It has been a crazy term; it will only get crazier as the term moves on. But that is alright.
As you can see, many changes have been made on this campus since you were gone. There is a new co-op building, and certain businesses have been shuffled around, to say the least. My class was banned from my fourth-year room (see the article to the right of this one), we have a new Dean, and for now the online fees issue is back in committee.
It is often whispered that apathy runs thick in these halls, and to a certain extent, it is true. It is fairly hard to convince most people here that something that does not affect them now matters to them. But that lack of foresight might come back to haunt them, as it did with the increased co-op fee used to pay for the new CEC building.
Why does the mantra “Knowledge is Power” not stick in people’s heads?
Now I am going to present what is going on in my mind, grouped in a semi-organized order.
1) Fourth-year Stuff
Wow, I am a fourth year. I am going to be graduating.
No, it is still not believable. When I first started school here, graduation was just a distant thought in my head, something that is heard about but never contemplated. But here it is. Never mind graduate school, it is the same but different – your days get even longer. I think the first years here feel the same way I did. (If any first-year student wants to write about their current experiences, you are more than welcome.)
In the five years that I have been here, I have met many friends, shared many memories (and pictures), and done many, many things, some of which I would have never imagined. But like all good things, it is about to end.
There is a never-ending cycle of frosh week to Iron Ring Ceremony and back again that makes you feel special. The younger ones yearn to be in third or fourth year, where things get exciting and interesting; the older ones either want out, or want to be back in first year again. And so the cycle starts anew, with the younger ones replacing the older, and new people placing in the more junior spots.
You never really feel that you are in the right place, at the right time.
My department’s fourth-year projects will be finished by the time you read this paper. I felt really proud, standing in front of a working prototype and saying “I helped make this happen.” I think every discipline should have something similar in scope. Results of the symposium will be reported in the next issue.
2) Perfect Components, Imperfect Machine
Some people strive to be successful. And some people are successful.
I am still not sure which category I fit in.
Everybody tells me that I am good, very good; yet I feel that there is always one more bit of tweaking that could be done, one more thing that I can accomplish that I could not before. I tend to be really rough on myself; part of it comes from the fact that I have been told all my life that I have great potential. So when I stumble (and people are not perfect), I hit the ground pretty hard.
The best way to deal with it is to pick yourself up and continue the good fight.
3) University Life
I am living in Eby Hall right now. UW Place is a very interesting place; it is almost a self-contained community. I live with many exchange students, all of whom come from different places. The stories about other countries you get from them are very interesting, especially if you are like me and have not been outside Ontario for about five years. It makes for a nice experience.
University is a very odd atmosphere when you compare it to anything else; you are in close proximity with a large number of people your age. You simply do not get that kind of large group in a real world situation. It incidentally makes looking for dates much easier (if anybody in co-op would like to prove me wrong, please email me.) You lose that sense of community when you are out in the real world, and it makes you feel rather lonely. Sure, there are your workmates (who may or may not be 10 years older than you are) and other smaller community situations, but none of them feel quite like the University atmosphere.
Am I saying that we should never leave University? No. Finding a job, advancing, obtaining money are all wonderful things. But there is a need to recognize that the real world is very different than the little sheltered life we call life in Engineering.
4) This Paper
It is a new year, and more improvements to the paper are being made. I have a strong staff this term (but people are always more than welcome to contribute or to write); I hope to have some pet projects implemented in the coming issues. Minor things like improving the arts section, to major things like having more controversial articles. One thing I would really like in this paper is more humour – people like humour.
We will still cover things like Engineering Society events, especially since EngSoc is expanding to accommodate more people. For example, the engineering play is extremely popular and takes in a different set of people than you would normally expect for a typical EngSoc event.
I also hope to be able to cover more events, and quicker. Things like the Bomber and Fed shutting down, things like the CUTC, these are major events in the University and will be covered as soon as possible.
And with this paragraph, I will sign off. I hope the term has been enjoyable so far and that you have not had to endure as much bad luck as I have.