While sitting in my bedroom a couple weeks ago, I hear my roommate heave a sigh, followed by a bang on the kitchen counter. To cut costs, we rent a one bedroom and separate our space with a black curtain that divides the living room (my room) with the kitchen, and successfully blocks visual access – though auditory privacy is unheard of in our little space, and basically everything we do is heard by each other.
Anyway, so when I draw the curtain back to see what trouble my roommate is having, I see her standing beside a plate of leftovers on the kitchen counter and a mess of plastic wrap covering just about everything other than her dinner plate. Discontented, she looks at me and exclaims something along the lines of “One day I’m going to just splurge and buy cling wrap that sticks to something other than itself!”
The joys of student living! The quality of discount brand cling-wrap is up there with dollar store Q-tips that bend in the middle as soon as they make contact with your ear cartilage, and cheap vacuums that spit up more dust than they collect.
But as students we hold hope in our hearts that after a degree-length time (is it four years, or six?) of living frugally, that we’ll settle comfortably into a career that makes us enough to pay back our “debt sentence”.
During the summer, I flipped through The Maclean’s Book of Lists, the Vol. 2 edition. In the midst of all sorts of Canadian fun facts, such as “Where People Are Most Likely to Have Had Sex in a Canoe” (British Columbia standing proud at number 2) I came across the “10 Most Stressful Jobs in Canada” (sourced by Careercast.com). And wedged between “Top Corporate Executive in Any Field” at number 5 and “Taxi Driver” at number 8 – “Photojournalist” and “Newspaper Reporter” sit at numbers 6 and 7.
Journalism isn’t exactly known for being the most lucrative career choice either. In a recent BuzzFeed post titled “31 Undeniable Truths That Journalism Majors Can All Agree On” the second “truth” reads: “The horror of being asked why you decided to major in a “dying profession.” Interestingly enough though, I was excited to discover that this year VIU has implemented an optional Journalism Minor in the Creative Writing degree. In recognition of any CREW students who decide to pursue the minor (and to quote the Buzzfeed article) please remember that even though “You’re not doing it for the money” and that “It’s more fun to gouge your own eyeballs out than transcribe an interview” you know it’s all worth it, “Because you know you have the chance to tell stories for a living. Which is pretty cool.”
But I’m not going to ramble on about how much I love journalism and why everybody should contribute stories (hint), but I will say that whether you’re a new student or a returning student, I sincerely hope you find similar joy and motivation in the career path you’re pursuing. Whether you’re a journalism student, or a nursing student who stays awake all night studying out loud until her non-nursing student can successfully recite the details of a human digestive system (yes,I’ve lived with a nursing student), I tip my theoretical hat off to you! You’ve made it to post-secondary in beautiful Vancouver Island University.
This edition, our News Editor Blake has written an article addressing the strike of the Professional Associate of Foreign Services Offices and the struggle many foreign students wishing to study in Canada are facing this year. The consequences of the PASFO strike are unravelling as classes are starting up this September and the impact is yet to be determined – but according to an article in the Globe and Mail posted on August 26, this is potentially a very serious issue for Canadian universities: “Foreign undergraduates bring important revenue to universities, paying an average of $18,641 in tuition and fees annually, and international students spent an estimated $7.7-billion in 2012.”
VIU boasts having 1,100 international from more than 40 countries attending university classes and prides itself on the university’s strong ESL program and international student resources, so it could be sad to see the consequences the strike may have on our university.
The PASFO strike should serve as a reminder of why we keep fighting the good fight for accessible education. Each one of us comes from a different walk of life: whether you’re an international student currently waiting for visa approval or a new university student learning to live on a student budget, a warm welcome to VIU from the staff of your student newspaper!
Also, a word of advice to the first-years who are coasting on student loans: Don’t wait until you’re 20 grand in debt before deciding to stop spoiling yourself with luxurious 4 ply toilet paper. Come to terms with dollar-store brand Q-tips and learn to live with waxy ear canals. Party hard and study equally as hard (sleep can be your time sacrifice). Savour every moment of university life. I’ve been told these are the best days of our lives.