By Joel Wass
“A lot of people go to college for seven years.” “Yeah, they’re called doctors.” – Chris Farley and David Spade from the movie Tommy Boy.
Hey there Frosh, I’m glad you’ve turned to page four, I was hoping I’d get a chance to talk to you. But before you continue, I just ask that you please take a seat. I’d ask you to close your eyes, but that would make this rather difficult to read.
But I want you to visualize (with your eyes open) a time long, long ago, all the way back to the year 2000. Picture it? Harder than you thought? Let me help.
It was a time when our city was littered with giant paper mach, moose, 70 cents a litre was an astronomic gas price, the American President’s name was Bill not Bush, the Toronto Raptors were an “up-and-coming team” and Vince Carter was indisputably a better baller than Tracy McGrady.
Also, “the Thong Song” was the actual name of a popular song played on the radio.
The year also marked the beginning of my university career – and I do mean career.
That’s right, while the majority of my high school homies have had their degrees hanging in their parents’ basements for months, this fall I’ll still be trucking towards what is every grandparents’ dream for their grandkids- a university degree.
You can call me a slacker, a hack, a lifer, or whatever name you youngsters are calling us senior university citizens these days. Go ahead, laugh at me, I’ll even share a chuckle with you.
Know why? Because four years ago I was exactly like you: An honours high school student willing to make a four year commitment to university, but after that, I was getting me a real job.
In my first year I even earned a couple of As (of the minus variety, but whatever) and I liked university, maybe even loved it. But my love, like it so often does, turned into obsession. I wanted more than my program had to offer, so I switched to journalism and now, four years later, I’m still buying Grand and Toy’s back-to-school pencil special while the rest of the class of 2000 is looking for a job – an adult job.
Some may think it’s embarrassing not earning a degree in four years, I say what’s the rush? The Ontario government has already pushed students out of high school a year earlier, so why not pace ourselves in university? Sure it’s believed God created the world in seven days, but here’s a newsflash:
Most people don’t work that fast! Michael Jordan didn’t win his first NBA title until his fifth year with the Chicago Bulls. It took the Beastie Boys six years to come out with their latest album.
Heck, not one of the three past Eyeopener editors-in-chief earned their degree in the allotted four years (not that any of them were a source of educational inspiration).
The way I see it, the more you savour university, the sweeter the graduation. When I finally do accept my degree, you better believe I’ll be wearing the best darn blue and gold gown at Ryerson.
And when I pose on the podium for pictures, you better believe I’ll be posing for a solid five (not four) seconds. So welcome to the university behind Sam the Record Man, Froshes.
Enjoy your time here, because you’re going to be here for a while and then possibly a year or two more.