Life Lessons from a Frosh Student
For those of you that read Z’s downright amazing advice to the graduates of 2013…I promise you that this is nothing like that. I could only aspire to be as funny, witty, or as FLY A** as her. Instead, I bring to you my interpretation of life as a first year student at Queen’s University (which has yet to include any wild stints at Alfie’s, Stages or any other bar for that matter… unless I’m including the Spot… that counts right?)
Despite my lack of bar star status, I can offer some honest, and almost equally, exciting insight to my frosh-ly endeavors thus far. Currently, I’m one semester down and one more to go, and I have to say that being a first year university student is a unique experience. It really has been the best of times and the worst of times (mostly the best.) But through all the trials and triumphs of my freshman year, I wouldn’t change a thing about being a frosh here at Queen’s. In fact, as cliché as it may sound, through all my experiences, I whole heartedly believe that so many different aspects of Queen’s have already taught me some very valuable life lessons.
Looking back, if there was one event that served as foreshadowing for the abundance of possibilities at Queen’s, it was learning our frosh dance. From the very first moment I learned my frosh week dance to Neon Tree’s catchy pop tune “Everybody Talks“, I knew that I was in for one hell of a ride. If university could make uncoordinated eighteen-year-olds learn and perform (enthusiastically, I might add) a dance to an over-played radio hit AND make it look relatively awesome, then nothing would shock me. As if that wasn’t enough, I was later impressed by Queens’ ability to make tams socially and fashionably acceptable. I never dreamt I would be so honored to receive a tam; nor have I ever been so excited to wear such an odd-looking piece of clothing… But I guess that’s what school spirit will do to you. Oh, and speaking of frosh week…if you’re wondering about “slosh the frosh”, we need not go there.
LESSON LEARNED: Anything is possible. Anything.
Let me begin with a bit of a disclaimer: the food on campus gets the job done. Although it’s far from gourmet, I really have no complaints. And how could I complain when I have nearly 24 hour access to chicken fingers and fries at the Lazy Scholar? On a more negative note, I really loved stir-fry before I came here. Now, 150 stir fry helpings later …. Not so much. But I guess if I ate steak and potatoes every night for a week straight I’d probably acquire a distaste for that too, right? Actually, that’s a bad example… But if there is one thing I’ve learned with cafeteria food, it’s that you never know what you’re going to get. The general rule of thumb amongst the first years is that, “if it looks delicious, be suspicious”. And on the other hand, that mystery meat might just pleasantly surprise you…
LESSON LEARNED: Expect the unexpected (in cafeteria food and in life!)
Life in Residence…
Living in a building full of budding adults has got to be the most unique and entertaining social experience…ever. It seriously gives a whole new meaning to the word “sharing.” But, I cannot think of another opportunity in my life where I might have the pleasure (yes, you read that right) of sharing showers, toilets, toothbrushes (just kidding…sort of) and my life with such amazing individuals. From a hushed quiet, when the Dons knock on a Friday night, to silent prayers that we don’t get written up or fined for the damage that we swear we didn’t do; so many of my experiences are shared with other people. The most rewarding part about living in residence (besides being able to raid my floor mates closets and having my own personal therapists on call 24/7) is the rare friendships that I have formed. It is not every day that a person gets the chance to meet and befriend people from all different walks of life; people with so many different backgrounds and stories and dreams. What I’ve learned is that it’s impossible not to love each and every one of these people in different ways; and, come April, it will be just as impossible to walk away from my residence the same person that I was when I arrived in September.
LESSON LEARNED: No matter how big or small, everyone has something to offer you (even if it is a toothbrush on a Saturday morning.)
As I reflect upon my first semester at Queen’s, I can’t help but marvel at how much I have learned through the most basic aspects of university life. It’s hard to believe that frosh week, cafeteria food and life in residence has been able to offer me so much. Looking ahead to the future, I realize how many things at Queen’s I have yet to experience. Considering that my nineteenth birthday is just a few short weeks away, I am more than eager to see what life lessons Alfie’s has to offer… (Lesson TO BE Learned: I can probably handle a lot less wine than I think I can.) Sure, I’m young, and there’s still lots I haven’t figured out; but based on my freshman year, I’m confident that the next three years of my life at Queen’s will teach me whatever it is I need to know, plus a whole lot more.
Oh, and by the way…. That whole lecture thing? It’s pretty cool too.
Abi Conners, First Year Representative