University Lament

I stopped for a bottle of water which made me miss my bus. Walking around this area, along des Pins towards the McGill campus, I realise how little I miss my university years. They were alcohol filled days of loneliness and searching that had fun moments and painful ones, too. Eating alone at a restaurant, hours DJing at the back of the Bifteck with a bag of CDs and a textbook that could barely hold my attention. I feel sad and sorry for students, though not all of them will be as lost as I was. Selfish days and wasted time, looking for love, for something in a sea of broken hearts.

Why else would Sassy/Jane and Seventeen (and even grown-up magazines) feature horoscopes or numerology in their back pages? They know youth, they know that when life is uncertain, pepople hope for a sign, some guidance, or for something in the stars to align on our favour. There’s a wonderful innocence about coming of age, the careless fear of an incredible unknown. And beyond that hump is an entire world of confidence, a thirty-year coast balanced by extreme stress and pleasure.

I walked by Condorida yesterday, and it’s all brand new and fancy; not just one giant depressing building lined with dusty carpets like it used to be. From the rainy sidewalk I looked through an enormous aquarium glass to tables and benches filled with students and their laptops, writing and studying. And I got strangely nostalgic for that forced reason to read and learn. Its as if the social experience of uni still exhausts me to this day, but that I’d wish I’d taken the educative side a bit more seriously. It might have helped to have had a nice brand new place to study, a well-ventilated, asbestos-free classroom, some properly lit space to reflect. So this is my message of hope, for tuition fees still under $5,000 for Canadians, for bright young professors who still love their work. Just hold your passions close, and don’t let the compulsory classes (or the 2-for-1 drink specials) get you down.

2 Replies to “University Lament”

  1. Isn’t it interesting how many of our Montreal bands come out of Concordia? Islands, Arcade Fire just to name a few. I wonder why McGill doesn’t produce any, perhaps McGill is just better for classical music and research.

    But I digress, it’s true that many at University seem lost, some search for the ultimate “college” experience, others search for meaningful relationships and life lasting friendships, still others are lost in their own responsibilities such as figuring out what they are going to do for the rest of their lives which is perhaps the most ridiculous thing to ask of us.

    And then there are those who know exactly what they want and only talk about internships with high profile companies.

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