A little incentive for you to get involved with your college
Rory McCreight – CONTRIBUTOR
Photo: Pran Sathiy.
I wish I could take it back to first year. It wasn’t my best year academically or my most fun year socially, but I wish I knew then what I’ve learned since. In first year, I was overwhelmed, alone and passive. As the years passed, I realized that’s not how I wanted my university career to go, so I started making my university experience how I always thought it would be. I started reaching out, instead of waiting for the world to come to me. I got myself excited about each class I took, or at least one part of each class. And I started getting involved with The Mike. By fourth year, (I graduated last spring, can I even write here anymore?) I was living with some of my best friends, doing well in school, and writing for The Mike.
There’re a lot of obvious benefits with writing for a student newspaper. First and foremost for a student at U of T, especially a humanities student, is your writing will improve. A writer at The Mike is writing for pleasure, but also to be published and read at large. The process starts with creating a piece of writing that you think someone will want to read — not just something that you think will be well received by a grader. You’ll also have to work with a team. Working with an editor is an invaluable learning process, you’ll learn how to write entertaining pieces, how to write lean, and how to take constructive advice. You’ll be able to get right to the point and learn how to cut your own words, sentences, and paragraphs, without feeling like a failure. It’s a great place to practice and get creative with the writing process.
Another obvious benefit is the people you’ll meet. You’ll interact with editors as possible mentors, staff writers as future colleagues, and the entire populace of St. Michael’s College as soon-to-be friends. The people you can meet through any extracurricular, even it isn’t working for this lovely paper, will benefit your university experience in ways you can’t even imagine yet and that I can barely explain.
Being involved with the school will brighten the corners of this cavernous school, bringing you to places you may otherwise have missed. Last year, I covered the OUA women’s volleyball finals for the sports section. I knew very little about the sport or our team’s caliber therein, but I had heard it was an exciting team and I was not disappointed. I reached out and got media passes for the mezzanine, and took in a fantastic sport with a colleague from The Varsity. The team was fantastic and my light dive into the sport of volleyball was a treat. There’s a lot tucked away in the nooks and crannies of this school, even if those nooks and crannies are in fact packed grandstands in the Goldring Centre.
Beyond all of these sorta obvious and general benefits (it also looks pretty good on a resume), it’s also just good to stay busy. In my fourth year, I was working with the paper, taking six classes to graduate on time, and getting myself sorted for my first school-less year in almost two decades. I still found time to relax and enjoy myself, and, in retrospect of earlier years, I found that when all of your time is time taken off you don’t appreciate having time off. What I’m trying to say is, try writing for The Mike — or try any extracurricular, really — and keeping yourself a little more busy will make your times between busy-ness all the better.