Opinion – The Cord https://thecord.ca The tie that binds Wilfrid Laurier University since 1926 Sat, 22 Sep 2018 22:23:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://thecord.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/logofavicon-32x32.png Opinion – The Cord https://thecord.ca 32 32 42727683 Why family paying for your tuition shouldn’t matter https://thecord.ca/why-family-paying-for-your-tuition-shouldnt-matter/ https://thecord.ca/why-family-paying-for-your-tuition-shouldnt-matter/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:00:52 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51278

Photo by Madeline McInnis

One of the biggest problems in university, aside from balancing course work, your social life and work obligations, is paying for tuition.

While many people rely on grants, bank loans, OSAP and scholarships, some students are more lucky than others. I’m obviously talking about students whose parents pay their tuition for them.

This can include things like Education Savings Plans (ESPs), lines of credit, or using their parents’ chequing accounts.

These students don’t have to worry about student debt when they’re done school and can attempt to get into the workforce without worrying about paying monthly loan fees.

However, I’ve noticed that people will actually demean students who have this luxury. This might be from jealousy, which is a fair point to make. According to Stats Canada, the average Canadian university student will have more than $26,000 in student debt.

For some, it can vary. Some students may have under $10,000, while others will have upwards of $50,000. And that’s not even including post-grad expenses, which could raise that debt up over $100,000 for some programs.

Here’s the thing with parents who pay for tuition — the decision to pay for a child’s post-secondary schooling is made well before the child can have a say in the matter.

When my parents set up an ESP for me, I was one year old. I had multiple family members, including aunts, uncles and grandparents pitch-in to make sure I didn’t have any debt coming out of university or have financial stress during the four years I was at Laurier.

It’s a blessing from those who planned ahead and chose to help their children in this way. If someone is offered “free money” for schooling, I guarantee that almost every student would take it.

So, to go after someone for having their parents pay for schooling, when they themselves would likely take that money, is hypocritical and pointless.

Some parents don’t, however, want to pay for post-secondary for their kids. I’ve heard the argument that not paying helps young adults take more responsibility in life and to strengthen them for real life.

This is a reasonable point too, because the decision to help pay for school is up to the philosophy of the parents. If they don’t want to, or don’t believe it’s right to, that is their choice.

There’s even an automatic assumption that because someone has their parents paying for school that they have some higher level of entitlement than other students.

For some, this is true. But for the most part, it isn’t. I’ve had my parents pay for my tuition for all of university through an ESP, but I don’t brag about it or bother others who have to pay through their own means. It would be petty and rude to do that to others.

But on that point, if you have family paying for your tuition, it does not give you any kind of entitlement or right to be snobby about it.

I’ve seen situations where people have their parents pay for just about everything in university and they end up behaving entitled. If your family has gone out of their way to ensure that you don’t have any, or minimal, student debt after school, in return you can’t be openly bragging about it.

It makes you, and others who have their schooling paid for, look bad.

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Editors Note: Is a photo worth it? https://thecord.ca/editors-note-is-a-photo-worth-it/ https://thecord.ca/editors-note-is-a-photo-worth-it/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:00:23 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51407

This past summer, my friends and I went to a sunflower farm called Boggle Seeds located approximately 40 minutes away from Waterloo.

The farm had 74 acres of sunflowers the farm’s website iterated to interested visitors that the crop only blooms for approximately two weeks, making the farm a pretty cool summer day trip for those within its proximity.

Upon arriving at the farm, it was clear that the sunflowers were the best backdrop to getting that perfect photo for Instagram — and in accordance, almost every single person at the farm was doing just that.

We saw people who were having photo shoots, taking professional photos with their kids, and of course, posing amongst the flowers with friends.

I noticed people with tripods for their professional cameras, people who brought ladders and stools just to get the perfect angle for their shot.

It was like seeing the behind-the-scenes of hundreds of Instagram accounts. And, amongst the hundreds of people, there was almost no one simply enjoying the sunflowers.

