à bout de souffle

It’s midnight, and I have coffee.

No, this isn’t an all-nighter to finish a paper. I’m not cramming for a test in the morning. I can barely remember what time my class even begins tomorrow.

I’m a student. Which means, probably now more than ever, that I don’t follow a “schedule”, that routine is only routine while it’s convenient, and that I’ll be constantly weighing the pros and cons of napping, coffee,  studying, exercising, co-curricular activities, and socializing, to determine whether they will prove themselves to be sufficiently worth my time. The only thing that seems to remain a constant for most students, on the other hand, is that random internet surfing somehow always manages to make itself worthy.

As any new student manages to embrace this lifestyle, detrimental or heavenly as it may seem from time to time, I think it would be too easy for them to wonder, “How can I possibly keep this up?”, “How can she get away with doing nothing, and still be here?!?”, or worse, “Why can’t I manage this, while he is doing this, and this, and this, and this….?”

And it’s true. As a second-year now, I still have these thoughts regarding others, yet I don’t doubt that some people have probably thought the same about me. I try to stay involved in the Glendon College Student Union, in ResLife, to keep up with my classes, readings, and my friends, and to still find time to go home to London, Ont., to go downtown, or to just get some exercise. Yet, somehow, I walk around every day making wondering why I feel like I’m not getting anything done, or making lists of ways to do it all better.

At some point growing up, we imagine university life with images from the movies of what our professors will be like, how we’ll have philosophical and worldly discussions under trees, that our activism will make the world a better place, and that we’ll somehow be transformed into these intellectual, cultured, open-minded, and original individuals. No? Okay, maybe it was just me. Too much film watching, perhaps.

In any case, while in some aspects of being a student, our expectations are matched, I doubt that anyone goes through these years without a few, startling surprises.

Just like I was told when stepping onto council this year, it has become increasingly evident that like my position, student life is one big, learning experience. We won’t quite figure out how to do it well, until we’ve already done it. It’s not a comforting thought, but it’s a sobering one, and one that I think most students need to remember from time to time.

I’ve finished my coffee. Time to crack a book, or maybe go for a run, or perhaps write some emails, or….


About Drew

just trying at the moment.
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One Response to à bout de souffle

  1. Esther Phua says:

    There is so much I can relate to in this post. I have definitely fallen into the trap of comparing myself to others, been surprised by the whole university experience, and just felt overwhelmed by it all. Thanks for just making me feel like I'm not alone. Awesome.

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