Congratulations, Badgers. You’ve survived your first week of university. For many of you, this was likely your first week being on your own, and the first time that, proverbially, all the training wheels have come off. With this new-found freedom, many of you likely made some mistakes already, but overall, you’re stronger for it.
No doubt, you’ve already gathered that university is nothing like high school, but one thing that going to Brock will show you is just how different it is. As you learn more about different approaches to seeing and understanding the world, you’ll likely see just how imprisoned you were by the traditional education in a North-American high-school classroom.
Why did I use the word “imprisoned”? Because for all intents and purposes, traditional high-school classrooms look more like prisons than progressive educational institutions that facilitate learning.
You’re conditioned by the all-powerful school bell, classroom management techniques often look more like riot control, docility and obedience are the most valuable traits, and the only real goal put in-front of you, quite simply, is getting out. University however, is not like this. You have control over what you want to study, how you want to get involved, and you yourself can make profound changes to both the landscape of the university and the curriculum that is taught within.
Politicians are far too quick to present teens as careless and disconnected, when in fact the problem rests in the way society treats young people. There’s no transitional period. One day you’re not able to stay out past when the street lights come on and the next, the government deems you responsible enough to take out a small-mortgage-sized loan for school. It’s not surprising that most students don’t make use of their suddenly-granted rights to actively participate in the shaping of their future, community and livelihood.
Throughout Vendor Fair both myself and the rest of The Brock Press staff gave out water bottles, headphones, copies of the paper and asked students to write down some of the things they’d want to see in upcoming issues of The Brock Press, because after-all, this is a student newspaper. We had a large white-board on wheels and with your help, it was filled with suggestions of articles, topics, ideas for coverage, and more of what actual Badgers want to see represented in this publication. The ideas were great. They were thoughtful, clever and will be in the paper this year, I’ll make sure of it — except for the man who wrote “more coverage of ice-dancing” — that likely won’t happen.
Take this white-board as a symbol, only a minor fraction of the agency you’ll have as a young adult and university student. Build your own business, make your own club, make your student media your student media, and create a Brock that you’ll be proud of long after convocation in four year’s time.
Keep your eyes peeled for “Student Choice” articles and topics throughout The Brock Press this upcoming year. Every week we’re going to try to tackle one of the challenges and topics that you gave us at Vendor Fair. Of course, if you want to go above and beyond in making this paper yours, we’re always looking for contributors. Send an e-mail to Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in writing for us.