It’s crazy to me that we’re so focused on creating the perfect persona for ourselves online that we often forget about our actions in real life say so much more about us than the pictures we post.

The day after we visited the farm, it got shut down due to overcrowding. Thousands of visitors were parking illegally on a busy highway, crossing in between cars, which caused the police to be called who proceeded to shut the farm down.

In an article in The Globe and Mail, the owners of the farm stated that they would be unlikely to open up their farm to the public anymore. The visitors that came to see their sunflowers had done damage to their crop and to their overall farm.

Now, I’m not here to tell anyone that we should be using social media less. I am just as guilty as everyone else at the sunflower farm who was looking for the perfect photo to post to my Instagram.

However, what I observed from this situation is that there are certain limits to which we should adhere when prioritizing getting just the right Instagram photo.

Amongst 74 acres of sunflowers, hundreds of people chose to put aside appreciating nature and the handwork that a family had put into growing a crop from which they earn the money they need to live from, all because of social media.

At the end of the day, all of us can agree that getting that Instagramable photo is far less important than respecting the livelihood of a family, or putting your life at risk by parking and crossing at unsafe times on a busy highway.

It’s crazy to me that we’re so focused on creating the perfect persona for ourselves online that we often forget about our actions in real life say so much more about us than the pictures we post.

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Serena Williams faces controversy at the U.S. Open https://thecord.ca/serena-williams-faces-controversy-at-the-u-s-open/ https://thecord.ca/serena-williams-faces-controversy-at-the-u-s-open/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:59:43 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51284

Contributed Image

Serena Williams is considered by many around the world to be one of the best professional female tennis players. The 36-year-old athlete holds multiple Grand Slam titles and has established herself as a respected woman in tennis.

Despite her illustrious sports career, however, Williams has made headlines over the past few weeks regarding her clothing choices and a $17,000 fine that has reduced her to a stereotype and joke in the eyes of several online critics.

French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli was quoted saying that the bodysuits Williams typically wore would “no longer be accepted … one must respect the game and the place.”

The fact that Williams’ outfits on-court are even being put into question is a ridiculously frivolous motion to begin with, but it’s made more questionable when her reasons for wearing them were health-related.

Williams noted that she wears form-fitting pieces in order to prevent the blood clots she has been experiencing after she gave birth to her daughter last year.

In response to the unnecessary critique, Williams graced the 2018 U.S. Open wearing an iconic black tennis dress and matching tutu statement skirt — a fashionable ensemble created by Louis Vuitton and Virgil Abloh in collaboration with Williams herself for Nike’s “Queen” collection.

Legendary former American top tennis player, Billie Jean King, tweeted her support by saying, “The policing of women’s bodies must end. The “respect” that’s needed is for the exceptional talent @serenawilliams brings to the game. Criticizing what she wears to work is where the true disrespect lies.”

This power move is one that put largely positive attention on the tennis star for her subtle ability to clap back at an outdated and sexist criticism. Yet, Williams was unable to escape scrutiny for long before she was accused of receiving tips from her coach during the U.S. Open final — something which she vehemently denies.

When the call was made during the match, she immediately argued against it with umpire Carlos Ramos, heatedly stating, “I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose. I’m just letting you know.”

When in doubt, people should refer to her appropriately labelled tennis bag that she was seen toting at the U.S. Open, “AKA QUEEN” and treat her as such.

She made three consecutive violations totalling $17,000: $4,000 for the coaching warning, $3,000 for smashing her racket in frustration and $10,000 for her “verbal abuse.”

The incident is one which many, including herself, are labelling as sexist. The supposed “verbal abuse” that Williams issued was from saying “You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life. You stole a point from me. You’re a thief, too.”

Male tennis players like James Blake have since spoken out on Twitter, claiming that they have said “worse” and never got penalized for it. The debacle is one which also sparked the creation of a Williams caricature drawn by Mark Knight and has since garnered its own slew of controversy for being “blatantly racist.”People were quick to tear apart the image over social media. As well as being an arguably racist depiction, the cartoon has been criticized by other artists.

