March Wars: The Papers Strike Back

Written by: Justin Bereczki, Gen1 Program Peer Facilitator

Okay, I know that’s a super corny Star Wars reference, but often times March can feel like an epic battle scene from a Sci-Fi or Fantasy movie. In truth, I was going to name this blog post “March of the Rings: The Two Papers,” but in reality you likely have more than two papers. If you’re like me, you’ll have four papers. And a group project. And a critical reflection, and a research essay, and then exams. In short, you probably have a lot, and are going to end up printing more pieces of paper than the tree hugger (and planter!) in me would like to admit. But that’s how March is: it’s the end game, the final battle between the forces of good (i.e. you) and the forces of…well, also good (i.e. your education).

And I think that’s an important distinction to make. With all of the stress our papers and assignments cause us, it’s easy to see them as a bad thing: a way we are bogged down, anxious, and ultimately scared that we won’t be able to succeed. But challenges aren’t always bad, right? Pushing ourselves harder and hurting a little bit is what makes us get better. It’s like being sore after going to the gym.

…Or, if you’re me, being sore after playing Wii. (Disclaimer: contact me if you would like to lose at Wii bowling)

I guess what I’m saying is that we shouldn’t think of our papers as torture devices mechanically crafted by our profs and TAs. They’re a way for us to solidify our knowledge, show what we’ve learned, and ultimately continue that educational journey on our own. If we couldn’t use what we learned, why would we be forced to sit around in class all day, right?

The stuff that we do here is important, whether or not it may seem it at the time. Sure, you may have a paper that doesn’t seem entirely relevant to your degree, but I can guarantee you it’s relevant to you as a person. Knowledge makes us grow, it expands our understanding of the world and lets us see it more clearly. I would be lying if I said that knowledge wasn’t sometimes a pain to get, but in the end it’s worth it. That’s probably why people touch their eyeballs to put contacts in, it’s unpleasant at first but gives a new perspective (p.s. contacts freak me out).

I guess what I’m trying to say is keep on trucking! You can do it. It might take a few late nights and Tim Hortons runs, but in the end your good ol’ brain will be a whole lot bigger than before. Don’t be afraid to flex it!