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|| Student ||


I was good at science but I wanted to pursue something that my filled heart and not just my brain and my pockets.

— Khadijah

I’m studying theatre at UofT St. George. I’m still trying to decide on my minor, but I’ve listed Visual Studies and Spanish. I am a receptionist at the Design Exchange. The president, VP and most of the high level executives are women. It’s awesome.

Is there something you’re worried about?

My dad wanted me to become a doctor or filter into a scientific path. I chose arts. It’s really just keeping the faith that I can make it; that I can create a living for myself and support a family. My fear of course is that I won’t be able to or that I made the wrong choice. I was good at science but I wanted to pursue something that filled my heart and not just my brain and my pockets.

Happiest moment?

Oh gosh, right now there’s a hazy picture in my head. I’m a child. It’s sunny and I’m with my mom. We used to live in Scarborough, and at the time, we walked everywhere. In my neighbourhood, there were typical bungalows, but there was also a house that looked like Aladdin’s castle. Even doves perched there. It was such a contrast from the other houses.

Scarborough has its’ rundown parts, but there was something about that white house — the vibrance and fresh energy. That’s what it felt like for me. “People live in this?” I thought. Before such a place was a foreign concept; something you talked about or saw in movies. Passing that house made me think, “wow, maybe I can have my own piece of the world someday.”

Visit the past or future?

I’d go to the past. I wouldn’t want to see my future. I enjoy every moment that leads to the next. I want to understand more of my culture, where I am and where I came from. A lot of history is written by the victors. My history has been diluted or wiped away.

Is there a place in Toronto that you feel connected to?

I commute, so I spend a lot of time in transit. Twenty minutes can go by and nothing happens. You put a lot of trust in the system. Sometimes it lets you down. Today I started my shift at 11:30am but I was here at 9:00am because you just don’t know when you’re going to arrive. I use the TTC a lot. In a sense, it’s a source of inspiration. So many different people use it. Some wear suits and some are just chilling where are they going? The conversations and the look in their eyes some look dead. Where have they been? What did they put themselves through today?

Something you’re looking forward to?

I don’t wanna get sappy, but I’d say marriage and having a family. I have sisters that are young and I’m watching them grow up. A family is positive; it’s your community and everything you work for.

Portrait photos: 501 Queen Streetcar