out event at Orchid Nightclub. The girl that lived next door to me in residence invited me to go with her and her friends. I don’t really remember much about the first week of classes but I did have a lot of fun! Now I spend most of my time studying, but have plenty exciting memories from first year to make up for it… haha…”


Charles Buckley — Managing Editor

“I took this when I was still finding my way around Ryerson. In the time since, I learned where things are and those sunglasses melted.”


Naomi Chen — Podcast Editor, Foliphonic

“This was taken at the RoadToRyerson frosh kick-off at Lake Devo. I had just gotten to the new residence, HOEM, a day ago and I was really excited to meet new friends. I became friends with this group of people, and I remember getting ice cream with them afterwards.”


Ethan Jakob Craft — Editor-in-Chief

“Before I owned a jacket and knew the perils of ice that’s not in your freezer, my mother and I flew from the Arizona desert to Toronto in December 2015 — at -2° Celsius with a 15 per cent chance of snow in the forecast, it was the most brutal winter I’d ever seen at that time. The trip was mostly to celebrate Chanukah with my extended family, but its secondary purpose was to scope out my potential new school. And, at my mother’s insistence, I interrupted our self-guided campus tour and shuffled out onto the ice covering Lake Devo, shivering cold, and smiled for my first photo at Ryerson.”


Raizel Harjosubroto — Head of Social Media

“This was taken by one of my now best friends, Neha Chollangi. We had just finished an 8 a.m. class in our first semester of university and having never really drinking coffee before, I thought now was the time to try. I hated it. And I still hate coffee, but I’ll occasionally drink a small double-double from Tim’s because university has slowly sucked the life out of me — in a good way!”


Elton He — Head of Finance

“Not sure if this was the first pic, but this was when I was in residence having a small group study session. It means a lot because these three special people helped me settle in and feel as comfortable as possible after moving literally 3,000 miles away from home. We were always goofing around and shared a lot of laughter and stressful times together. A genuine appreciation for them! The best people I’ve had the pleasure to meet!”


Larry Heng — Head of Photography

“My first month at Ryerson, I was still commuting from my hometown Caledon, Ont. while most of my high school friends, who had chosen to go to school in Toronto, had all found a place in residence or were renting an apartment downtown. Feeling incredibly distant, I never got to put myself out there, go to parties, or feel like I was experiencing the typical university lifestyle. This photo was taken during Frosh week, with some friends from high school, at one of their condos near campus. A younger Larry sits on the railing, sporting his School of Journalism hoodie, smiling through the pain of knowing that he’s paying $30 for overnight parking and sleeping on his friend’s couch for the night because he doesn’t want to go home at 10 p.m. Immediately after this night, I literally never made the effort to see these friends, but still blurted out an occasional ‘yo’ on Gould Street.”


Moosa Imran — Podcast Editor, Gone Full Circle

“The first photo I took at Ryerson (that I’m comfortable sharing): I’m not sure if it was a story day or we were just on assignment, I saw a man walking a ferret on the Ryerson campus.”


Emma Johnston-Wheeler — Ideas Co-Editor

“Visiting Ryerson for one of the first times to meet up with Larry Heng, who I met through the Class of 2020 – Accepted Facebook page! Taken right after we ran into a man who commented on our shared Ryerson Journalism sweater, then proceeded to tell us that he had graduated from the same program, and that his career never took off. Super encouraging!”


Andrea Josic — Arts Co-Editor

“Absolutely ecstatic to be at university, I attended every frosh event possible. This photo was taken of me and Victoria Cunningham, a girl from my frosh group that I had met that day. We got to decorate posters before heading to a Rams basketball game and I was way. too. excited. I was so excited about Ryerson that I spent the entire day running around frosh events, trying to meet as many people as I could. I quickly learned Ryerson was not a university with school spirit as I yelled Ryerson chants down Gould Street and nobody joined in. Despite that, I remained enthusiastic throughout the entire week and met people that were equally high-spirited and outgoing. And now, three years in, you bet I’m still over the moon to be at Ryerson.”


Mariyam Khaja — Ideas Co-Editor

“If I didn’t realize it before, university taught me that sleep is a beautiful thing… and a hard commodity to come by during midterm and exam season. It wasn’t that I was an obsessive procrastinator or that I didn’t study hard enough, but rather it was just a matter of getting used to university life and academics. Thus began my love affair with Tim Hortons’ French vanillas, a shining beacon of light in my 8 a.m. lectures and four-hour journalism labs. I suspect we’re in it for the long run.”


Nuha Khan — Arts Co-Editor

“My first experience as a journalist took place at Ryerson University inside Ryerson Students’ Union building, reporting on a referendum vote to provide funds for two equity service centres. The day had been a roller-coaster of emotions, but it marked the start of my passage through journalism and close friendship with Ashley Alagurajah, a fellow journalist.”


Michael Maksimenko — Fiction Editor

You may recognize Michael’s photo from Folio’s “About” page. He has allegedly never taken a single picture on campus, and he has suggested that this headshot, taken at the start of his third year, may be the first and only photo of him physically at Ryerson to ever exist. Let’s start a Gofundme to buy Michael a camera.


Denise Paglinawan — Business and Technology Editor

“I’m not really one to take or post photos, so it took me a while finding one from my first year at Ryerson. This photo was taken at an orientation of a campus group I joined two years ago. Fun fact: beside me is Folio’s former editor-in-chief Celina Gallardo.”


Julianna Perkins — Production Manager

“One of the first photos I took after moving to Toronto that was not just a drunken party selfie was a picture of The One, The Only, Leonardo DiCaprio. You’re probably wondering how I ever finessed that interaction. The truth is, I had no idea what was going on. Having freshly moved out east from Vancouver at the ripe age of 18, I didn’t know what TIFF was. Back home we had VIFF, but it was small and kind of dinky and I figured TIFF was similar. So when friends invited me to join them to check out the festivities on King Street and go “star-spotting,” I was particularly skeptical. We showed up and I just followed my new friends around as they somehow got us into a “fan zone” across from the Princess of Wales theatre, front and centre. We waited a bit and to be honest I had no idea what, or who, we were waiting for. They told me that DiCaprio’s new documentary, Before the Flood, was about to have its world premiere. “Surely,” I thought, “Leonardo DiCaprio is not going to come here.” Enter a row of black sedans and next thing I knew; I was face to face with the man himself. In a moment of sheer, overwhelmed panic, I snapped a picture and stupidly saved it only with my frenzied, profanity-laden Snapchat caption. I regretted it in the moment but now I look back and laugh because I think it perfectly encapsulates how I felt right then. Sept. 9, 2016 shall live in infamy (if only in my mind).”


Seager Wakil — Art Director

“This here is one of the first photos of me at Ryerson in September 2016. It was during Orientation Week, where I was uncomfortably adapting to the new environment for several days. It’s funny how much can change in two years; I no longer pose like that and now I love being here on campus!”


Aurora Zboch — Head of Marketing and Events

“To make a long story short, I won a T-shirt for being the fastest to put a condom on a cucumber. It was at Frosh during one of those sex-ed seminars and I was chosen to play a game which, it turns out, meant demonstrating the proper use of a condom. With only your mouth. When I heard my competition groan in defeat upon learning the task at hand (or not), I knew I had it in the bag. The crowd cheered me on as my partner held it steady and I successfully unfurled a flavoured prophylactic over that poor piece of produce. So marked my year of many firsts at Ryerson University.”