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Get Into Life As A Student

By Monika Marescaux

This morning, I arose from my bed, completed my usual morning routines and, just before I stepped out the door, I felt it. Every so often I get the feeling that if I don't pack in as much fun and adventure into my life as possible before I 'settle down,' get married, and have kids, I will regret it. Occasionally, a scary vision of myself in the future simultaneously flashes before my eyes. Looking forward, I imagine myself as a stressed-out working mum, always busy, and forever desperately trying to grab onto moments of peace and relaxation. Yet, when I finally get the opportunity to relax, all I can do is reflect about the missed opportunities available to me in my youth. Following this, I'm suddenly engulfed by enormous feelings of regret. Here I am a woman who did not do all the things she wanted to do and never experienced all the things she should have when it was possible.

What's really funny is this thought, in many ways, came too late. I was a hermit in high school and a nerd in my undergrad, only going to school for classes and library visits. There is, however, one small but important exception. In my final year, I worked as Assistant Coordinator for my school's Volunteer Centre. I learned so much about student issues, how to organize a volunteer fair, how to balance competing interests, the Federation of Students, people in general, and myself. It was a great experience and made me realize all the time I wasted literally confining myself inside my room to study. Studying is definitely required, but if it becomes a huge, huge part of your life, you need to get out there. Overdosing on the books is not a good thing. Don't laugh, but studying was actually a pastime of mine.

Being actively involved can be manageable and fun, even if you don't live on-campus. I'm glad I realized this before starting grad school. This time around, I plan on joining the 'other side.' I will not blow my last opportunity to meet a slew of new people, involve myself in a worthy cause (instead of my usual practice of just bitching and complaining about injustice), and maybe even start a new club.

Hopefully my plans will work out. I'm very shy, so it won't be easy, but in the end I'm positive it will be worth it. Hey, if it's not all it's cracked up to be, at least when the time comes to reflect, I will not be haunted by the 'what ifs.'

There are so many different and cool things you can do. Join a sports team, volunteer for the school newspaper, inquire about work/study opportunities, or visit the local pubs. If you don't know where to begin, keep your eyes open around campus. Read bulletin boards, posters, and campus newspaper(s) to find club announcements and event listings.

What will you do?

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