Valium-Bites

Reflections from a perpetual student...

9 notes &

When is it Okay to Quit?

I’ve been told that regardless of the circumstances, that if I work hard, I will always succeed. As a First Generation student (the first in my family to attend higher education), I’ve grown up with this mantra…work and always work hard. But sometimes working hard is not enough.

Through different stages in my life, both in higher education, volunteer opportunities, part-time jobs, student clubs, and personal projects, I’ve often wondered if it was ever okay to just quit.

I’ve been through it — two bachelor degrees, working at minimum wage for 25hrs/wk with 40hrs/wk of school (plus homework/study hours included), volunteering for anything and everything that could possibly fit into my schedule, and then, if there was a spare moment, I’d clock in about 4 hours of sleep each night.

I worked hard, and for the most part, I loved it, but sometimes the opportunities that should have given me valuable experiences were just making me feel incredibly unhappy.

So two years ago, I began a personal movement…I asked myself, when is it okay to quit?

Quitting DOES NOT make you a loser or a failure. Quitting DOES NOT mean you lack commitment or you lack motivation. Sometimes you need to quit in order to protect your mental health.

Sure, there were times when I felt like quitting school (who hasn’t?) but I knew my education was important, so I turned to friends for support. Learning to ask for help is a big part of “growing up” and sometimes you need someone else to help you review your goals and point you in the right direction.

It’s not like quitting after you’re frustrated about not being able to solve an advanced calculus problem. It’s not like realizing that you’ve failed yet another exam and are ready to throw in the towel. No, quitting is what you decide for your yourself and for your future. Quitting is something you may need to do to achieve happiness.

And for me, that meant starting over again with a future that allowed me to nurture my creativity. I left the opportunities that didn’t respect my work (those who consistently arrived late to appointments, those who expected me to bend over backwards to fit their schedule/timeline, those who took advantage of my kindness and made me to feel bad about my choices).

I’m almost sorry that it took me this long to find such freedom, but “growing up” takes time. And even those who may seem like they have their entire life in order, may not have everything in order after all.

Remember: When things look like they’re impossible, there’s always a way out…

Quitting = opening new doors and walking down new paths to find a place you can call home

This post was inspired by how this person made ‘failure’ work in her favour I’m Failing and It’s Okay

Filed under schooling university

10 notes &

pitythewitty:

To my Classmates who start packing up 3 minutes before lecture ends, even when they have nowhere to go. (People who have urgent things to do are exempt…)
Bear with me, fellow classmate. 
The average annual tuition for a 4 year private university is $35,000 and the average annual tuition for a 4 year public university is $14,000.  I’m taking the public path for this example, but feel free to apply this to the private university of your choice. Back to public education.
You, a hard-working student, take 4 courses a quarter (fall, winter and spring).  First off all, have fun in the library! Second of all, through some basic math…the average course’s cost (tuition and other expenses) adds up to $1166.67. Don’t believe me? Well then:
$14,000 annual costs divided by 3 quarters divided by 4 courses.=$1167.666666666666…Ta-da?
So ONE course costs you $1166.67. Yes public education is messed up, but that is not the point I’m trying to make here. The point I’m trying to make, quite elegantly, is that $1167.67 is a buttload of money. Moving onwards:
You have 10 weeks in a quarter.
And 3 lectures a week for 1 course.
So 30 lectures for 1 course= $1167.67, right?
Therefore 1 lecture = approximately $39.
Now assume your class is 50 minutes.  8:00-8:50. (“UGH  8AM class, my life is the worst!!!”)
So each minute in your class is = approximately $0.80.
And now we get to you, bored classmate. You don’t necessarily have anywhere to go, but this teacher’s tedious material does not live up to your entertainment standards, so you decide to “save time” by packing up early.  Rustle backpack. Rustle papers. Rustle Rustle. But hey, who am I to assume you’re a rude rustler? You could be a polite packer!
Well, a handshake to you for being polite, but you’re still getting a bad deal. How? Let’s get back to the fact that each minute in your class is 80 cents.
If you spend 3 minutes of lecture packing up while knowledge is being transmitted, you are missing out on $2.40 worth of material that YOU (or your parents) paid for.
That’s per lecture!
Multiply $2.40 by 30 lectures (in a quarter) and you get $72 worth of information that you are wasting away by packing up early.
And that’s just one class in one quarter.
Scary? Well I think so. Let’s get scarier. How about if you start packing early in all of your classes in one quarter? $288 lost! BAM! In one year?  $864…
$864! You could go to community college for a year on that amount.
Coming late to class is inevitable; we’ve all had some troubles. I am no ideal student. You can tell from this article that I didn’t exactly pay attention to my grammar lectures. And yeah, sometimes it IS the teacher’s fault. But most of the time, it’s us. Unless you’re in a dire emergency or have another class to zoom to across campus, do you really think packing up 3 minutes early is worth it? Is the opportunity cost for packing up early really not so bad for you? Is avoiding the crowded doors really worth it? If it is… well then I salute you, classmate, for I wish I were as rich as you.
-pity

