Whoever said absence makes the heart grow fonder was obviously lying. Absence from university does not make the heart grow fonder. In fact, saying goodbye to summer just makes our distaste for the demands of university grow stronger. While we’d love to write a hopeful and chirpy editorial about back to school thoughts, we at The Concordian thought it’d be best to be honest during this time of year.
If you’re looking for a happy editorial, you should probably stop reading now. Actually, scratch that––we’ll always welcome readers, both new and old. But, let’s be honest here: most of us aren’t happy about coming back to Concordia. And if you are happy, then well…that’s pretty great, actually. We’re happy for you. But for those of you who are in the same boat as us, let’s use this space to rant about how crappy this upcoming semester will be.
Let’s face it: most of us are probably going to end up with bad teachers––or worse, we’ll end up being forced to teach ourselves the material because our professors will read off of useless PowerPoints. Sometimes, Rate My Professor doesn’t do its job in helping us choose the best instructors. “Hot” and “Easy” aren’t good enough criteria at this point. Will our professors make us uncomfortable by making inappropriate jokes? Will they deduct points if our margins aren’t the right size?
As if that’s not stressful enough, most of us are probably scrambling to try and figure out what our next move is. Should we apply for that internship that seems too good to be true? Should we plan to get a master’s because our first undergrad seems to be completely useless? So many choices, yet so little motivation to pursue any of them.
And for those of us who actually do have side gigs at the same time as school, the word “balance” seems like a made-up term used by wizards. How are we expected to balance our work life and school life, when it feels like we don’t even have lives at all? Working our bottoms off at a part-time, minimum wage job to earn some money while simultaneously writing 14 pages for a one credit course is clearly an unrealistic expectation. Not only that, but our CV needs some “pizazz” too — we need volunteering experience, organization names and reference letters from people who are supposed to vouch for our crappy characters. Where do we find the time and energy for all of this?
The truth is, university isn’t always a fun time. And we should stop being expected to live our best lives at a time where everything just doesn’t seem that great. It’s okay to be mediocre, and it’s okay to strive for an average university experience. We don’t need to constantly sign up for organizations—we don’t need to put more on our plate than we can handle just so our CV looks great. We can be regular kids, who attend class (sometimes) and we should be okay with this. Whoever said university is supposed to be the best time of our lives was probably living in Finland, where education is actually considered to be the best. In reality, most of us aren’t having a great time. We’re acne-ridden, stressed, depressed and certainly not well-dressed.
In all seriousness though, having access to higher education is a privilege, one that we at The Concordian don’t take for granted. Having said that, returning to the world of academia can be daunting and discouraging. Take a deep breath, have a moment of silence for your impending student debt and know that you’re not alone in feeling a little hopeless at this time of year.
Graphic by Wednesday Laplante