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So it begins…

by The Concordian August 30, 2011

You have made it to Montreal. You have made it to the centre of town, and you are about to begin your life at Concordia University.
Take a good look around because before you know it, it will be over and you will be left wondering where it all went and why you didn’t go to the Jazz Fest once while you were in Montreal.
However, do not despair yet, as there are years between now and then and, if you heed some advice and be smart, you can get the most out of your education.
First thing, get a job. It doesn’t matter if you have a million-dollar scholarship or a millionaire mother or found $1 million like Bill Paxton in A Simple Plan. Getting a job will make you a better person and add to your three, four, five or six years at school.
You will be surrounded and consumed by the world that is Concordia, and developing an identity outside of that will only broaden your person.
Second thing, take advantage of as many festivals, galleries, events and concerts as possible, but also be careful. Montreal is the best city in Canada, and a gold mine of cultural experience and non-stop goings-on.
You can experience much, but the city can swallow you like the sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi. If you miss a show, a festival or a game between the Habs and the Canucks, don’t worry. There will be others.
Third, pace yourself. Start figuring out ways to manage time so that you won’t be one of the people stressing everyone else out with your complaints of how much work you have to do.
If you have six books to read in a term, read one in the first week.
On that note, if you do have to read six books in a term, thank your teacher. You will be better for it if you don’t complain and do the work to the best of your ability. Students used to have to read a lot more than you do now, so get over it.
Fourth, everyone is working, everyone is trying, everyone is studying, and you are just another one of the cogs that make up the machine. All work will get done if you want it to get done.
Talk to students in other programs, and you might learn something; I’m looking at you, engineering students.
Your discipline will not give you all the answers in the universe no matter how bold your teachers’ claims are.
Stay in Montreal for the summer. You do not need to go home and save on rent or visit your family. Montreal is the coolest place in the world in the summer, and to miss it is to miss a great party.
Finally, read Ulysses by James Joyce.  If there is one thing that anyone can do, and that you can permanently wear like a badge of honour and battle, it is to read Ulysses.
You’ll thank me later.

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