If I could put down in a few words what every single year of university so far has taught me, it’s that everything changes. This isn’t a particularly original or novel thought, but it’s always there. It’s in the friends we had in first year, the internship we slaved away at last semester, the loves we have lost.
It’s a telling trend that many university students are terrified of the future—it’s why so many of us stay around for so long. There’s a sense of comfort in $3.50 beers from Hermann’s and house parties in Newtown. But that one fear that permeates the masses, emerging in questions about whether your Arts degree will help you in 5 years, bonds students together.
This glue, however, is toxic. As Marina Keegan said in her essay, ‘The Opposite of Loneliness’, we’re so young and we have so much time.
“There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense,” she writes, “creeping in our collective conscious as we lay alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out—that it is somehow too late.”
When we all walked down Eastern Avenue for the first time, we all savoured the possibility and uncertainty of the future. It was exciting—something to get out of bed for. Now, with the daunting task to make decisions and forge our path to the future, we crumble.
And we shouldn’t.
Though change will one day mean leaving the secure safety net of campus, it’s important to remember what it gave you. That great society pub-crawl down King Street, the sell-out show you put on at the Seymour Centre, the early morning kebab outside the Marly.
Our university will change too. Simple Extensions might be on the way out, and longer degrees might be in. And Honi will continue to change with new editorial teams taking on the reins as the years progress.
But there’s solace in the fact that an institution, like Honi, remains and grows. We have so much time. And the prospect of a future, no matter what it is, should remind us that change brought us all together in the first place.
So as we struggle through our readings, and the pressure becomes too much, remember that though change is inevitable, the best is yet to come.