Darrin Bell, an RFK Award-winning cartoonist, commented on the incident: “It’s not hard to caricature a black person. Just don’t do it like they did it 100 years ago.”

The offensive nature of the cartoon has added further fuel to the “angry black woman” stereotype that has played a role in the treatment of Williams since her sportsmanship and honesty were called into question — raising important questions of why these microaggressions are still acceptable.

Tennis has long been critiqued for being a “white man’s sport,” giving little allowance to women like Williams to show emotion or play the game as individuals worthy of the sport.Regardless of whether or not she would have won if the umpire had not penalized her, the point is that Williams was fined for defending herself.  Expressing anger and frustration should not be actions that are only tolerated with male athletes. As Williams said herself, “I just don’t understand. If you’re female, you should be able to do even half of what a guy can do.”

For a decorated, seasoned tennis player like Williams to be reduced to an unfair series of penalties and a racially insensitive cartoon is unacceptable to say the least.

When in doubt, people should refer to her appropriately labelled tennis bag that she was seen toting at the U.S. Open, “AKA QUEEN” and treat her as such.

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Editorial: University Independence https://thecord.ca/editorial-university-independence/ https://thecord.ca/editorial-university-independence/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:59:09 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51314

I always knew I wanted to live away from home when picking a university, what I didn’t know would happen would be the independence I gained from doing so.

This allowed me to find time for myself and tap into who I am and find what I love doing.

Growing up, we are always rushed to find out who we are and to solve this big mystery of how we will serve society in the future. For some this takes decades but for me, I was able to find who I was when I was alone at school.

Whoever said that high school is the greatest years of our lives clearly did not make the most of their university experience.

This whole notion of a wilding university experience is quite cliche nonetheless. I like to look at this portion of our lives as a leap towards independence.

However, the Kate of today finds peace in her alone time both at home and strutting on campus with her music too loud on her headphones. She would tell her high school self to be herself because there is only one version of that — so commodify that shit!

Yes have fun, yes take some you time, but be smart with how you manage your time because this will be a key element of building who you are — not only in a professional, but also how you go about your everyday life.

Once I really started to focus on what I needed to get done for work and school, I completely lost the notion of fomo.

Also, whoever made fomo a thing clearly did not read my article about being independent, but that’s another topic of discussion.

Being okay by yourself builds strength and allows one to process issues in a timely manner through rational thoughts without your peers convincing you to not think like the true self you are.

Furthermore, one notion I like to laugh at is how society denotes the act of going out to eat alone or going to the movies alone. I respect people that do that and it’s something I am slowly building the confidence to do.

In high school, I can confidently say that I never felt good walking alone down the halls.

However, the Kate of today finds peace in her alone time both at home and strutting on campus with her music too loud on her headphones. She would tell her high school self to be herself because there is only one version of that — so commodify that shit!

This may or may not sound like something you have heard from your nagging mother before and you are probably rolling your eyes at this article.

If you did, however, make it this far into the article I ask that you take one thing from it.

One anecdote I like to live by is the rule airlines give before departure, “please ensure that your oxygen mask is properly fastened on yourself before assisting others.”

Not only is this super important for flying due to the scarcity of oxygen at such high altitudes, but also for your mental well-being as a growing adolescent.

When you are okay with who you are, your thoughts become more rational — ultimately allowing yourself to be there for your friends in need. Put karma aside and focus in on those you love after you find true love from within.

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Making the choice to put your health first https://thecord.ca/making-the-choice-to-put-your-health-first/ https://thecord.ca/making-the-choice-to-put-your-health-first/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:58:51 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51282

Graphic by Kash Patel

This past week I was supposed to be at TIFF, volunteering outside a few of the theatres, doing the best I could to both pad my resume and enjoy the festivities for what they are — one of the premier film events in the world.

Instead, I sat at home watching movies on the small screen from an ancient X-Box that serves as my DVD player.

The thing is, I got sick on the day of my first shift after overextending myself at the Get Involved Fair. After a really rough night, of which I’ll spare you the details, I called in sick.

