Have fun, kids

With all these crazy headlines and growing fear of the Trump administration, it is important to remember that we can find a hint of positivity in every situation.

Everyone has a motto they stick by. My favourite has always been, “Have fun while you can.” You always hear your parents, aunts, uncles, teachers and frankly anyone in their thirties and above, tell you that your school days will be the best years of your life. But do we actually believe them or do we assume they’re just having a mid-life crisis or something?

“I’ve always put happiness and enjoyment first and my other priorities second.”

 

It’s weird, but I remember on my eighth grade graduation day, my art teacher told me that the four years we spend in high school will fly by and that the four years we spend at university will go by even quicker. I obviously thought she was out of her mind. How can eight years of my life just fly by? She went on to tell me to have fun and enjoy every minute of it.

When I was in the eighth grade, she looked like she was over 60 years old, so when she told me all this, all I remember thinking was, “Old people are so strange. Why is she telling me all this? Obviously, I’m never going to skip a single class and I’m obviously going to be the next Harvard graduate, or something equally as amazing.”

Clearly, I thought too highly of myself.

She died a few months ago but her words will always stick with me.

When I look back on the past few years, I can say that I’ve always put happiness and enjoyment first and my other priorities second. My general thought process has always been that if your sister has her graduation but you have class, you skip class and get your ass across town to York University. If your friend is going through a difficult time in her life, you stand by her until she is able to stand on her own.

One time in Grade 10, a friend of mine was going through a bad breakup and had been feeling down for quite a while about it. So instead of staying at school, the three of us (me, her and another friend) skipped the entire day, walked to a nearby park and played on all the park equipment for a good two hours. After that, we trekked to a nearby Pizza Pizza and gobbled up an entire XL pizza.

I can confess to all this because: a) it’s been over five years, b) I’m getting ready to graduate university and c) I’m sure my parents won’t be upset finding out now.

I know a lot of people who say they hated high school. But me? I enjoyed every single year and I’d do it again.

Many of my friends are eager to graduate university this year; they want to start their lives already. I hate the thought of leaving but I’ve come to terms with it.

Though the future seems scary because everything is uncertain, I’ve come to the conclusion that no one is unsuccessful. We may struggle in a field we didn’t think we’d end up in for a bit after graduation, but I’ve told myself that it’s all about gaining experience and adding to your list of adventures.

Yes, I would call working at a boring firm with boring people an adventure.

Think of it as working on the set of The Office — stare out into a random space every so often and make a face as if you’re staring at a camera, maybe you’ll even find your Jim or Pam. It’s an adventure, my friend.

When I think about it, every year at Ryerson was better than the last. Every year I learned more and every year I realized that these really are the best years of our lives — thus far.

How many times have you sat around campus for hours with your friends, attended zero lectures, done no homework but still felt like you had a great day? Probably a million and one times.

One memory I will always laugh at happened in first year. A friend and I came up with the idea of having a different laugh for every day of the week. One day it was really high pitched and squeaky and another day it was deep and obnoxious. (We kept it up for a couple of weeks, but then we kept forgetting which laugh belonged to which day.) It may sound stupid, but to us it was hilarious, and we were and still are world renowned comedians with unique senses of humour.

It’s scary to think that once we leave this school, we all go our separate ways. We can’t check our schedules to see if we’re both in the Victoria Building at the same time so we can walk together, and we definitely can’t call up a friend to tell them a spot has opened in a class that was full, just so you can see each other a little bit more.

I may not have had a 4.0 GPA (I don’t have a 2.0 or something if that’s what you’re assuming out of all of this. I’ve done well thank you very much), but I can proudly say that I made great friends and had amazing experiences.

I agree that educational and career success should be top priorities, but the people in your life and the lives you touch are the most important.

Often we forget that not everyone will remain a part of your life. Over time, we drift from our friends, colleagues and sometimes even our family members.

To me, the most difficult part about drifting away from someone is seeing them randomly one day and remembering all the memories you made together. Sometimes friendships don’t last but what lasts is your memory of them buying you your favourite dessert at a restaurant when you said you weren’t hungry — but they knew you well enough to know you could eat a whole cake and then some.
What I mean to say is that people come and go in your life. Say yes to spending time with friends, agree to a coffee date to catch up, sit at your friend’s house doing nothing but enjoying each other’s company. And most importantly, learn to lean on each other when the future looks bleak — and filled with Trump.

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