If you’ve been anywhere close to the UTM Bookstore, you know what I’m talking about. It’s almost absurd the amount of money the textbooks cost, especially when you take in that they don’t come with a personal butler to carry them around for you. After all, the price isn’t the only hefty thing about them. A small positive I can take from this entire situation is that my biceps will have never been better by the end of this year.
When you’re standing at the cashier, almost in disbelief at the total, that’s when it hits you – you’re in university. Buying textbooks is a completely new experience, something we’ve never had to do before. And then you get the sickly feeling that this isn’t the only thing that’s startlingly different. You’d be right.
I laugh now, as I think back to my first day of grade nine, where I thought my high school was huge. My high school is currently the equivalent of one of the buildings on campus. The map of UTM has recently become my most prized possession, my savior, as I attempt to navigate the enormity of our school. It’s nerve-wracking, to be perfectly honest, trying to find my classes. It can be compared to having a treasure map; where X marks the spot is really ECO100. And the first clue to finding X is deciphering the building code. IB, DH, DV, KN, and on, and on – it can be overwhelming at first. But when you do find the class, the relief is palpable. So finally, you release the breath you had been holding.
There’s an old adage, saying that if you throw a child into the deep end, he will eventually learn how to swim. You could say us first years are being taught using that method. It can be chaotic, this transition. But, as the late Harold Wilson said, “He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” Don’t be afraid of the change; embrace it, as who knows where it will lead you.