The next day, I wasn’t feeling much better and, two shifts down, I wasn’t going to be able to make my minimum number of shifts.

This opportunity was something I was really excited for and something that wasn’t easy for me to give up.

My mental health suffered a lot: I was recently told that I need to volunteer more if I want to be competitive in various kinds of applications, and I was genuinely looking forward to the festival for a fun, engaging way to break the back-to-school stress, so missing TIFF felt like it was the end of the world.

There was literally nothing I could have done differently, and that’s a hard thing for me to digest.

Whether you want to volunteer at TIFF, finish your assignment in one night or even just hang out with friends, your health needs to be kept first, even when that’s a hard pill to swallow.

Do you remember those triangles from high school philosophy class? It’s called Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and it’s where the triangle builds on each next thing when the previous requirement for a happy life is filled — and Maslow, bless him, put basic health needs as the foundation for a reason.

You can’t do anything if you don’t have your health. Food, sleep, water, etc. are all essential for your success at whatever else you do.

I sacrificed sleep, so the triangle came tumbling down on top of me: burying me in a stack of regret and ultimately led to both my physical and mental health getting flushed down the literal and metaphorical toilet.

That, perhaps, is a lesson to learn from. We’re only finishing up week two of the semester, heading into week three, so we’re probably not yet thinking of major assignments, but midterms are creeping up on us quickly.

Pulling an all-nighter or surviving only on coffee may seem beneficial at the time, but it will only make you suffer in the end. It may help for your midterm that day, but it’s not going to help for the midterm two days after that when you’re so tired you’re dozing on the walk back from Starbucks.

Starting early, obviously, is the easiest way to avoid the last-minute cram that leads to the sacrifice of your health. The earlier you start, the longer you have to work on your assignment, and the less likely you’ll be to have to panic and rush through at the last minute.

That, of course, is easier said than done. I get it, I’m a last-minute student too. Pulling an all-nighter every so often really does happen — but you also need to remember to do it in moderation and know your own limits.

Sometimes, sacrificing the two or five per cent on the late penalty for a paper may be worth it if you’re really going to have to push yourself beyond your capacity. Your paper is probably going to suck anyway if you’re not even able to read what you are writing. Missed opportunities and regrets may come from putting your health before your wants, but it’s absolutely necessary. As they say, you have nothing without your health.

Whether you want to volunteer at TIFF, finish your assignment in one night or even just hang out with friends, your health needs to be kept first, even when that’s a hard pill to swallow.

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Editor’s Note: Looking into the future https://thecord.ca/editors-note-looking-into-the-future/ https://thecord.ca/editors-note-looking-into-the-future/#respond Thu, 13 Sep 2018 14:05:40 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51222

Last week my staff and I spent both first-year move-in days handing out our orientation week issue — a yearly tradition at The Cord.

My video editor, Sarah Tyler, came up to me and nostalgically said, “This is our last first-day at Laurier.”

And with that thought, many of us entering our fourth or final year realized this would be the last time a lot of us would be participating in the many Cord traditions — such as move in day — that we’ve taken part in for the past several years. 

I think a lot of my peers who are also entering their final year at Laurier can agree that it’s both an exciting and scary phase.

I spent a lot of the past few years dreaming about the moment my undergrad would be done, especially in the midst of managing the stress of midterms and essays and exams each term.

As I enter my fourth-year at Laurier, I can’t help but begin to think about what I might do or where I might go once I’m done my degree.

The options are endless.

And with these endless options comes a feeling of uncertainty. As a result, I can’t help but wish that I started asking myself important questions surrounding my time after Laurier a long time ago. 

As an english student, I’m beginning to wonder what sort of jobs I might be able to get and whether or not I’ll have to work towards another degree in order to accomplish my goals of becoming a journalist. 

With the job market — in all career fields — so tough for everyone coming out of post-secondary institutions, I spent a lot of last week questioning whether or not completing an english degree was the right choice and whether or not I should begin applying to graduate programs. 

