As the countdown to the first day of school continues, I strive to make the best of the few rays of sunshine I have left as a class-free student. In other words, I haven’t woken up before noon once, Netflix has been thoroughly abused, and I’ve singlehandedly depleted the world’s Cheetos supply. I comfort myself with the assumption that plenty of teenagers spend their summer like me and the stories my mother tells of kids going to camp, to work, or leaving their rooms are just that – stories. But sometimes – during back-to-school commercials to be specific – I’m snapped out of my denial and I’m forced to embrace the fact that my summer is almost over and I’m about to embark on a brand new journey.
In order to avoid sounding like a high school graduation speech, I’ll skip the portion about the importance of university, the opportunity it presents, etcetera, etcetera. Instead, I’ll look at university from a freshman’s point of view. Extreme fear. Almost crippling fear. Slight nausea is also present – although that may be from the copious amounts of processed food. In short, it’s a feeling that everybody has experienced at least once in their lifetime.
But somewhere within that fear, somewhere deep within the fear, is excitement. I’m thrilled to start the school year, to experience new things, to meet new people. It’s yet another step towards independence, one I’ve been waiting to take since I entered high school. It’s that tiny flare of excitement that makes the fear bearable, because I know the fear will go away (at least until exam time) but the excitement will remain. I’ll always have a thirst to learn, to experience, and to meet. And that is something that will drive me through the next four years at UTM.
I’m walking into UTM with my eyes, heart and mind open. I can’t wait to become a part of this community and to walk to halls on a daily basis. In the meantime, however, I plan to continue my summer the way I started it; doing absolutely nothing. After all, as soon as school starts, there won’t be much time to be doing that.
I leave you all with the wise words of Andre Gide – “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.” Let UTM be that adventure.