Today, with two friends, I went to a sociology free lunch event during which we were supposed to talk about majoring or minoring in Sociology and a lot of other concerns we could have about Sociology in general. And a free lunch, which, most of UBC students know now to be free pizza slides.
To be entirely honest, the mention of free lunch was maybe what motivated me the most at first but our teacher told us last class that it was a totally acceptable reason to come so I didn’t feel that guilty about it.
You know, when you enter University in North America, most of the time people will tell you that your first year is a year for adjustment, a year within which you will just look around at different courses, trying to figure out what you’ll do with your life. Is that true ? Well, yes and no. In fact, you’ll soon figure out that if you want to declare a major during your third year, you may be too late already because some majors feel up so fast that you need to apply at least one year before. Fair enough, few places, earlier application, only the best will get in. But what you probably will discover later is that you need some requirements to enter some major, and that you need to take these courses during your first and second year most of time. Meaning that if you feel like lectures on the history of religion and first nation studies could be nice to attend but not to major in, you may find yourself short in requirements just because you took interesting or more original courses . That means that you are not that free during your first year. Well, I bet a lot of people discovered that already and are working toward their goal slowly and nicely.
Live is made out of choices, that what people says. When you were in primary school they asked you to choose between the very highly popular English or German as a first foreign language that will follow you until High School. This was not really your choice as your parents ticked the “German” box telling you that “you’ll be in a GOOD class” because German was supposed to be more difficult and less attractive as English.
Well, You didn’t mind too much because even though all your friends took English, you’ll be able to see them every day as you’ll go to the same school as them. You probably didn’t forsee that they will labeled you and the entire and single German class as “nerds” and other nice names and that they will totally ignored the like of you after they moved out of their English class to another more “classy school”. Oh, and talking about the “nerds” class that you expected so much about ( maybe they do READ ! I’ll have people with who to discuss Harry Potter with ! and they probably won’t be listening to all the radio phonic garbage that everyone is trying to sell you everyday…), you had soon became aware of the fact that they are not different from the rest of the crowd, except that they truly thing they are the best of the best, la crème de la crème. And talking about reading and music you’ll remember all your life how the girl you disliked the most told you in a debate that you were weird to read for leisure and that TV was the only way she cool relaxed.
Then they gave you another choice, the choice to take Latin, English, and you took it following your own free will even though older students told you all about it. Live is made of choice.
And came high school and more choices, where to go ? to do what ? and they asked you again to make a choice. Will you follow the crowd and the elite where you’re supposed to go or will you choose to learn a weird language in the worst school of the town where students are known to be failures ? Well, you did what you wanted anyway and after the first year, they asked you again to make a choice… will you please put a label on yourself ? will you be doing science all the time and become the ELITE of tomorrow ? will you work on economics ? will you be less than all of that and decided to do Literature ? the class where everyone is lazy or genius ? And after that ? what will you do ? You decided to move away, to see the world by yourself and that probably helped but here again, they asked you to stick to the rules. They asked you to apply to Uni, they asked you to choose what to do.
They asked you to label yourself again, to choose a road , a major , a career, a life.
They wondered why you’re doing now, the asked what “arts” is. They asked if you were doing theatre. They praised themselves for studying harder, they meant that they were better than you. The asked why you don’t have a boyfriend. They wondered about your futur. They asked what you’ll do later. They urged you to choose a road, because they need to know where you’ll end and if they’ll still be higher in society than you. They laugh and they smirked when you tried to explained you didn’t know. They exposed their lives around the Internet, choosing carefully the best quotes, the best pictures that showed their fake happiness and success. They didn’t think being different was good but they didn’t see that everyone of us is unique in some ways. They still know the same people and they will probably marry between their own kind. They probably talked the same way they always did, they probably are the same.
Talking with Pr. Corrigall-Brown and Guppy allowed me to add some more thoughts on top of everything. You know how people become Professor in University ? they get a PHD. They don’t go to Education school. That’s why you can have great teachers that don’t know their stuffs and encyclopedia that don’t know how to teach and share their endless knowledge. And sometimes you’re lucky because you get a mix of the two of them.
Now let’s say you’re in first year at UBC and you wish to become a University Professor. Well, you have at least 10 years of studying in front of you. If you’re 19 you’ll start working at 29. You’ll be a student most of your life, you’ll pay endless fees and you’ll probably starve and live miserably during this time. Contrast that with some people you knew that ended school when they were 16. They are already working now. They are already “active” in live, they are walking faster. Did we leaved them behind or did they go faster than us ?
Think about that now. You could be dead tomorrow. You can be crashed by a car, you could fell in your stairs. What will that whole would have been for ? Will you be better because you studied until then ? Was it a waste because you could have done other things ? Do graduate students go to heaven ? What’s the point of all of that ? We know that the answer is 42 but after that, we’re not very much further on the question.
How do you choose your major ? How do you choose what you’ll do whith your life ? How do you know you like something better ?
There is a clock ticking around here, a hourglass that is slowing dropping sand drops. Did you ever feel scared to be older when you’re just 19 ? What will it be when/if you reached 90 ?
Do you belive in destiny ? Which one then, is everything written or can everything be change by the flapping of the wings of the famous butterfly ? What if we just mess up everything by turning left instead of right ? Why do Christmas cakes get discount prices after the 25 th ?
Someone told me I should think about the moment that is happening right now, to go with the flow, to see everything at it is now. This is maybe the solution.
Music overheard in the background:
Red Stars– The Birthday Massacre
Latika’s Theme-R Rahman and Suzanne