Devs dilemma

Apathetic has become the adjective of my generation.

Coming to Queen’s, I didn’t expect to become apathetic about my degree but, sadly, that’s what happened.

I fell in love with DEVS 100 in first year. I was eager to scratch my global awareness itch.

It began as a filler course and quickly became the only one I was interested in, replacing my initial desire to study psychology.

DEVS 100 became one of the only classes in which I felt academically stimulated. I even trekked to the Biosciences Complex for an 8:30 a.m. class in a snowstorm to attend it.

Global Development Studies is a niche department in which interdisciplinary study is highly encouraged. Most of the departments that carry DEVS eligible courses, however, don’t save spaces for DEVS students during the first round of course selection.

Instead, I’m forced to wait until their department majors fill them, and thus have to settle with courses I don’t really need, to get a degree I’ve now found out I don’t really want.

A university education is supposed to leave me feeling fulfilled. Nearing my last semester at Queen’s, I’m left with a bad taste in my mouth.

For a degree that should be training students to apply learned material to life, it’s breeding a generation of graduates that haven’t built upon their knowledge of previous years. Rather, they’ve had the same information hammered into their brains year after year.

Luckily, I had the opportunity to do fieldwork in Ecuador while studying abroad. Without this experience, I’d be questioning the merit of a global development degree entirely.

It’s a degree built on memorization of theories, on understanding white privilege and on how you can help the world by essentially not helping at all — because help is usually deemed oppressive.

The fire I once had to change my world has been replaced by a cynicism of what I’ve been taught, or perhaps what I haven’t been. I now know to be politically correct and to put quotations around every term so as not to offend.

I haven’t been taught how to do, only how not to.

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