Amidst my inability to find clear answers to these questions, it can be easy to panic. I know a lot of people who are feeling the same unease. 

However, I think it’s important to find a balance between asking these important questions and thinking about our futures after Laurier while still being able to enjoy the last year we have here. 

Whether it’s applying for jobs, internships, volunteering opportunities, grad school, or taking a year off — there are so many open options for us after Laurier. And although it might seem like an uncertain time, it’s also exciting to know that we’ll all come across new opportunities once we leave university. 

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The problems with the CNE this year https://thecord.ca/the-problems-with-the-cne-this-year/ https://thecord.ca/the-problems-with-the-cne-this-year/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 11:00:51 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51096

Contributed Image

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is an annual two week event that has become synonymous with summer in Toronto. It was founded in 1879 and has evolved into a signifier of Canadian culture and experience.

As the largest fair in Canada, the CNE has changed overtime to reflect the innovations and diversity of our country, making it a popular yearly tradition for people in the Greater Toronto Area.

As an event that is intended to showcase popular points of interest like food, agriculture, art and entertainment, it’s unfortunate that such a beloved experience by so many has faced a great deal of controversy during its run this year.

On its opening day at Exhibition Place, visitors were faced with lines of protestors who were rallying against a labour dispute that involved hundreds of CNE employees.

Around 400 workers have been without a contract since December 2017 and the dispute between them and the Exhibition Place’s board of governors resulted in the stagehands and technical employees being locked-out in July.

There’s something unsettling when the fair continues its run like any other year, with something like a $100 hamburger made with 24-karat gold being sold on the other side of the picket line while workers are fighting for their rights.

The CNE is an event that is a fun and iconic staple in Canadian culture, but it shouldn’t sacrifice the safety and wellbeing of the people who want to work to make it that way.

Toronto Mayor John Tory expressed his assurance that the top priority was that visitors enjoyed the fair as much as possible.

Unintentionally sounding a little too similar to the mayor from Jaws, Tory’s response is reminiscent of the fictional politician determined to bring in as many visitors during the summer as possible, regardless of the other factors that may impact it.

To add insult to injury, a fatal shooting occurred near the fairgrounds last Sunday, further dampening the already problematic spirit surrounding the CNE this year. These occurrences are unfortunate, but they highlight larger issues that exist as well.

Instead of funneling contrived positivity into people’s enjoyment over an Apple Fritter Fried Chicken Sandwich or how much money they’ll put into midway tickets, maybe the focus should be on the problems that are bigger than whether or not a family of four has fun for a day.

The labour dispute was quoted by the CNE’s chief executive as having a “significant negative impact,” with a projected $1.5 million in losses this year.

As well, the increase in gun violence that has been seen in Toronto lately is not something to overlook either. The financial success of the CNE shouldn’t be a priority over the rights of its workers and the violence that’s happening right next door.

The CNE is an event that is a fun and iconic staple in Canadian culture, but it shouldn’t sacrifice the safety and wellbeing of the people who want to work to make it that way.

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When crowdfunding for a good cause goes wrong https://thecord.ca/when-crowdfunding-for-a-good-cause-goes-wrong/ https://thecord.ca/when-crowdfunding-for-a-good-cause-goes-wrong/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 11:00:28 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51101

Graphic by Kashyap Patel

We are living in a time where providing services for strangers, like driving them from place to place with the help of an app, or crowdfunding for any cause imaginable, is almost too effortless to do. Unfortunately, as with all things, sometimes the evolving conveniences of society come with downsides.

GoFundMe, the website that gives people a platform to share their tales of woe, tragedy, opportunity, excitement and promise with the world in exchange for financial support, has recently come under some unfortunate controversy that brings an ethical dilemma to the idea of charitable donations in large quantities.

In the past week, outrage has erupted as nearly $400,000 that was crowdfunded for a homeless veteran, John Bobbitt, has not been given to him as previously promised.

