A personal account of finding yourself at college
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
Fall is an exciting and fast-paced time of year for students, whether this is your first semester at Douglas, or your tenth.
I know this sounds incredibly lame and generic, but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of trying new things and getting out there.
Often, Douglas College gets labeled as a commuter school; in other words, somewhere you go to attend your classes, leave as soon as they’re over, and walk out two to four years later with an expensive piece of paper.
Thus, I digress into my own personal story.
I started at Douglas two years ago, fresh out of high school. I knew I had an inkling for politics, law, and writing, so I figured pursuing an Associates with a specialization in Political Science was a good start. I had no idea what I was going to do with it though—after all, I could go into anything from law, to public relations, to parliament.
I went to New Student Orientation, FROSH (later renamed to EDGE), and the Douglas Student Union. These were all fun places to be, but I still felt that something was missing from the college experience.
I guess that’s why I found myself at Room 1020 on a late August evening. I shuffled in quietly and hid myself behind an issue of the Other Press. I had a few people notice and talk to me, but I don’t remember muttering more than a few words, and found myself darting out the door as soon as the meeting was over.
Yet I kept coming back. I began to find myself speaking to other members at the paper more. By the time that first September ended, I was writing two articles a week. Shortly after, I landed a paid position as Staff Writer—a position I went on to hold for the remainder of my first year at Douglas.
Fast forward to today, and I’m starting my third volume with this paper—and second as News Editor. I’d have to say that some of my best memories were formed because I went outside of my comfort zone and joined a college newspaper. This paper gave me an education that I wouldn’t have learned in a classroom or from professional direction. I decided that I wanted to become a journalist because of it. I’ve travelled across the country with people from this talented team. I’ve even made some of my best friends here.
Maybe 20 years old is a little young to be sentimental, but I’m damn happy that I chose to join a campus organization. Gone are my shy Mondays entering that room, and here are the days that I will greet newcomers with the same enthusiasm that was shown to me.
Maybe your calling isn’t journalism. Maybe it’s dancing, or athletics, or governance. The wonderful thing about college is that it’s a great time to discover what your calling is. Perhaps your calling is waiting for you at a campus club or organization. You won’t discover that if you just come to Douglas for your classes, and then leave.
To use an overly-cliché quote from Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take.”