Or: how I learned to stop worrying and love Douglas
By Jacey Gibb, Editor-in-chief
For the past two years, I’ve used the fall debut issue of the Other Press as a vessel to impart words of whimsical wisdom to any freshmen perusing our pages. “Welcome to the wonderful world of post-secondary” was the name of my last orientation-orientated piece, and I did my darndest to fill it with as many tips and tricks as our Feature centrefold was willing to hold. As August began to simmer and the sunsets started to come earlier, I found myself contemplating yet another instalment to the post-secondary preparation saga. But a third piece would make it a trilogy, and we all know how well the final instalments of those usually turn out.
So instead of bombarding you with a list of things I’ve learned over my time at Douglas College, I decided to try a new angle and simply leave you with one lesson: I’m going to let you figure things out on your own.
That’s right. No list telling you what to do or not do. No 1,600 word article on the advantages of free stuff on campus or why pop culture depictions of college have set you up for failure. Instead, I’m going to boil everything down to the simple point that no matter how much you mentally prepare yourself for the next step or how much ramen you stock up on in the coming months, you’re going to handle college in whatever way works best for you.
For maybe the first time ever, I’m going to embrace the “unique as a snowflake” comparison that parental figures dish out to aspiring young minds, but not in a nurturing manner. In this situation, you’re a freakin’ snowflake. How you handle the pressure of a hefty course load and presumably some form of employment on the side will be up to you. Do you accept that a good night’s sleep is a myth, or are your friends going to be the ones who get shuffled to the side until the next exam break? Or are you fine to adopt the slacker motto of “Cs get degrees”? Like the Rolling Stones said, “You can’t always get what you want.”
So toss away those multi-paged brochures you picked up at orientation, donate the copy of Becoming a Master Student that your mom gave you, and accept that the only way you’re going to be able to truly adapt to college life is by experiencing it first-hand.