“The hard work makes the man, not the school he goes to.”
This wise piece of advice, which I recently received, is relevant in more ways than meets the eye during this time of transition from high school to university. It places the onus squarely on the individual to pursue their goals, to achieve their desires, to become the person they want to be.
As high school students, this wasn’t always the message. Even if it wasn’t explicitly stated, there were pressures from parents, from peers, even from teachers, to behave a certain way, to pursue certain interests, to be a certain someone. Now, leaving home, parents, and friends, these pressures fade.
Of course, new pressures are bound to emerge, but it is now up to us to deal with them on our own, to meet these new freedoms and responsibilities and make what we will of them, all the while negotiating through a sea of other egos and personalities all grasping for a foothold. Interesting times.
Throughout the coming school year, I will be documenting these interesting times as I experience them at the University of Toronto. Until then, I join the legions of other high school graduates finishing up final exams, signing yearbooks, wrapping up childhood and preparing for the next chapter. I look forward to sharing the experience with you.