As a little kid, home was home – the structure of which you lived in, the room mommy baked cookies in, the bed in which you napped in when you got tired. As a pre-teen, home was the haven of television and musical refuge where you invited friends over after extracurricular activities and shared little secrets about boys or some-such nonsense. As a teenager, home was where you did endless amounts of homework; the place you couldn’t wait to leave. As a college student, home becomes a little piece of a dream, a calm realm of which to escape to from the stresses of pre-adult life. And finally, as an adult, home is the place you dread to make annual holiday visits to with the burden of Alzheimer’s looming in the air.
For me last year, I was at the stage of “can’t wait to leave” when I clicked the ‘accept’ button on my university application account. I had applied to seven different institutions – and I chose the one furthest from home, and might I add, the only school where I was not offered a hefty entrance scholarship.
When you really think about, OCADU is a really amazing school that offers a great education. But at times, you can get lost with stereotypical ideas about college. Although the academic sector is important and the basis of a university, I didn’t know how much I wanted to be in a college environment: to be able to be on a university running team, attend home-coming, go to football games not because I like it all, but just because you’re supposed to go to those things. At OCADU, you don’t get any of that; and when there are school events, it’s always art-related. It feels very much like high school all over again, except this time everyone has a directed stream of focus, maybe even too much focus. I can’t say I regret it, but sometimes I wonder what it would’ve been like if I had been less stubborn and decided to stay home, or chose a different place to make my home.
I thought that if I had the opportunity to study at one of Canada’s leading institutes, who am I to turn it down? I’m one of those who probably got in by sheer luck since I have such little artistic ability and knowledge in my blood, so I thought “why not take the risk?” Now I realize that perhaps it isn’t leaving home that is the great risk, but choosing to stay home.
So, of all of you coming out to university this fall, think clearly! Because if you’re anything like me, you won’t have the finances to help you change your mind.