The money, intended for the man who helped out and later befriended Philadelphia resident Kate McClure, was supposed to be used to help Bobbitt obtain a home and food following his act of good samaritanism.

McClure began this crusade of good-will back in November of 2017, with an original goal of only $10,000, but it quickly surpassed that at $400,000 in 10 months following an appearance on Good Morning America.

Because of this, there has been a criminal investigation following the case in which GoFundMe has been committed to doing their best to ensure that the money that has been “lost” will be rightfully given to Bobbitt.

There’s always going to be a risk when it comes to these kinds of things. Donation fraud, social security scams and the like have always existed, and likely will continue to exist in the future as long as people have the capacity to be deceitful.

The absence of this staggering amount of charitable money is troubling, not only because it didn’t go to its intended recipient, but because of the implications it has against doing what is right.

It taints people’s perceptions of charity more than what already exists, giving further fuel to the narrative that refutes “hand-out culture.”

The fact that we exist in a time where this kind of accessible charity is possible is remarkable. It reflects the incredible potential of our society to do good for those who really need it.

It is a shame that there are — and always will be — those who take advantage of this system as a means to their own ends.

Much like the clearly fraudulent GoFundMe page for Kylie Jenner created by online comedian Josh Ostrovsky — or “The Fat Jewish” as he’s known on social media, when it came out that she was $100 million from becoming a billionaire — sometimes the internet demonstrates that it really shouldn’t be given too much power.

But does this mean that these kinds of websites shouldn’t exist? If you think about GoFundMe as a source that provides traction and acknowledgement for causes that otherwise wouldn’t get attention, then the answer becomes more clear. I feel that it’s incredibly important, despite the risks and drawbacks.

There’s always going to be a risk when it comes to these kinds of things. Donation fraud, social security scams and the like have always existed, and likely will continue to exist in the future as long as people have the capacity to be deceitful.

But the potential that it is has to do good should outweigh the negatives that instances like these create. The opportunity for virality to create bountiful opportunities for people, much like how the lottery operates, is an aspect of our society that I’ve come to admire — despite how rare it may be.

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The power of bringing fictional ideas to real life https://thecord.ca/the-power-of-bringing-fictional-ideas-to-real-life/ https://thecord.ca/the-power-of-bringing-fictional-ideas-to-real-life/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 11:00:10 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51093

Graphic by Kashya Patel

American author and biochemist Isaac Asimov once said, “Today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s science fact.”

When analyzing this quote, I think about how in a world of emerging technologies that so many scientists and engineers constantly achieve breakthroughs, specifically in the case of bringing technological and innovative inventions from fantasy and film to life.

After a decade of watching sci-fi and superhero movies, almost everything from Iron Man inspired exosuits, to giant robots operated by humans that you have seen in Avatar, have been made into a reality.

What I wish to emphasize is how inspiring and life changing it is, that despite being told certain kinds of technologies seen in film will never exist, scientists continue to prove doubters wrong.

To me, being able to bring ideas from movies to life emphasizes that there are many amazing people out there who use their intelligent minds to make the world a better place.

After feeling inspired from watching Avengers: Infinity War, I remember reminiscing about how Tony Stark realized how he could use his genius-level intellect to save the world from crime when creating his armoured suits.

In addition, I have not seen a lot of emerging technologies that have been influenced by films in the real world replicate all the things their fictional counterparts can do.

However, it is evident that scientists usually succeed in having them perform some of their main functions and fulfil their purposes.

I’ve noticed this specifically in the case of technologies that enhance a human’s physical capability — to be able do dangerous jobs with less injuries or help those who struggle with physical disabilities.

For instance, the Hybrid Assistive Limb, technology also known as HAL, is a robotic exoskeleton suit created by the University of Tsukuba and the Japanese robotics company Cyberdyne. It is designed to help people with physical disabilities with walking.

I’m no scientist, but I do know people will continue to make breakthroughs in many fields of technology.

It’s amazing that this life changing suit can augment a human’s physical strength and body movement tenfold.

