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Opinion: The beginning of an uncertain end

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Reflecting on three years at MacEwan, and looking forward to what’s next

I love being a university student — each year, I would count down the days in August until I finished my summer job and the student loans appeared in my bank account in eager anticipation of the upcoming school year. Even so, if you told me when I was a teenager that one day I’d find myself on the brink of graduation reminiscing on the years past, I probably would have laughed.

High school was different. I barely graduated from high school — I preferred skipping class to smoke weed with my friends in our various backyards. It’s not that I couldn’t do well in school, I just had no interest in learning anything at the time. At some point in the two years after high school, between working and travelling, the desire to learn finally lit inside me. 

I was accepted to MacEwan University only because I qualified as a mature student at the age of 20. Four years later, there’s only seven classes and an internship between me and graduation.

On the first day of classes this semester, as I watched other students hustle around the halls and study at tables like they already had mid-terms, I realized that I hadn’t made nearly enough memories during my time here; volunteering to write for the griff seemed like an excellent place to start. 

Though few, I do have some memories of my time here; I played on a floor hockey team in a recreation league and we never came close to winning a game. I remember studying at Towers while drinking caesars I couldn’t afford, meeting new people in classes, realizing I have absolutely no interest in certain subjects (why I took an ECON class, I couldn’t tell you). I remember the now 17 classes that were/are taught online. With almost half of my time here overshadowed by the pandemic, I feel as though I need more memories — another school years’ worth of memories to be exact — and I’m excited for what the next eight months have in store.

When I look to the future and my life after MacEwan, naturally, I’m intimidated — who isn’t? I’ll graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communications as a journalism major. I’m entering an industry that everybody seems almost excited to tell me is dying. It’s hard to stay optimistic about a career that, according to everyone around me, is already six feet deep. I don’t care to argue with people who think this way even though I disagree; I just assume they don’t read much.

I’ve never been the type to plan every detail of my future; it always feels like there are too many things I have to do before I can even think about what I want to do. If the predicaments, hardship, setbacks, and everything else that I’ve faced have taught me anything though, it’s how to survive. So, for my last year of university and the rest of my life, I’m going to live the only way I know how — one day at a time. 

I will savour the good days, recover from the bad ones, make as many memories as I see fit, and try to enjoy myself as the odyssey of my life prepares to cast off from this temporary shore into the sea of possibilities. 

To (possibly) my last year of being a student (because who knows), and to your first, second, third, fourth, fifth, final, or whatever year you find yourself in: cheers, I believe in you.

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