I’ve written a few other posts for this week, but I couldn’t bring myself to post them. It feels inauthentic to be posting anything when all I’m thinking about is the strike. I have gone from juggling six classes to becoming a stay-at-home cat mom at the ripe age of 20.
I’m not gonna discuss the politics of the strike (you can read more about that here). I’m just going to talk about how this strike is affecting myself and many other Ontario college students.
At first, I was pretty thankful for the break that the strike presented. I was feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, and downright exhausted. In all honesty, this seemed like the perfect couple-day break from my studies. A golden opportunity for some quality refresh time. I could deep clean my apartment, spend some time cuddling with my kitten, and (if I was feeling ambitious) begin working on my portfolio.
Unfortunately, what I thought was only going to be a couple of days turned into a month. This time off has turned from refreshing to distressing. I don’t really know how to move forward anymore. I’m starting to feel lost for motivation in all the stress and uncertainty that surrounds my final year. For the first time in my life, my educational goals have been completely disrupted.
We’re losing multitudes of learning time and it’s being predicted that we are going to lose a semester. And to top it all off, there is no word of tuition refunds. Are we still going to be forced to pay for the entire semester?
Personally, I’m concerned about making things work surrounding my marriage. My husband is starting his career next year, probably in a new place. At this point, we could end up living cities, provinces, or even countries apart if my classes are extended. Are we going to have to do long distance again while my class time is being made up?
Understandably, our Christmas break was also shortened. However, this is disappointing because my family lives across the country and this is the only time during the school year that I get to see them. Tickets are really expensive so having to pay the same amount for only one-third of the time with them is frustrating.
Our February reading week (which was instituted for mental health reasons) is likely being taken away, and I have to wonder if this is the right decision.
I know that it has been inefficient and frustrating for all parties involved, but in this situation, it seems that the innocent party is suffering the most. I think I speak for all students when I say we feel betrayed and let down by this process.
Thanks for reading,
Continued November 14, 2017
I was having a rough day when I wrote the first part of this post, and I kind of regret putting out all that negativity. There’s no use in dwelling on the negatives. There isn’t much we can do but wait and make the most of the time we have.
This is probably the biggest chunk of free time we will have before we begin our careers and it gives an excuse for some great opportunities: travelling, creating, reading, and other many other forms of personal exploration and growth. (Also let’s not forget that we finally have time to get caught up on all our favourite Netflix shows!)
The way I see it, we can look at this strike in two ways:
a) A time to be frustrated, annoyed, angry at everything; a prime opportunity for complaining, acting like a victim, moping, and longing to be back in the classroom.
b) A time to let go of the all the thoughts of how this is not an ideal situation; a prime opportunity for finally doing all those things we always said we would do if we had more time.
I intend to pursue option b). I will not lose my excitement for this time in my life, and I will continue to try holding on to the bright side of all this.
I considered deleting the first part of this post, but I want to leave it because I want to be authentic both in good days and in bad. I like to pretend that I don’t have any bad days and that I never have a bad attitude, but I’ve unfortunately got my fair share of both. You got a glimpse into my option a) attitude in the first part and my option b) attitude in this part, so I think this serves as a great example of how a situation is what you make of it.
I also feel that it is important to mention that, despite my previous frustration, I respect the process and the parties involved, wish them all the best in their negotiations, and hope that they will come to an agreement soon.