Friday, April 23, 2004

Welcome to LAA: Life After Academia. That’s right, I am finally done of my university career and it was a looooong time coming. 6 years to be precise. Now technically I graduated last May, but of course I had to come back and fulfill promise made to follow co-op term in Ireland with final academic semester. Wrapped things up Wednesday with a presentation to review board that will decide whether I am deserving of Honors distinction in Bus. Admin. There was a bit of grilling at the end, but as I rather enjoy BBQs was able to hold my own. At least I think I did, suppose I will find out soon enough when mark is posted! what the heck did I learn in the past 6 years?

1. How to avoid writing final exams.
Apparently I gained quite a reputation (thanks to Becky R) for prowess in exam-avoidance. Admittedly is well-deserved rep, but for most part was not intentional. The secret to my success? Taking artsy courses like Creative Writing and courses by professors who like to vacation during exam time (ahem, no names know who they are). So yeah, I haven’t written a final exam since the first semester of third year..

2. The Business Program has its Perks. Seriously, I think our year had it really sweet in this regard. I mean how often do students get to compete for monetary rewards in-class? By end of third year, had won cash in the hundreds of $, cell phone w/free coverage for 4 months and partaken in pizza and beer parties supplied by certain very generous professors. I feel sorry for the Science & Arts students; they just don’t know what they’re missing out on.

3. Business People Do Not Work on Fridays. Assumption based on fact that Business was only faculty that did not hold classes on Friday. I believe we are being prepped for ‘real’ business world where Fridays are meant for golfing and hobnobbing. ( sorry..yummy biscuits..)

4. The ‘Starving Student’ Thing is a BIG Myth. Seriously doubt there are many more times in life I will have so much money to flash around and spend frivolously...on things like trips across Canada and Europe. Student loans rock! Of course, I realise that in six months, when payments come due I will be singing a different tune. Not ‘I’m in the Money’..more like ‘Money, That’s What I Want’.

5. Most of Learning Happens Outside the Classroom. For instance, on business pub-crawls I learned that mixing drinks is not a good thing, but singing karaoke when one is inebriated is forgivable. In the Kelley Lounge, I learned the intricacies of the famed card game ‘A**hole’. Off campus I learned that microwave popcorn takes 2.22 Minutes, not 5 minutes. Also, it is wise to empty your freezer before turning the electricity off and heading out on month-long vacation. You don’t need a parking permit for UPEI. Carpet can last for over twenty years...air quality may be compromised.

6. University is Great Place to Meet Fabulous People. Such persons would include Becky R, Becky C, Raeanne, Scooter, Erin, Jen M, Keri (OK..knew her b4..but still), Kim, Colin, J.P., Kelly, Kim Tran, Kevin, Sherilyn, Adam…Oh geez, I just know I am going to miss a tonne of great people so will just say ‘The Whole Kit & Caboodle). And let’s not forget the Profs/Staff: Paula, Ernie, Janet, Joan, Ron, Don x2, Brian, Melissa, Rob, Mollie, Dave, Sean, Roberta, Bob. Again..the list goes on. Bottom Line – if anything university is great for social life and lots of interesting people

7. Co-op Works, But Only if You Take Advantage. This is where I polished my skills in ‘taking advantage of things that would otherwise pass me by.’ Believe myself to be very good at taking advantage of any and all circumstances! Without co-op is unlikely I would have had 12 great months in Ottawa, def. would have missed out on time in Ireland. Now have solid resume, experience living outside confines of Island and fond memories of Ernie’s ‘work site visit’ to us Ottawa students.

OK..well if I were being all structured and everything I’d have three more points to make it an even Top 10, but I’m stepping out here..stepping out of that mould. Ha. So that’s it. And yes, I did learn some things in my courses too..just realised I was getting a bit sappy near the end there..didn’t want to enter the ‘sappy AND boring category’

So here I am at the end and the beginning. It’s a great place to be. To stop and look where you have already been, and to imagine where you might go, without really having an inkling what’s in store. Exhilirating to say the least.

On that note, will sign off for the moment with thought from Mr. Lennon that says it quite nicely - ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.’

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