Hi, I’m Fehn Foss: first year student at McGill University and an enthusiastic, budding writer here to hopefully give an engaging and entertaining account on what it’s like to start on the next big journey in life. Here’s my second post of the fall semester.
Few things sneak up on you like that last day to add or drop courses.
The first few weeks in class are hectic and I never really thought I’d need to switch out of anything. Sure, there were a few courses I wasn’t keen on but I could get through them. Then one day I’m looking at my calendar and there –written four-odd weeks ago– is the deadline for adding or dropping courses. Sudden panic. Are the courses for this semester really ones I wanted? Is something missing that should be added? Will the course load be too heavy? More questions pile one on top of the other until they’re forced into to background noise as I tell myself that I still have a week left to decide…nothing to worry about.
Then the week shrinks to five days; then five becomes three. Ok, now one day to decide.
It’s 2:30 am, the infantile first hours of the last day to add/drop courses and of course I can’t sleep. Thoughts of my future, my sanity, and my free time whirl around my head. Each thought runs laps around my mind until they become disorderly, tripping into one another and making a huge jumbled mess. I have effectively destroyed any hope of sleeping. Finally I rip my blankets off in exasperation and stumble into the light of the living room, temporarily blinded. My roommate still sits up, doing work.
“I’m dropping chemistry,” I announce more to quell the rushing thoughts than as an explanation to her. It does feel good just to say it aloud. It feels right. My roommate looks up from her computer with wide-eyes -who is this crazy person that she’s rooming with?
“Are you sure?”
I sit beside her on the couch and we both wonder at the validity of any decision made at 2:30am. It’s silent for a while longer until finally she hands me her computer. That’s another thing I’ll have to sort out soon: registering my computer for wifi. We weave our way through the jungle that is Minerva. Tentatively I click “web-drop”. Then submit. As the page reloads and out pops my schedule one course lighter, we sit back feeling a permanence settle around us.
Doubt crashes down quickly after. The fear of something being immutable is a natural instinct but sometimes it has to be resisted. And as I look at my schedule I remember how I felt reviewing for Chemistry and I know I’ve done the right thing.
Tiredly, we celebrate my small success and end up chatting for a bit. As I head off to finally get some rest, I realize that I have just made one of my first independent choices on my future. I didn’t drop Chemistry because I didn’t have room for it, nor because it wasn’t required of me, but because it felt right. I decided that night to actively follow the courses that excite me from now on.