Curb Queen’s cockiness

Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor

My friends back home in Toronto think Queen’s students are preppy and cocky. I don’t think we are but it seems to be one of the common assumptions made about Queen’s kids.

I can’t help asking whether Queen’s has made me a cockier person. I hope it hasn’t but it’s difficult to ignore my friends when they ask, “How was Queen’s?” in a prissy tone. So, what’s the deal? Do we all think we’re academic gods and goddesses because we go to Queen’s, the so-called “Harvard of the North?” Give me a break! I don’t think that and I hope you don’t, either. This summer I was afforded the opportunity to work in downtown Toronto in an office building.

I, mistakenly, thought that the other students working in my building would also be from Queen’s. As it turned out, no one else went to Queen’s or cared that I did.

My best friend who worked with me during the summer goes to Lakehead University. I hope that didn’t make you laugh because as a fourth year student he was making close to $30 an hour. And I was making significantly less.

I don’t want to get off on the wrong foot; what I’m trying to show is that other schools, ones you may not expect, stack up to Queen’s. Sure, Queen’s is a great school with great programs but I try not to let it get to my head. I think what matters is the attitude you have and who you are.

This is exactly what I found coming out of high school. When I first moved into residence I realized there were many people from all around Canada and the world who had gone to different high schools than I did. It no longer mattered that I went to Lawrence Park, which I thought was a well-known academic public school. Most people here have never heard of it, or if they have, they could care less.

I think this will be the case when I graduate, too. I’m going to end up working with people who graduated from universities and colleges all over the world. If I’m open to the fact that anyone can be more intelligent and successful than me then I will be set for life. My ability to learn from those smarter than me will get me further ahead.

I think this is the way other students at Queen’s should think too. Without preaching too much, my main message is, don’t let Queen’s get to your head. I think it’s a nice idea to take a reality check once in a while.

Queen’s isn’t the “Harvard of the North.” And Queen’s students aren’t necessarily going to be any more successful than any other university students, especially if we’re cocky like others think we are.

Cockiness can be a limiting quality that may get your foot in the door at a good job, but not much further.

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