Periods of transition have always held a certain excitement, a faint sense of thrill and danger. It’s a time when everything balances precariously on a tiny point, ready to fall away in infinite directions. That in-between feeling… it weighs heavy with possibility, from gratifying fulfillment to crushing regret. But really, however things choose to unravel, it is undoubtedly a time of growth. This fall will mark a crucial stepping stone in the cobbled pathway to adulthood for many incoming students at UTM, myself included.
For many of us, I know it’ll be our first taste of true independence, not only from our home lives but also from our adolescent selves. In this new environment, full of new dynamics and different personalities, I can shed the image I’ve had of myself and my past. I can overcome my shyness and penchant for solitude. I can put myself out there and be the person, the adult I know I can be and truly connect with others. This is the growth I know I can nurture within myself, coming into my first year at UTM.
My view outside the Instructional Building at lunchtime
To achieve this, I’m going to learn as much as I can about the clubs and societies on campus, volunteering opportunities, and off-campus opportunities as well. Campus involvement is important to me, especially as a commuting student. I’m incredibly excited to learn more about the art scene on campus, as well as the campus radio and The Medium newspaper. I want to be able to use my strengths and my passion to help others and the community I will spend the next few years in without my distance from the campus becoming a hindrance. This is the growth I can nurture in others and those who surround me.
While I am excited to immerse myself in a new environment, I’m also daunted by what’s ahead. As I’ve been told (or warned, really) by so many others, university is going to be much more challenging academically than high school. I know that I have to expect some growing pains, like late nights and countless study groups, deadlines and tons of important responsibilities.
Outside the CCT Building
But, if there is one constant in my life, I know it’s this: my love for learning. During one of the HeadStart sessions I attended the week before the start of term, one professor said that, “the inception of the university institution was driven by the need to cultivate and spread knowledge for knowledge’s sake”. That was the university’s purpose. And after spending just a couple of days on campus, I feel that sentiment down to my eager bones. I feel exhilarated to be starting this part of my nascent adulthood at UTM; everyone has been so welcoming, and I have a feeling that this sense of community doesn’t cease, not after the first couple of weeks, or after the first semester, or after the first year. I have not just enrolled at a university, I have entered a lifelong community.
And so, with thrill and eagerness and a little bit of anxiety, I hang in the curious limbo between adolescence and adulthood.
Ready to go and ready to grow.