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   A Memorial University of Newfoundland Publication

August 7, 2003
 Student View

Bent out of shape

Brian Hammond

The average person has over 1,450 dreams a year. You are what you eat, they say. You are what we read. You are who you are and rarely who you want to be. But the plans are made. They're made for after you graduate, after you've taught English in Europe for a couple of years to pay off those nasty student loans and finally come back to get your education degree.

Yes, those plans are made. But they seem so far away. You consider adjusting your plan to suit your unique situation. One dream is forgotten to make room for the immediate need – unexpected emergencies arise, whatever they may be. Your plan is adjusted again, pushing step three back to position six. Another year slips away.

The only place left to go when you're down is bad, too bad to discuss so I won't. Trust me though, you can always go down. That's why we come to university. It's one of the things we can do in the now to create a better tomorrow. But that's also why we torment ourselves over the silliest things: Will I pass my assignment? How can I manage work and school? What will happen if I freeze during the exam?

Luckily, down's definitely not the only way to go. Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, was afraid of the dark. How will you use your fears? And if you freeze during an exam, you fail.

We're right, though, to worry and doubt about the future. We're still young and it's the biggest part of our lives. However, if we worried a little less and concentrated on our studies a little more we'd have more time for the important things, like friendships, fun and that good book we've been meaning to read.

After two years at MUN, I feel like a university veteran and my goals are becoming visible. What I want to do is clear – still working to get there but I'm getting closer everyday.

Nevertheless, I remember my first days on campus, lost in those munnels, trying to hide from the crowds, which were overwhelming and I unfamiliar with the ways of student life. I spent a lot of time trying to find little quiet cubby holes where I wouldn't be noticed. Find them I did. But then loneliness set in and I wanted to talk to people, to join in those overwhelming crowds. Today, it's just the opposite: I can't hide anymore even when I try. So many people to talk to. They're everywhere. And it's great, but less work gets done when it's so easy to find someone to kill a few hours with.

Balance is needed. Don't get bogged down drinking coffee with the countless friends you've made. Besides, apples are more efficient than caffeine in keeping people awake in the mornings and less likely to cause bleeding ulcers! Try to avoid taking Breezeway 1100. It's been said, the more you drink the more you sink. Sure have fun but remember that we pay for this education. Wasting time worrying about grades or blaming teachers instead of ourselves when deep down we know we procrastinate is not going to get us through school.

In spite of the long nights and episodes of hair pulling that we put our poor bodies through, we're getting smarter all the time. Our Moms and Dads are proud; they'll see us graduate soon enough. It is important to graduate – you know, for their sakes. Keep trying no matter how hard it seems. We have life easy; after all, our grandparents had to walk 12 miles through snow over their heads up hill both ways just to get to and home from school.


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Next issue: September 4, 2003

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