I am finishing the last semester of undergraduate degree at my home university — I will be spending my last semester on exchange. Education is a great many things, many of which have been said in quotes used by Rory Gilmore at various extracurricular events. It is papers, boredom, frustration, reading, confusion, learning new things, finding out that you like something you never would’ve expected to, feeling overwhelmed and staying at the library until 3 a.m. More than the things you learn in your classes — which I did actually learn some things in my classes — are the things you did outside of classes. I learned more from the things I did outside of my classes and all those things I was doing while I should’ve been studying. After all my favourite places on campus are not classrooms.
There is a green space that runs through the middle of campus from the education building to the students union building. It is clear and beautiful during fall and spring, which usually happen during the first three weeks and the last three weeks of the fall and winter semesters. There is a tree that I covet nestled on the side of it. This is the most beautiful place on campus. I have written letters, read books and occasionally even gotten work done.
At our orientation week — which is not a big deal at my university and does not involve any kind of organized parties but rather is an ever dwindling collection of students being lead around campus, told where things are and given free stuff — we were told repeatedly to get involved and join a club. I am glad I followed this advice. There is one such club office, high in the darkness of the social science building where I have gone to kill time, hangout and when it was working microwave food. The couches have shifted and moved over the years, as has the crowd of people, with some people graduating and first years taking their place, but it has always been a good place to waste time. And as John Lennon said, “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”
I have always been a serial people watcher and the science building provides a perfect place to people watch — and it has lots of outlets. It has a nice open plan and is great for providing distractions. It is also the perfect kind of noisy. When one person talks in a quite study space it is a tsunami of distraction but when there are lots of people around it is perfect.