©2000 Zhan Huan Zhou
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Death by Beer
©1999 Zhan Huan Zhou, Fall 1999, Issue 1
Well here we are, back for another term of school. The days of little sleep, excessive coffee, and last minute cramming are upon us. Students often make some mistakes along the way as they plummet down this dark hole. Don't fret, I'm here to tell you the secrets of avoiding this road.
There are two key ideas that should be kept in mind throughout this article. First, university is expensive. Your tuition costs $3000 and you still have to pay for other expenses such as books, food, and rent. Over your eight academic terms, this is a substantial cost. Secondly, university is an educational institution; you are here to learn. If you aren't here to learn, you shouldn't be here, but that's a discussion for another time.
For all you frosh out there, you are probably sick and tired of everyone telling you that you should 'get involved,' whatever that means. I'm here to tell you opposite, well, sort of. There are so many opportunities to get involved in EngSoc, residence, Feds clubs, and recreational leagues that it is so easy to get lost in the sea of activities. You may be tempted to take on every activity that piques your interest. It is likely that by doing so, you will not have time to accomplish anything that you want. However, I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't get involved with anything at all. I firmly believe that you should get involved with the activities that interest you because it enhances your university experience. But, by being too involved, you will find yourself dropping less interesting activities in favour of more rewarding ones in the end. You can make it easier on yourself by simply doing that activities you like the best. Just make sure you don't drop everything because you need a break from school to keep your sanity. A time will come when you figure out how to balance your activities and school such that you get maximum enjoyment from both. You will feel that your money is being well spent. Furthermore, you will be learning as well as having fun.
Perhaps the greatest mistake made by many students is the excessive amount of alcohol consumption. I have no problems with drinking, but did you really pay $3000 to come to a party? Frosh week and end of exams are exceptions, and maybe Octoberfest too. In between, there is work to be done so that you can graduate and get on with life. You want your $3000 to be an investment into your future, not your ticket to a drinkfest. There are other ways to get drunk and for so much cheaper. On the other hand, you can argue that drinking in university is a learning experience. One lesson I'm sure many of you have learned is the number drinks you can have before bowing to the porcelain god. You don't want your time and money going to the same place.
It is expensive for a university education. Don't throw away your time, money, and learning opportunities. You should not compromise your education by drowning in extra-curricular events or beer, especially when you are paying $3000. In the end however, it's your decision to make, not mine.