This is the first semester that I haven’t been in school. After a lifetime of education, I finished my university degree in June. Even though my excitement to be done was tangible, the last day I walked around campus I thought about all of the things I would miss.
University is a place where people come together to think, create, and stretch their brains in uncomfortable ways. There’s something about walking around campus and being surrounded by people in different disciplines. While standing in line for a much needed caffeine fix, in front of me is an engineer crunching numbers that mean nothing to me, behind me is a medical student who knows exactly what that fifth coffee is doing to her body but orders it anyways because she’s running on little sleep, and at the front is a couple of philosopher’s arguing over who summed up human sexuality the best: Freud or Foucault. And then there’s me – a journalist whose time spent observing people standing in line for coffee is every bit a part of my education as the news writing and ethics class that I’m running late for.
Sure, I went to unversity to get a degree that will hopefully help me get the career that I want one day. However, the part of school that I loved the most isn’t the paper I received at the end. It’s the way different topics open your eyes up to parts of the world you never knew existed. It’s that teacher that is so passionate about what they’re teaching that they can inspire you to change journalism for the better, get you excited about fonts, or burn into your memory how different chemicals affect your brain. It’s that person you roll your eyes at because it’s the seventh time they’ve raised their hand in the past hour and they’re sharing another story about what their boyfriend thinks about an unrelated topic, like soup. It’s the sports teams, friends, Tim Hortons, early mornings and late nights.
During my last weeks I was excited at the thought of being done assessment and starting “real life.” However, I am going to miss being on campus because of its unique atmosphere. There’s always more learning to do. After all, I never did sit in on an engineer class.