Here it is, folks. The fall semester is coming to a close. Soon we will all be in the throes of final exams. The freshmen – myself included – are wandering the halls in a sort of academia-induced coma. Instead of responsibly studying for aforementioned finals, I’ve decided to take time to reflect on what I’ve learned in my first semester at the University of Regina.
I learned that I’m not as critical a thinker as I thought I was. I also learned that S, M, and P are probably my three favourite letters in the entire alphabet. I learned that Marxism had some pretty neat ideas about the media, and I also learned that the Leader-Post and the Globe & Mail have a not-so-subtle-right-wing bias.
I learned to once again hate almost everything about the English language, and my resolve to learn German is now stronger than ever. I learned to fear technology – especially when microphones are concerned – and to appreciate the joys of a masterful Japanese woodblock print. Finally, I learned that – much to the chagrin of my father – my selected major isn’t a waste of time. As a film studies major, I learned that a good film can be as much a work of art as van Gogh’s Starry Night or Michelangelo’s David.
If you’ve stuck with me thus far, then congratulations; there was more fluff there than in a marshmallow factory. But allow me to get a little bit more hard-nosed as I tell you what else I learned in my first semester here. I learned that what they tell you in high school – that your experience is your own and that you’re being prepared for real life – it’s all bullshit. I learned more in my first hour here than I did in four years of high school.
University is a living, breathing beast where everyone reacts differently and behaves differently. High school is a prison compared to this place. There is little to no room for the film, business, or journalism student to thrive in high school. It’s everyone into the education pool, sink or swim. There is no room to specialize in high school at all.
Lucky for us in Regina, we have a world-class post-secondary campus right in our backyards. The large, bustling student body ensures that almost everyone has a niche that they can fill. The university has done wonders for me, changing me from a social introvert to an outgoing and engaged student. If you haven’t taken the ample opportunity to get involved, I strongly recommend that you reconsider. Join the student society of your faculty, take in some quality entertainment, try one of every beer in the imports section, hell, even write for the Carillon. Your university experience really is what you make of it. And remember to stay calm and chive on. We’re all in this together, after all.