Don’t let the title fool you; I have no regrets about my last four years spent at this school- in fact, every minute of this degree has been filled with adventures, conversations, interactions and life lessons. In the same breath, when I look back on everything that’s happened, I think of all the things I could have done. If hindsight is 20-20, then reflection is four-infinty, as in, four years, an infinite amount of possibilities. So here is a list of things that I wish I would have done and why. I hope that any of you who still have even a little time left at Brock make your list much earlier than I did.
Gone to my professors’s office hours: I’ve gotten to know my professors from having smaller seminars in fourth-year and that has made all the difference in how I approached my classes. No longer were my readings about just absorbing the information, rather it became reading an article and seeing what questions I wanted an expert to clarify. And, the phrase “professors are people too” became really evident. Seriously, go talk to them. They are good at what they do.
Take better care of myself: This is one of those over-arching concepts: the little changes that I’ve come to learn make all the difference in my week. If I would have tailored my studying around my specific learning style, or gone to listen for feedback on my papers, the “school” part of school would have been that much easier. If I would have started making more weekly meals on Sunday nights I probably would be heathier and enjoyed my meals, rather than relying on grab and go food. If in second year I learned to take more time for myself, realizing that solitude is a form of battery recharging, it would have been easier to manage those midterm packed weeks. If I would have recognized that I needed to ask for support, maybe I would have been able to be a better version of myself.
Kept everything I had to hand in: Seeing a pile of all that work would have probably been really motivating when I was writing papers in the early hours of the morning. Plus, I would have more authentic pieces of paper that accurately showcase work better than I imagine my graduation diploma will.
Spellcheck more: and maybe read my papers over more than once. That’s just a good life rule.
Print off pictures instead of using Facebook or Instagram to reminisce: hard copies are worth a thousand words. Social media, schmosal shmeedia.
Branch out to make more friends. Don’t get me wrong, I have some good ones, but who doesn’t want to expand their catalogue of good people? Never again will I be in such a centralized area of young minds who want to be engaged in their community as much as I do. Apparently, in the “real world”, it’s hard to make friends, as compared to this little bubble where one compliment or comment can spark a conversation and find you a new friend (at least to stand in line with for 20 minutes).
Not given him/her/them a second chance. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I’ve really learned that life is short, don’t waste it with people who hinder it rather than enrich it.
Save more money. That just sounds like an adult thing to do.
Gotten involved sooner. Whether it was going to events, talking to people tabling in Mackenzie Chown or even voting in a student election, being involved with school made it easier to want to come to school. Unfortunately I didn’t learn that until this year. This is especially the case with The Brock Press. In my one year of my Internal News Position, I have had higher marks, busier (in a good way) days, thousands of laughs per week, so many new people to befriend or work with and every Tuesday something to look forward to when I saw my own name in ink, the stories of people I felt needed to be heard and the articles written by some of the most hardworking and influential people I’ve ever known.
My advice to anyone reading; let your years of University be a metaphor for the rest of you life- take time to learn, meet new people, work hard, play harder and overall try your best, knowing there’s a light (and a graduation ceremony) at the end of every tunnel, and the meantime is the time to grow.