My frosh paper
A friend asked me to write an article for SUStenance, a McGill newspaper. It's going to be ready in time for Frosh, and they wanted me to include 'words of wisdom' or some rubbish like that.
Here it is-- any advice? Is it okay? Oh, and the computer I'm on has no spell check. Go figure. (Blogger's isn't working either for some reason, it's a cuuurse)
“These are going to be the best four years of your life,” my brother told me as he readjusted his tie, “...and frosh is going to be the best week of those four years”. I nodded, feeling my stomach twist into knots—I was leaving for Montreal in a week, and at the moment was feeling more nervous than anything else.
High school was over, my ‘last summer’ was nearing its end, all the necessary goodbyes had been said, my bags were packed and I was ready to go. But go where? My whole future seemed to be some great unknown. The city was foreign, I didn’t know a soul in Montreal, heck, I’d never even studied in english before! “Just do frosh” my brother would tell me, smiling at my nervousness. And so I landed the day frosh began. I lined up, snaped on my bracelet, and joined the roiling masses of other first year students at the gym. Almost immediately, I was sucked into a frosh group (group 22!). I discovered that I wasn’t alone, most people, in fact, felt exactly the same way I did. I was introduced to alcohol (of course), but I also got to know my froshees and frosh leaders. Ahh, what better way to forge friendships than by holding back your puking friend’s hair? Good times these were indeed!
I learned a few things from frosh: 1) Always drink liquor before beer. Always; 2) Always have a guy friend around to stave off the sleazy guys at clubs; 3) I didn’t necessarily need to freak out about the fact that “Cell metabolism II” was full for the winter term because university is cool that way: undoubtedly, about a week after classes begin, students will drop out; 4) Keeping in contact with friends is worth it. Who knew that, in mid-December, I would dig out my fellow froshee’s number to have a shoulder to cry on? Which brings me to: 5) Even though everyone seems like they’re having a good time, this isn’t always the case. Your first year is going to be tough, and it’s perfectly normal to have an existential crisis (or three).
Once classes began, I already felt a little better about my situation at McGill. Perhaps I wouldn’t be an outcast after all? I began to get to know my classmates (no easy feat in McGill’s gigantic classes a la Leacock 132!), and I noticed a trend: university isn’t high school. You think I would have clued into that a bit sooner, but I hadn’t! University was a place where nerdiness wasn’t only accepted—it was glorified (SUStenance has a whole slew of nerdy pickup lines. My personal favorite: “I wish you were x^2 and I was x^3/3, so that I could be the area under your curve”), you say something mind-utterringly stupid and everyone at McGill won’t know about it in 2 seconds flat; if you don’t like someone you can, well, avoid them; people are inclined to do goofy things like dress up like a ghost-buster in order to get elected. And University isn’t only about studying either: I was astounded at the number of people getting involved in the Science Undergraduate Society, taking salsa lessons or participating in the latests student protest (Hint: you should check out Activities Night at the Shatner building if you want to know what all the clubs in McGill have to offer).
Before I knew it, my first year at McGill was over. Despite being terribly overwhelmed and confused at the beginning (I mean come on—how much information did they try to inject into you at Discover McGill?), everything worked itself out (I didn’t even notice the transition from ‘pretending to be a university student’ to ‘being a university student’). And in the end, my brother was right: this has been the best year of my life.