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Studentview

At semester's end, Megan Smith reflects on how university life has changed her

Student Life

By Megan Smith

Change is a part of life that is as interesting as it is inescapable.

You might be just getting comfortable in your current situation when something — planned or unplanned — arrives to catapult you into a completely new environment.

My early school experiences embodied this, as, even without the COVID-19 pandemic cutting my final year of junior high short, the school system bounced me from building to building in the span of a few years before cutting me loose entirely.

“The shift from the one-size-fits-all approach of public school to the independence of academia seemed like going from a puddle to an ocean.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect in taking the plunge from high school into university life.

I had always enjoyed school, but how different would this experience be from anything I’d been through before?

Best learning environment

The shift from the one-size-fits-all approach of public school to the independence of academia seemed like going from a puddle to an ocean.

Coupled with my first foray into the working world, this past summer held its fair share of anxieties.

As it turned out, being released from the structure of public schooling was exactly what I needed.

“I am no longer subjected to a curriculum that skims across subjects like rocks on a pond.”

In my highly subjective personal opinion, university is not only the best learning environment, but somewhere that I’d gladly spend time.

I am no longer subjected to a curriculum that skims across subjects like rocks on a pond — giving good general coverage, but never going in-depth to any particular domain.

In the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, I’ve been able to tailor my learning experience to subjects that serve my skills and pique my interests.

I’ve always had a love of words and an appreciation for fantastical stories, so attending lectures, writing essays and crafting opinions on such topics gives me an outlet for things I likely would have already been doing on my own in some capacity.

Even for broader requirements such as the Quantitative Reasoning course, there are many different options for every type of person.

‘Some of the best moments of my life’

University has been a land of opportunity for me: if high school is meant to teach you what your interests are, then the next level of education is perfect for fine-tuning your skills.

I’m not saying that my experiences should speak for everyone.

We are all individuals, and no two experiences, good or bad, will ever be exactly the same.

But for me personally, my first semester as a Memorial University student has been some of the best moments of my life.

“I’ve received amazing opportunities to add to my professional toolkit, both through my courses and extracurricular options, including this column.”

I’ve learned a lot of interesting and useful things from a lot of interesting and knowledgeable people.

I’ve found personal freedom around campus, from choosing good study spots to fuelling up with a snack or a meal.

And, I’ve received amazing opportunities to add to my professional toolkit, both through my courses and extracurricular options, including this column.

Being this semester’s Gazette student columnist has helped me share my opinions on a wide variety of topics and improve my quality of writing.

It’s been a fun, rewarding experience to give input on anything from AI to Halloween activities and see my picture, name and words go up against a professional backdrop.

It, like the rest of my university experience thus far, has really helped me figure out who I am.

As the semester draws to a close, I’d like to thank everyone who’s helped and supported me along the way.


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