By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 0 Comments
Attention high school students: I don’t know you (unless I do, in which case: Hi!), but as a diploma-having university graduate who successfully completed an entire four-year degree program in only six years, I am fully qualified to guide you through your upcoming life transition.
I’ll admit a lot has changed during the past 20 years. For instance, that Salisbury steak I had one Tuesday in the residence cafeteria has pretty much worked its way through my system. Also, whereas I was taunted and pelted with eggs during Frosh Week, new guidelines now restrict upperclassmen to cocking one (1) eyebrow at newcomers for no more than 12 seconds. Consider yourselves hazed!
For further information on ﬁrst year, please consult this list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Q: What should I not do at university?
Don’t sweat the roommate thing.
These living arrangements couldn’t be more normal or natural. Dave—here’s Phil. You’ve never met, you may not be the least bit compatible, and each of you has at least one habit that will make the other guy want to punch you in the throat—but hey, enjoy the next eight months of stressful, high-stakes academics alongside a complete stranger in this cell-sized hellbox!
It’s fun to envision what awaits you. Maybe your roommate will instantly become your bestest friend and you’ll wear each other’s clothes. Or maybe she’ll have punishing body odour, night terrors and the world’s foremost collection of doom metal. Oh, good, it’s 6:30 a.m. and she’s playing Eyehategod again! All you can do is make the best of it. I knew two guys in residence who hated each other but found a way to tolerate life together by rarely coming into contact. Think of it as useful preparation for marriage.
Q: What should I deﬁnitely not do at university?
Plagiarizing is commonplace now. Recently, a researcher was even censured for his habit of self-plagiarizing. Self-plagiarizing? It’s not worth the risk of going blind, people!
At the risk of overdoing it with the slang preferred by today’s teens, I’m not some rule-loving dip stick from Squaresville who’s trying to play back-seat bingo with the Man. I myself pushed the boundaries as a student. Once I even composed an essay for a friend, who in the place of a mark received a note from the professor that said: “This is a terrific essay, Nick. Who wrote it?”
And that’s my point: if you plagiarize, you’ll get caught. THE ALL-SEEING EYE OF GOOGLE WILL FIND YOU. Kids today are always getting busted for cheating or plagiarizing and I just have to wonder why they don’t do things the old-fashioned way: put in a half-hearted effort, earn a terrible grade and make your parents wish you’d never been born. That method works, folks. It’s time-tested.
Q: What should I not, under any circumstances, do at university?
Don’t pass out in a ditch.
I haven’t done a lot of bone-stupid things in my life—but I did spend one entire night in a ditch during my second year at school. You may be thinking to yourself: I would never pass out in a ditch! But take it from me: drink enough (i.e. too much), stumble out of a bar, start sway-walking home and all of sudden those ditches start to looking pretty enticing, especially once you somersault into one.
Drinking is as much a part of university as later regretting having drunk so much. But here’s a general guideline worth following: it’s more fun to be the slightly tipsy person who experiences, remembers and possibly live tweets the mayhem than the blind-drunk fool who wakes up with a screaming hangover, no eyebrows and his pants filled with poop (his own, if he’s lucky).
Q: Hey, is there anything I should not do at university?
Don’t skip too many classes.
It’s thrilling to have full control over your life for the first time—and it’s fun to blow off the occasional lecture to do something more important, like nothing. But you don’t want to wind up like me. You are reading the words of a man who skipped so many classes in first year that he ended up having to withdraw from introductory geology. I still feel a wave of shame every time I see a—uh, what are those things called again?—oh yeah, a rock.
By Julia Belluz and Nicholas Kohler - Friday, September 24, 2010 at 10:00 AM - 63 Comments
The tragic death of a Queen’s student has renewed calls for a crackdown that is already well under way
Natasha Zapanta, a cheery first-year Queen’s University business student in a perfectly manicured first-week outfit, won’t be telling her grandchildren about any Old School-worthy hijinks. Frosh week for this 17-year-old involved scavenger hunts, a video dance party and “Commerce Cares”—random acts of kindness visited upon unsuspecting fellow students by commerce freshmen. “There was nighttime partying,” she admits, “but we just stayed in the residence hall.” Most of her friends are also 17, below Ontario’s legal drinking age and, while alcohol is readily available, they’ve been warned not to indulge.
For biochemistry major Connor Forbes, the week was so low-key it threatened to dampen that famous Queen’s school spirit altogether. The gloom extended even to the engineering faculty, where students were this year banned from the school’s ancient move-in day tradition, in which engineers paint themselves purple and taunt incoming freshmen. Engineering society president Victoria Pleavin, citing complaints, sent an email to all engineering students warning them that anyone caught engaged in the practice would be escorted off campus. “Move-in day was really an introduction to the fun of the school and gave you a sense of community,” says Forbes. “The event is gone and we don’t know if it’s coming back. They took it away.”
By Rachel Mendleson - Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 1:00 PM - 5 Comments
As Wall Street tumbled, so did enrolment in business schools
There’s nothing like the near collapse of Wall Street to turn students off a career in business. According to a recent survey of U.S. freshmen, the global economic downturn, brought on by the misdeeds of some of the nation’s most well-established financial institutions, may be causing many to consider other options. UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) found that the percentage of students who planned to major in business dropped from 16.8 in 2008 to 14.4 in 2009—the lowest level in 35 years.
Though the year-over-year decline isn’t staggering, “it is significant,” according to Linda DeAngelo, one of the report’s authors. There have been several recessions since the institute did its first survey more than 40 years ago, but “this is the first time we’ve seen this type of drop,” says DeAngelo. (Interest peaked in 1987—the year of Oliver Stone’s Wall Street—when more than a quarter of respondents were eyeing a business major.) Of all the areas of focus in the survey under the umbrella of business, the most significant drop was in general business administration—an indication, says DeAngelo, “that business is not looking generally as appealing as it once did.”
While comparable data isn’t available for Canada, there is some indication of a similar trend: by September 2009, the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre had received 9.8 per cent fewer applications to business programs from high school graduates than the same time the previous year. Though interest in the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario hasn’t waned, faculty director Darren Meister says students are now more conscious of keeping doors open. These days, he says, those who pursue business do so because it’s what they truly want, with the understanding that “business school is not a guarantee of riches.”