Tuesday, December 1, 2015

What I Learned in University

It's the last week of my undergrad! Woooooohoooo! I know I haven't blogged in a while but I figured my future self would be pretty upset if I didn't blog about the completion of my university degree. I thought I would document some of the lessons I picked up along the way.

First, I want to thank my parents who were able to finance my degree. Thanks to my dad who paid for most of my tuition, and thanks to my mom for supporting me in ways she was by no means obliged to. She paid for the majority of my cell phone bill, my train pass, big portions of my vacations, in addition to, of course, providing my housing and food. All I had to pay for is Netflix, new clothes, and socializing. I know I'm privileged to be subsidized by my parents when many my age are struggling and in debt. The lesson here is to acknowledge and be grateful for the help I've received. Thanks, parentals.

Second, I learned to stop denying my intellectual ability. In CEGEP, my strategy for getting good grades was to anticipate what the prof might want and replicate it to the best of my ability. This rarely led to any grade better than a B. In university, I decided I was smart enough to take chances with my assignments. I decided to have faith in my intellect and it paid off. I've been pulling straight As since the second year of my undergrad when I decided change my approach to school. Writing about what you like and what you think is much more rewarding and fun than having to write about boring topics that you don't feel connected to. Profs (good ones at least) recognize when a student takes risks with their writing and they grade accordingly. It's nice.

Speaking of good profs, I learned that not all profs are good. Some are arrogant and condescending. Some are so worried about academic bureaucracy that they forget what their job is. I had one prof that was so hell-bent on not giving As that no matter how hard you worked, how often you consulted the TA and got professional feedback on your work, you were doomed to a B+ at best. It's demoralizing. Bless McGill students who have to go through this on a regular basis.

I learned to reeelaaaxx about the future. Ever since high school it's been clear that I should be focused on one thing only: $$$. At this point, many of my friends are discouraged, anxiety-ridden, and stressed beyond belief about what they're going to do when they graduate. This is no bueno. I decided that I need to chill out a bit so as to not have a head full of greys before I hit 25. We live in a time that glorifies hard work, which is not to say hard work is a bad thing, but it serves to make those who are not constantly working feel incredibly guilty. We're trying so hard to transcend the notion that millennials are lazy and useless, that we're overworked and tired beyond belief. I refuse.

Finally, I learned that I need to celebrate my accomplishments more. Over the course of three years I completed an internship, secured a position that paid more than minimum wage, QUIT said position because I realized it wasn't making me happy, took my time to complete my major without stressing the hell out, and completed a minor along with it. I made Dean's List. My GPA is nearly a 4.0. I'm more socially and politically aware than I've ever been. My friendships are stronger than they've ever been. My bank account isn't in the negatives. I'm a small business owner. Am I on the road to riches? Who knows, but right now I'm good. It's all good and I'm proud of myself.

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