Monday, September 11, 2006

Components of University

I have now settled down in Montreal, four Metro stops from downtown campus, in a place called Solin hall. Classes have started, and everything is going relatively smoothly so far. Attending McGill and talking to my various contacts in other Universities, as well as my new friends, has raised many questions as to the purpose of University and what makes University good or bad. After thinking for at least four minutes I have concluded that I have a basic answer to the components of University and their impact on the individual, also, I concluded in my usual “someone actually reads this blog” fashion to write it down.

Education

Education is the most obvious part of University, and probably the most important. Education is partially what you are taught, but more importantly; what you learn. In University, you learn everything from higher math, to philosophy, to how to cook and how to accept people radically different from you. The education does not differ between Universities of similar caliber. You can learn the same thing at UofS as you can at McMaster, McGill or something as impressive as Harvard or Stanford.

In my opinion, it is very important to move out during University to teach yourself life: it is hard to learn life skills living with your parents as an adult. It is important to get a job and start making money for yourself, as long as it does not hurt your dedication to school work. Last, it is very important to take as many courses as you can comfortably manage, to make the most out of your time at University.

Socialization

The people you know in university are your future trade contacts, business partners, husbands/wives and life long friends. Many of the most secure bonds of friendship are formed during your university career. This is when various schools start to distinguish themselves. The more famous, more expensive and harder to get into universities, attract a better connected, more determined, and usually more successful caliber of people. Being connected, determined and successful does not make them better friends or lovers, but it sure does make them better contacts and partners.

Of course, it is not all dependants on the university. Factors like city, your own choice of friends, previous contacts and social behavior affect who you meet at your school.

Reputation

This is the only factor that almost completely depends on the University you attend. Reputation is the ring that your University makes in potential employers or coworker’s ears. I have no clue how to evaluate a Universities reputation other than my own biased opinion or the generalized opinion of Macleans:

1stWaterloo

2ndToronto

3rd – McGill

4th – UBC

6th – McMaster

7thQueens

13thSaskatchewan

19th – Ryerson

23rdMount Allison

47th – Nipissing

(source)

In the end, I think it is most important to go to a University where you can be in a constructive and productive atmosphere with lots of great people. If you want to learn life skills then move away from home and if you want to nurture your relationships with high school friends then stay in your hometown. If you want to learn how to work get a job and if you want to dedicate everything you have to school, then do so.

I decided to move away, and take as many courses as I can at McGill. I hope to move once more after I get my undergrad degree, just because I am used to moving. As for jobs, I have not decided yet, I am going to drop off a resume (when I get around to making it) with my landlord because it is very convenient to work for him on that boring stretch on Saturday and Sunday from noon to three instead of wasting my time with rants, expositions, MSN and facebook.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Jesse said...

Glad to hear you're doing well.

I agree with your analysis of Universities.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Yunjun said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Yunjun said...

very interesting analysis, and also true. my parents met during university :D
i guess university is where you meet a lot of people with similar goals in life, and that's a stronger bond than just similar interests among most high school friends.
i could also see university as a chance to redefine myself, starting a new life so far away from where i was, so far away from the past as well. it will be somewhat hard, but exciting

8:51 PM  

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