Today I was walking down the shady tunnel between Kaneff and Davis, when I heard footsteps behind me. Knowing that there was someone behind me, I held the door open for him, and he was so grateful. The man behind me was an elderly janitor, who had just finished work for the day at UTM. He seemed friendly and we struck up a conversation immediately. At one point, he asked me if I was in first year and how I was liking it so far. I told him it was pretty good, just a lot of work. He agreed and said it did seem like a lot of work. Then he uttered these golden words that really stuck with me. He said: “But if you never start, you never finish”.
Last Friday, my high school had its commencement, which is basically graduation in November. The idea is to have a reunion, rather than a goodbye. It was great seeing everyone, but one thing that really surprised me was the feeling I had walking back into my high school.
As I walked through the hallways that I spent 4 years in, the same hallways where I chatted with friends on the way to class, and ran through in the morning, trying to make it in on time, I couldn’t believe how foreign it felt. It didn’t feel like it was a home to me for the past 4 years, and I couldn’t understand why.
When I walked through those halls again for the first time in months, I expected to experience a sense of security and comfort, or familiarity and relief — a feeling of finally coming home after a looong vacation. But I didn’t experience that, and I can only think of one reason why.
I have a new “home” now. A new place of familiarity and security. Although I’ve spent 4 years in high school, it already seems like I’ve spent an eternity at UTM. The atmosphere of UTM is so welcoming and warm, that it’s easy to adopt it as a new home.
After talking to friends at commencement who are attending other universities and claim they still feel like outsiders, still trying to adapt to the new environment around them, I realize how lucky we are to go to a school that is so easy to love and become comfortable with.
Don’t ever take that for granted!
They really don’t, I promise! Watching them pacing back and forth across the room, spitting out information that you’re struggling to comprehend, may make them seem intimidating. So intimidating that the thought of approaching them one-on-one is completely unimaginable and so far out of your comfort zone.
But then, the day comes when you don’t understand that important concept taught in class, when it seems everyone else does.
Instead of spending hours searching the answer up on the Internet, or desperately trying to get tutored by your classmates, why not just go ask your professor for clarification?
I recently faced this struggle, and after I forced myself to attend my professor’s office hours, I realized it was the best thing I could’ve done.
I think we all forget that professors are normal people, too. They once sat in a cramped desk in a class of 500 kids, just like us. They get it… They understand better than anyone else! And because they understand, they’re not going to make your experience to their office any more intimidating than it needs to be.
Entering a professor’s office may feel like walking into a dragon’s den, but I guarantee that if you take the opportunity and go to your professor when you need help, you will not regret it. I came out with a much better understanding of something I once had so much difficulty with. I went to a professor for help, and I lived to tell the tale, so trust me when I say that the profs DON’T bite!