A Hypocrite’s Guide to University Success


Quote the Raven: Tristan
Interactive Multimedia and Design


Before I begin this story, I should clarify that while the term “guide” is in the title of this entry, following the journey described below exactly will not work for everyone and is likely impossible. I hope this story will be amusing and perhaps inspire you to make the most of your time in university.

In my final years of high school, I had no intention of going to university. Why spend thousands of dollars to engage in a four- to five-year side quest just to be overworked and then rewarded with a slip of paper? My parents would not hear it and insisted that I had to choose something. Still unconvinced, I hesitantly applied to Carleton University’s Interactive Multimedia and Design program.

Fast-forward a few months, I was accepted into the program. That’s when the world began to lock down. By the middle of March 2020, everything was uncertain, but I knew what it meant for me: I could reasonably avoid getting a summer job. This was another hill I had stubbornly fought upon for years. That’s right, I was in my final year of high school, and I had never worked a paying job. Shooting myself in the foot? Probably. Was I going to give in to reason? Not yet.

I diligently finished the remainder of my high school career online. It felt like playing on easy mode as most of the class had completely ditched the end of the year and all exams were cancelled. My introverted soul thrived, enjoying the peace and serenity of working alone in my own space. The summer went by with a similar peace and serenity, my family joking all the while that I had willed the pandemic to strike so that I could rid myself of responsibilities.

University life began, and everything started to change. Isolation must have flipped some switch in my mind. I had decided to succeed and enjoy the experience. I cleared through my first year of classes, maintaining scholarship average and serving as a leader among my peers. In the summer of 2021, I got my first job working seasonally in a museum, a job that I still work today. In second year, I began getting involved in university societies. By the time third year rolled around, I had bitten off more than I could chew; working seasonally at the museum, part-time as a teaching assistant and maintaining my duties on the executive teams of university societies. Then a new challenger approached.

Co-op was the university application experience all over again. I’m paying to be supervised while I find a job? Despite my reluctance, my momentum carried me forward to acquire three co-op positions with a grand total of two applications and I had great experiences.

What is the moral of the story? I promise it’s not just bragging about my success. It’s about putting yourself in the right mindset. Find what drives you, whether it be a goal or spite, convince yourself to do the best that you can and find ways to enjoy your time with Carleton.

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