They say these are the best times of our lives, but what exactly is the best part about it? How many of you really know why you're in university and what you intend to get from it all? Outside of what you learn in lectures--whether it's the complexities of a molecular cell, Marxist ideologies, circuits or the constructs of fluid dynamics--what's really important?
One thing about living in Rez is how much time one has to contemplate those "life lessons" and the trials that come with it. There are a lot of bizarre characters living out there and one can't help but reflect on what you would say, if you were telling the story about the "best time of your life." Would you reminisce about how bad your roommate's body odour affected your personal hygiene? The number of Rez cabs at which you got drunk? What about that guy everyone called "crazy" Paul? Or would you re-tell what you learned about ideological concepts of the Cold War or psychological mental disorders?
What is it all about? To some, the transition to university is somewhat overwhelming. Sandwiched between the place of "higher learning" and freedom, will Rez life make it all worthwhile it for most people? After acquiring a well-developed alcohol tolerance, there are mismatched memories of one too many late-night pre-conjugal visits after some random night at the bar, the amount of new people you met and best of all, that one stranger you got to know so well. What people reflect on are those memories and not the "profound" knowledge acquired in the classroom.
Rez can affect you in two ways. One, you either love it and, even after two years of the DC gourmet food, you still look forward to Sunday night roast beef and gravy. Then there's the downside--Rez life isn't for everybody. In the end, what gets you that degree is how much time you spent studying, not how often you procrastinated by fighting over the remote control with someone on your floor or how many people you knew in Kananaskis Hall.
Clichéd or not, your university life completely depends on what you make of it and, for those living in Rez, there is a bigger part to it. It can be distracting--you live with a lot of people. Some are way too high strung, others simply apathetic and some are here for curiosity. The majority, like anyone else, are here just to figure things out.
There are those in Rez who get thrown off balance and lose sight of what's most important. Without a doubt, we learn something new every day and after leaving lectures, not all is forgotten. But what would I remember most? Rez definitely leaves room for self-discovery and long-lasting impressions. The DC food might not go down so well, the dreaded "freshman 15" might start to creep in and you might at some point, think of many ways to shorten your roommate's life. But, all in all, it will be educational.
Hadija Gabunga can be contacted at email@example.com.