From the Editor: The low-down on the KPU Experience from a Soon-to-Be Arts Grad

(Kristen Frier)

Sharpen your pencils and charge your laptops, kiddos, because the fall semester is almost here. Soon, we will all be thrust back into the world of constantly approaching deadlines, three-hour lectures, and learning! So, so much learning. Contain your excitement and hold your applause. Scooch back from the edge of your seats, please.

I may write with the tired cynicism of a fifth-year student, but in all seriousness, fall semesters are always the best and most intense of all. We’re all rested up from the break (probably), have some extra cash in our pockets from working summer jobs (maybe), and are heading into the school year refreshed and burning with thrilling ideas for theses! Right? Right.

In any case, if you’re just starting here, enjoy this first semester. It’s likely to be full of reading quintessential classical literature, lenient instructors, and some of the breeziest grading you’ll ever see in your academic career. Starting university is a great opportunity to get to know yourself as a person and a budding professional in whatever field or fields you choose, and it’s an even better opportunity to expand your perspective and ways of thinking. You could make a bunch of new friends to boot, even at a small commuter school like KPU.

In second year, you might be getting ready to specialize. This time is usually really exciting. There’s something special about figuring out which courses and subjects make you tick, and if you’re lucky enough to get a glimpse of clarity for what you might want to do with your career, chase it. That’s what this stuff is for. Even if you aren’t prepared to buckle down by second year, you’re probably getting a better idea of what you like to study, and that’ll make your learning so much more engaging. Keep your mind open, and explore whatever gets your brain going. Surround yourself with like-minded people who make school more enjoyable.

Third year was the hardest for me, personally, but only because it felt like a plateau. In the journalism program, third year felt like I spent too much time re-learning what I already knew from my first four semesters, and I had to fill a lot of my schedule with electives.

There was a silver lining, though. The first few months of third year sucked, but the rest was fantastic after I explored outside of my core program courses and decided to enrol in whatever looked cool to me. I took a course called “Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft” and had an amazing time—so good it made me consider getting a minor in anthropology. I took a creative writing course and got to stimulate new parts of my mind. It was great. I recommend that for everybody. Experimenting is super beneficial to your post-secondary journey, and it helps you grow as an academic and a person.

Fourth year is the best. Finally, you have all the skills you need to really challenge yourself, and with the finish line of convocation on the horizon, it’s easy to take what you’re doing seriously. By then, you probably know most of your classmates and your instructors, which makes coming to class super comfortable, assuming you like your colleagues. And if you don’t, never fear—you’re almost done!

There’s a good chance that your fourth year won’t be your last because of class availability restrictions and life generally getting in the way of school. I’m itching to get out of the journalism pod and into the field now. If you’re at the same point as me, you might be too.

When I get like that, I try to remember the words of every adult who talks to me about university: “I miss school. I miss learning. When you’re in it, you don’t appreciate it,” and so on.

It’s true; it’s a privilege to be here. Don’t forget that, even when you’re six hours deep into a PowerPoint group project that’s making you want to pull your hair out, quit school, and move to a hilltop community in Switzerland.

Plus, Tim Hortons has Beyond Meat burgers now. That’s pretty sweet.

Enjoy the semester!

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