Either today or tomorrow, all of you will be moving out of residence and most likely travelling home to your countries for the summer. I’m sure in some ways for you, like for me, this year has zipped by faster than it seemed while we were in the middle of all the madness. I will look back on it with both fondness and frustration. I imagine you may feel similarly.
Teaching reading and writing is fun for me. Academics is my passion. Writing is my pleasure. Deeply reading is my puzzle. The three work so intricately together in university, particularly as you proceed into upper years. I only hope that your dread for the conceptual difficulties covered in our class transforms to excitement and motivation to investigate ideas, analyse texts and improve comprehension as you mature.
Remember that no skills are used in isolation. It may seem like what we’ve learnt stays in this year, but I assure you it doesn’t. Everything you learn, you adapt for current purposes. The academic paragraphs and argumentative essays we created, though not exactly the same for every future assignment, have elements that will be expected in your science reports, economics case study reports and humanities term papers. All critical thinking we attempted during reading circles and evaluating texts, though not done on the same types of texts in your future courses, will be expected by your computer science, psychology, and business professors.
Whether you go on to graduate with a University of Toronto degree or pursue your undergraduate study elsewhere, always put your best effort into what you do early on, not just when you think it counts. You will be proud of yourself and applaud your accomplishments instead of cursing what you didn’t do and wishing you could do it differently. Believe me, the former feelings are far more pleasant.
Remember you CAN achieve what you want. You CAN do better than you have before. You CAN succeed. But ultimately, it’s YOU that must do the necessary work even if it’s hard. It’s YOU who is responsible for your actions even though it’s easier to make excuses. It’s YOU who determines whether you succeed or not. We, your professors, can only help you if you show us you want it. Words aren’t enough. We want you to learn. We want you to feel proud of yourselves. We know you are capable if you try.
So again, as our year has ended now and you only wait anxiously for your final grades and official offers into first year, take time to consider what route will make you happy. Consider who you were during the IFP year and who you want to be next year. I look forward to meeting this future you.
Good luck to all of you!
**This blog post is part of 4C blogathon – 5 days. 5 blog posts. Willing to try it?