pitythewitty:

To my Classmates who start packing up 3 minutes before lecture ends, even when they have nowhere to go. (People who have urgent things to do are exempt…)

Bear with me, fellow classmate. 

The average annual tuition for a 4 year private university is $35,000 and the average annual tuition for a 4 year public university is $14,000.  I’m taking the public path for this example, but feel free to apply this to the private university of your choice. Back to public education.

You, a hard-working student, take 4 courses a quarter (fall, winter and spring).  First off all, have fun in the library! Second of all, through some basic math…the average course’s cost (tuition and other expenses) adds up to $1166.67. Don’t believe me? Well then:

$14,000 annual costs divided by 3 quarters divided by 4 courses.=$1167.666666666666Ta-da?

So ONE course costs you $1166.67. Yes public education is messed up, but that is not the point I’m trying to make here. The point I’m trying to make, quite elegantly, is that $1167.67 is a buttload of money. Moving onwards:

You have 10 weeks in a quarter.

And 3 lectures a week for 1 course.

So 30 lectures for 1 course= $1167.67, right?

Therefore lecture = approximately $39.

Now assume your class is 50 minutes.  8:00-8:50. (“UGH  8AM class, my life is the worst!!!”)

So each minute in your class is = approximately $0.80.

And now we get to you, bored classmate. You don’t necessarily have anywhere to go, but this teacher’s tedious material does not live up to your entertainment standards, so you decide to “save time” by packing up early.  Rustle backpack. Rustle papers. Rustle Rustle. But hey, who am I to assume you’re a rude rustler? You could be a polite packer!

Well, a handshake to you for being polite, but you’re still getting a bad deal. How? Let’s get back to the fact that each minute in your class is 80 cents.

If you spend 3 minutes of lecture packing up while knowledge is being transmitted, you are missing out on $2.40 worth of material that YOU (or your parents) paid for.

That’s per lecture!

Multiply $2.40 by 30 lectures (in a quarter) and you get $72 worth of information that you are wasting away by packing up early.

And that’s just one class in one quarter.

Scary? Well I think so. Let’s get scarier. How about if you start packing early in all of your classes in one quarter? $288 lost! BAM! In one year?  $864

$864! You could go to community college for a year on that amount.

Coming late to class is inevitable; we’ve all had some troubles. I am no ideal student. You can tell from this article that I didn’t exactly pay attention to my grammar lectures. And yeah, sometimes it IS the teacher’s fault. But most of the time, it’s us. Unless you’re in a dire emergency or have another class to zoom to across campus, do you really think packing up 3 minutes early is worth it? Is the opportunity cost for packing up early really not so bad for you? Is avoiding the crowded doors really worth it? If it is… well then I salute you, classmate, for I wish I were as rich as you.

-pity

Filed under packing up early lecture bored tuition fee hike

16 notes &

Questioning Your Degree – A Bachelors in Perspective

I am over $50,000 in debt. That’s how much 9 years of undergraduate education at two different universities cost me. Throw in books, food, school supplies and being chauffeured by the YRT and TTC several hundred times and we’re looking at a ridiculous amount of money. I often joke about going for a third degree to avoid paying back my OSAP loan, but that doesn’t seem to amuse anyone.

I started off lucky, living just a 15 to 20 minute bus ride from York University. The commute was painless, except for the unreliable YRT bus schedules. When I started commuting downtown, the hour-long commute was still feasible and even more worthwhile after I landed a part-time job, which lasted me through all four years of my second degree. I went to lectures and tutorials and worked during my breaks or after classes. I wasn’t exactly making loads of cash, but anything to lighten the burden of debt was going to give me an edge over all those who took out huge loans to live on campus.

