Don’t just “be” at Brock University

Education is a frustrating process that isn’t ending anytime soon. But for once, it actually is.

A lot of you readers may be entering your first year here at Brock University. You’ve gone through multiple stages of education so far, and for many of you, this will be your last. Some of you may go into further degrees or schooling in some way or another, but for nearly everyone, this is their last “first year” at school; it is be important to remember that.

Regardless of how many firsts you’ll have after this year, none of them will be quite like this; orientation is like the best parts of summer camp, but at school. You get the independance and ease of university life, with the ice breakers, games and swag — as in stuff we all get, not the recently colloquial interpretation– of a camp or resort. Despite how ever many job trainings and get-to-know-you’s that you may particpate in, keep in mind that this is the last “first day of school” for you; if that doesn’t make you inner child at least a little sad, then your inner-child is an brat.

Take advantage of the fact that you’re going to be building entirely new social circles. these people didn’t know youin high school, or from hockey, dance or whatever else your hometrown pastimes were. This is yet another chance to become a little bit more of the person you want people to see you as. That’s damn exciting, and it’ll only become more rare as you age.

Your time at school so far has been very much a “hurry up and wait” situation. You have to do well enough in elementary school so you could do well enough in middle school so you could do well enough in high school so you could get to university or college. You’ll notice a pattern, but more importantly, you’ll notice no mention of doing well in the post-secondary education. It’s all about getting there.

For years you’ve been progressing through your your education to get to a point where you can’t stop; this can be especially difficult to adjust in their first year. You’ve reached the horizon, something that you couldn’t entirely understand until you were already there.

The key is to turn into it. Take your momentum and keep on going.

It is all too easy in university to coast and become stagnant. The combination of things like living independently, away from home, with responsibilities resting on you alone can lead to students settling after first year, or even after the first semester.

As we are all very much products of our surroundings, people in their first semester at school can get overwhelmed by the fact that there are no immediate consequences to shirking responsibilities. No parent to wake you up when you decide to skip class and sleep in; no teacher to personally talk to you about why you need to hand in an essay on time; no mentor or guidance counsellor keeping you focused on goals or self-improvement. Don’t let these things become crutches for your laziness or listlessness.

Brock (and post-secondary education in general) offers very little to the passive. By status you are a student, but at least until the end of the semester you’ve only paid for that title; make sure you earn it. University offers a ridiculous amount of opportunity in every shape and size, but opportunity will mean nothing to you without you own agency.

So don’t just be at Brock; be a part of Brock.

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