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Convocation 2013: meet Sarah Munawar

Student blogger reflects on life at U of T

Sarah Munawar (right) with fellow student bloggers at Convocation Hall (photo by U of T News)
The University of Toronto may have done a lot for student blogger Sarah Munawar, but she worked hard to return the favour.
While exploring political theory, her academic passion, Munawar sought ways to make campus better for her peers, working as a First-Year Learning Community (often known as FLC) Philosophy Peer Mentor, a Student Life Ambassador and as a member of the Ethics, Society and Law Students’ Association.
Munawar was also involved in Because I am a Girl (U of T) and The Underwear Club (a campus group dedicated to collecting basic necessities for GTA communities in need).

Munawar receives her bachelor of arts degree June 18 with a double major in Political Science and Ethics, Society and Law and a minor in writing. U of T News asked Munawar to share memories of her four years at U of T – and reflect on what her future will hold.

Back-to-back meetings at the Buttery, endless philosophizing on Philosopher's Walk, essaying marathons at Graham, patio lounging at Sid Smith, falling in love with the way Old Vic looks at night, zumba classes at the AC...the way the last four years of my life have unfolded within the confines of College, Spadina, Bloor and Bay is astonishing!

Professors, lifelong friends, TAs...I am most grateful for the lovely souls I met at U of T who kept the walls of my heart from collapsing when giving up seemed like the only option. There is something different about my walk now. In first year, I remember the way my knees buckled in front of Convocation Hall in fear of being swallowed whole.

I've learned that it’s not about knowing exactly where we are going; it’s about finding solace in the fact that we are going. And now when I gaze into the unknown, into the abyss, I don't get paralyzed...I say “challenge accepted”.

One of my favourite memories from my undergrad is hyper-preparing for a political theory tutorial for POL200 and thinking, "One day I'm going to say something new and important about this stuff and minds will be blown." This was after I spent four sleepless nights conducting an exegesis of Plato's Republic in search of the esoteric.  

The first time I read Hegel in POL320, I literally got heart palpitations in excitement. And the way Arendt was introduced to me in POL330 and the connection I felt to her writing at first read is something I will always remember.

I fell in love with political theory at U of T. And after a few experimental readings of Hegel and Nietzsche in POL381, I knew that this was where I belonged. Taking a graduate course taught by Professor Ronald Beiner just topped off my experience at U of T and was the perfect launch pad for the narrative of my becoming. 

After spending a month learning German at the University of Konstanz, I will be off to the University of British Columbia to complete a master of arts (Political Theory). My dream is to do my PhD and teach political theory one day.

I can't tell you what I want to be, but I can tell you what excites my spirit and what I want to do! And for the first time in my life, I'm taking a risk and following my heart!