I still remember my convocation speech, and having stood through many as a convocation marshal several years ago, I was reminded (yet again) that a degree from an accredited Canadian university represents four years of hard work, struggle, time management, and sacrifice. My university degree, as I was told in high school by parents and guidance counsellors, would provide me with the skills to enter the workforce and to give back to society.

The flaw in the argument, of course, is that there are many Canadians who do not have university degrees. Others who have degrees but are unable to find work or cannot afford to be licensed in Canada. Does that mean they are unable to contribute to society?

Our parents, as do most universities in North America, have told us early on in our educational career that a degree will get you somewhere. As confirmation, I look at the wall in the Jorgenson Building at Ryerson University and find it lined with pictures of famous alumni. One day, I, too, can be a famous alumna parked next to Valerie Pringle or Eric McCormack. Woohoo! But of the many things that are advertised, what isn’t shown on the walls of Jorgenson Hall are the many thousands of inventors, scientists, writers and world leaders who do not have university degrees. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemingway, and George Washington never set foot in a classroom (except as professors) and yet they all single-handedly changed the course of history.

Society promotes higher education in order to “make it” in the real world, however, some of the wealthiest people in the world never made it through university. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard because it took time away from his hobby – software developing. Steve Jobs, the face of Apple, is also a college dropout.

Despite what may seem like a blog post of a decade’s worth of undergraduate cynicism, the truth of the matter is there is a fundamental difference between schooling and education.

The difficulty with separating schooling and education is that somewhere down the line, the distinction between the two got blurred. Where schooling means to simply be “at school”, in a controlled environment of regulated tools, means and methods of learning; education, on the other hand, is what happens outside of the classroom environment. Education is a commitment to knowledge, and although it may take some guidance, true education is about “getting messy; making mistakes”. Schooling simply teaches us how to avoid education, although we are encouraged to seek self-growth outside of the classroom, we are only rewarded for being good students, not good learners.

In my final year at Ryerson University, again, I was disappointed to discover many students still expected to be handheld after graduation. Apparently, someone neglected to inform these potential graduates that opportunities must be made, not given. But I hardly place the blame on the students.

In many ways, the education system is designed to prolong adolescence, marks may be deducted for tardiness, late assignments are generally accepted with a 1% deduction a day, essentially conditioning students to rely on others to tell them what they can and cannot do. Arguably, I’ve been prolonging adolescence for 9 years, and although I am thankful for these small favours and have sometimes used them to my advantage, I find little value in being conditioned as a bank machine.

I lament the neglected potential of young minds not being utilized beyond its ability to withdraw information when necessary. I lament the reality of being taught how to bubble in scantrons efficiently, how to memorize definitions of obscure vocabulary verbatim, and how to respond to questions in favour of the professor’s argument. Way back in June of this year, to a convocation ceremony of a few hundred university alumni, the system produced, yet again, well-conditioned machines as our society’s most educated and elite. Kudos to all the caffeine-induced psychoses of our era – precursors of delirium, manic depression, schizophrenia, or merely an anxiety syndrome – we made it out alive (just barely).

And here we are today, many feeling like they were left at sea without a paddle, thinking, “Gee, I could have put my $24K to better use”.

Filed under university schooling education degree alumni

146 notes &

Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.
Meg Cabot (via writingadvice)

(via )

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20 notes &

All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer. Old Newsman Writes: A Letter from Cuba, 1934
All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer. Old Newsman Writes: A Letter from Cuba, 1934

(via couragencourage)

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5 notes &

No More Private Google Profiles

derosnec:

I always found it weird when people make a big fuss about privacy on their blogs and profiles— the internet itself is public. If you think that you can ever truly achieve privacy online then you’re deluding yourself…

Just as media has always been ‘social’, it also has never been ‘private’. Sure, there are privacy settings in place that can make things ‘private’, but even so, accounts can be hacked, ip addresses masked, and privacy settings do change on Facebook on a day-to-day basis. Privacy cannot exist if personal information is made available, and personal is defined differently for different people. Funny how few seem to have a problem with Facebook, Twitter (and even Tumblr) owning all rights to content being posted, and yet people get into a tizzy over the lost of internet privacy.

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