I remember watching an elderly woman whose left side of her body was paralyzed due to a stroke, was able to walk when wearing the suit, claiming it had improved the condition of her leg.

When watching this woman on YouTube, it put a smile on my face. The fact that this technology was able to help her and others with physical disabilities regain hope that they could walk again is remarkable.

I’m not entirely sure what the inspiration was when creating this suit, but it has been often compared to Iron Man’s suit due to their similar purposes.

This certainly did remind me of how Tony Stark felt when building his armoured suit, knowing that his invention would enhance his physical capabilities and help him in so many ways.

Despite not being able to shoot beams and fly, the fact that this technology has been made a reality is what’s most amazing about it. How it will help so many people in their everyday lives is what makes it so fascinating.

Overall, this is just one of the many examples of an idea that we have seen in movies and, eventually, brought to life.

It’s inspiring to see that scientists ignore doubters and persevere in creating something that will help many people in need.

I’m no scientist, but I do know people will continue to make breakthroughs in many fields of technology.

I like to believe that movies have played a part in possibly influencing some scientists out in the real world. Fictional creations have the potential to convince them that bringing an idea from a film to life is not as far-fetched as one may have previously thought before.

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Editorial: Finding happiness in university https://thecord.ca/editorial-finding-happiness-in-university/ https://thecord.ca/editorial-finding-happiness-in-university/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 10:59:24 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51084

Finding consistent happiness when multiple aspects of your life are uncertain can be challenging at times, especially during your time in university.

I’ve changed my mind about what it is I want to do with my life after I’m finished school too many times to count and spent more time than I’d like to admit panicking about the unpredictability of my future.

No matter how many ducks you have in a row or how organized you are, moving closer towards the world beyond university can be a daunting task.

Our time in school is typically spent teetering on a delicate balance between making sure we’re having the best time of our lives and doing all of the “right” things in order to properly succeed.

Wasting my time with trivial activities that I don’t really enjoy doing or putting more unnecessary points on my to-do list and calendar that simply don’t give my existence any added value, is something that I’ve been conflicted with since first-year.

We’re expected to have it all figured out and be picture perfect visions of adulthood by the time we move on from school, and that kind of pressure can be one of the most all consuming stressors we have during our four (or more) years here.

Regardless of how long it’s taken me to get to this point right now, I’m happy with where I am and what I’m doing. I’m happy to know the people that I do and what I’m working towards.

I’ve slowly began to recognize the difference between the things that truly make me unhappy and aren’t worth my commitment, versus the things that push me outside of my comfort zone just enough so that I’m a better human being because of it.

Many aspects about where I am right now terrify me, stress me out and sometimes make me question all of my choices as I’m doing them. But I’ve realized that my happiness doesn’t have to be so fundamentally rooted in knowing all of the answers right now.

As someone who has typically done things because I felt like I “had” to, it’s been a challenge realizing that I don’t have to do anything that I don’t actually want to do.
    It’s almost scarier when you realize that you are in complete control of the choices you make and where they will lead you, because it means that you have to think critically about what it is you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

At the end of the day, I do enjoy being in university for the academics, experiences and the opportunities it’s given me — that’s why I’m here. I’m pursuing the path I want to, while actively thinking about where it’s going to take me in the long run.

I just turned 23, a number that makes me feel like a clock is starting to tick down with how much time I have left to accomplish what I want to in order to achieve my ultimate vision of happiness — even if I don’t really have a firm grasp on what that is yet.

Regardless of how long it’s taken me to get to this point right now, I’m happy with where I am and what I’m doing. I’m happy to know the people that I do and what I’m working towards.

I may be a little older than the average fourth-year, but I’m not going to waste my days with too many internal debates about what I should and shouldn’t be doing. Learning to accept the sometimes unexpected nature of things in life can be the best thing for you.

Just look at it this way, in the terribly underrated Pixar prequel Monsters University, Mike Wazowski’s dreams of becoming a scarer are eventually achieved through unforeseen experiences and he ends up happier and more successful because of it. If that’s not a model for success, I don’t know what is.

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