Reminiscing about life at Laurier

Photo by Marina Black

As exam season is rapidly approaching, so is the end of my undergraduate career. While I’m ready to leave Laurier and move onto the next chapter, online learning has made things severely anticlimactic and given me an incomplete feeling inside.

I remember the excitement I felt when I received acceptance to my schools of choice, and then the stress of not knowing which to choose. My first choice was Western, yet Laurier felt like a place I could call home.

After three years of living in apartments, going to classes on campus, visiting my professors, and getting involved in extracurriculars, I’m sad to see it go while my fourth year has been spent quarantining with the computer. 

Campus and student life taught me a lot about myself. 

Living on my own and being responsible for my learning taught me how to be independent and take care of myself.

Going to classes and doing the course material taught me how to manage my time, critically think, and figure out what career and passions I want to pursue in the future.

My professors gave me an outlet for academic discussion. Whether it was course-related or not, they inspired me to keep being curious about the world and ask questions. 

Of course, while some professors seemed like they didn’t care,. I cherish the discussions I’ve had with those who saw my hunger for knowledge and willingness to work hard.

Truly, I miss it all. Trying to get my homework done while balancing various extracurriculars, working long hours in the library to avoid distractions at home, making time for friends and nights out in Uptown Waterloo, and still carving out time to recuperate.

However, I’ve reached peak burnout in online learning. I try to make my calendar as free as possible, knowing I need more rest now than I did when we were going to campus. 

In my first year, I used to sleep four hours a night, attend all my classes, hang out with friends, and make time for myself. 

Now, I average 9 hours of sleep a night, put Zoom classes on in the background, barely see friends, and feel like I have no time for myself – despite dedicating all my free time to myself. I feel like I’ve gone from 18 to 80 in a matter of months.

After my second year, I worked a day job and a night job to pay for tuition and partied with my friends on my nights off for the entire summer. It’s hard to believe that was my lifestyle only two years ago. 

My third year was by far the best. I had done enough school to know what I was doing and what professors expected. I could balance executive positions for various clubs. I knew which friends would turn out to be long-time relationships. And, my 20s were steering me to young adulthood.

Fourth year was doomed when the last month of the Winter 2020 semester went online. Despite working from home all summer and online learning in the fall, the pandemic didn’t really hit me until this semester.

I’ve never experienced burnout like this before, and it’s one of the few times in my undergrad where I’m not enjoying school. Last week, I won an award in a research competition, yet I’m still feeling numb while wishing away this final month.

I loved my time at Laurier. From ages 18 to 21, my university experiences have been memorable moments in my life. But these moments cannot be commemorated traditionally this year. 

No graduation ceremony and no gatherings with family and friends leave us with just another finished semester, except this time, it’s for good.

Whether you are graduating or not, it’s important to find those memories within your post-secondary education. While you may not really like school, there is something at Laurier for everyone. 

My time at Laurier taught me many things; especially, to take opportunities when they arise and go for gold every time you want something. While you won’t get everything you want, you will make the most out of your time and learn a lot of things along the way.

    Leave a Reply