Welcome (Back) to Trent

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Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash.

Welcome. You’re now at T(rent) “UNIVERSITY”. This is your first day in a long series of long days. If you’re here for firsts, you’ll soon realize they don’t mean much of anything, anyways. That being said…

I’m not supposed to be here. You are. Or at least you’re taking the natural progression of your lives, not stuck, hobbling towards a distinction, which you may or may not use. You’re young, and fresh, nervous, but ready. For what? Maybe anything, but that’s trite. You’re ready for something, a second stomach (tripe) yearning to be fulfilled intellectually, socially, or romantically… Something, will fill that hole, not anything, but the right thing.

I feel like I owe you something, my sweet young ones. And that’s something you won’t hear very often from us bitter, and battered I’ve-been-here-too-fucking-long upper-year students. What I owe you, however, is still on the table. I request that you negotiate with me, so we can figure out a mutual agreement on what can better the both of us. What can I do to help you, that won’t leave me feeling that it’s all for naught? There are no selfless deeds after all.

“Yes, there are!”
“No, there aren’t.”
“YeS, tHEre aRe.”

This will not be an advice column. And I will not write a long list of tips. I’ve read many of those articles, and written a few of them, and let me tell you, no amount of evoked, and imposed writing -“Personality”- can spruce up the lines, ‘Moving on from my lame advice, I would also like to stress that one of the main reasons to go downtown, if not the main reason, is for Peterborough’s DIY arts and music culture’. I wrote that garbage fucking line, and I regret it. I can say a lot about Peterborough music, but I’d rather you figure it out on your own. Get back to me about it, if you want.

More than my general disdain for articles focused on generalities, I don’t have any tip or advice because, truthfully, I have no clue what you’re going through. The Annexes seem to have expanded more somehow — long lines of, if not actually coloured grey, grey in demeanor, buildings. I’ve heard people say that there are over 3600 new students this year. I’m not sure what the actual number is, and I’m too lazy to look it up.

I can’t give you advice because I’m not you (oh, how I wish I were; oh, how I dream I were). No advice can prepare you for the fuckery, and drudgery of a 4-year (for most) degree. It will get hard. I don’t know what year you were born, or how to relate to anybody, except a handful of handfuls, profs, friends, etc. The point is, university is half about figuring it out on your own, and the other half about realizing that nobody really, truly knows what the hell is going on.

You will have fun. You will make mistakes. You will cry.

But most of all.

You’ll consider dropping out about as many times as you feel at home. They go together, somehow. Your greatest fears, and your greatest pleasures aren’t that far apart. Desire will fail you, but it will also come from behind, and pinch you in the ass, only to run away giggling. What does that mean? I’m not sure, and will never be sure, and neither will you.

I’ve felt like the smartest person alive in some moments, and the furthest from enlightenment in others. I’ve never felt dumb, but the doubts do creep.

I’m not sure what any of you will, or could possibly, get from this. For my ego, I hope it’s something, if only for the (nice) read.

I’ve got a football game to watch, and I promised Leina I’d limit this to less than three curse words, so this is the fourth.

S’long fuckers,
Good luck,

T

P.S. I thought I quit this goddamn paper, yet here I am…

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Tyler works out of Peterborough, Ontario, and reluctantly attends Trent University. He loathes deeply, while drinking often. The cigarettes will soon consume his life. Read his poetry while you still can at https://aforeword.com/tag/tyler-majer/ while reading his journalistic work at this very site. I would say that he would be appreciative, but that may not be the truth.