Whether we know it or not, it’s an issue myself and thousands of students are facing as we embark on another year at Queen’s. From the overburdened to the overly apathetic, we’ll all move on soon enough, wondering if we maximized the brief period we had here.
The course of my undergraduate career turned between first and second year, when I committed the majority of my waking hours to the Journal.
I survived the year and signed on for one more, sacrificing carefree afternoons at one University Ave. home for headaches and stale pizza at another.
Was it the right decision? Twenty years from now, will I look back on my undergrad with satisfaction, or wish that I did something more — or less?
It’s a futile query, but questioning my involvement has triggered an important realization. Reflecting on your time at school isn’t solely an exercise of recent graduates, but can — and should — be done throughout your undergraduate years.
Making the most of university isn’t as simple as acting on impulse, or as complex as basing decisions on perceived future benefit. It’s a delicate balancing act, combining our future aspirations with what makes up happy now.
My time at Queen’s and the Journal may or may not be relevant to my future career — but getting involved in the school community and developing friendships with various wonderful groups of people will certainly matter later on. Right now, I can’t think of any better alternative.
It’s the latter point that’s especially important, since no worthwhile endeavour can be done without the right company. University offers us a unique opportunity to meet people with wildly disparate backgrounds and stories — a chance that we’ll likely never encounter again.
Capitalizing on this chance helps override life’s uncertainty. By acknowledging that our stay at school is limited, we’re spurred to pursue the activities and opportunities we value most, before they wither into memories.
Without the power of foresight, all we can do is control the present — and take steps to ensure that we treasure it down the road.
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