Be your own educator
Christine Beyleveldt, Editor-in-Chief // Portrait by Cynthia Tran Vo
It was during my practicum last year that I realized how much of a learning curve there is to any job, no matter how good of a student you are. That includes this one, which I’ve already been doing for four years. Despite helping oversee 65 issues of the Capilano Courier from concept through to print, I was way too stressed about rolling the issue you’re holding in your hands now out the door when in hindsight, I shouldn’t have been. But sometimes you have to learn things all over again. Maybe this time it’s different because I can’t turn to someone else when I have questions anymore – now I have to have all of the answers.
Had I gone into my practicum placement at another local publisher relying solely on what I’d learned in class, I would have been going in blind. That’s not to say that I didn’t value what I had learned, but I believe it was the Courier that gave me the necessary experience to adapt to my new work environment.
In this first issue, our editors and the Department of Student Affairs have provided tips on things like making friends and avoiding stress in your first year of university. If this is your first year, this isn’t just a time for study – it’s a time for transitioning into the next stage of your life. Unlike a semester-long course with a midterm, a final and no chance at redemption, you can’t pass or fail adulthood – most of the time it’s trial and error, and making mistakes is okay. It’s more than okay in fact.
Several times throughout my time as a student at Capilano University, my professor, Michael Markwick, invited Trisha Baptie, an activist well known for her opposition to prostitution, to speak to our classes. But it was something she told us during the research stage of the Communication program’s undergraduate thesis that really stuck with me. I remember her telling us last fall that she hadn’t received a higher education, but she was constantly looking for ways to teach herself as much as she could about the world – something all of us should really be doing. I reckon those who look for opportunities to draw lessons from their own experiences will go further.
I had memorized Hamlet’s soliloquy by the end of high school, but did I know how to file my own taxes? Not on your life. It was only as I approached my fourth year that I suddenly realized that there were so many things I didn’t know how to do that would be crucial one day. I have asked for help many times this summer as I’ve prepared to step into the shoes of Editor-in-Chief, not realizing how much I still had to learn about this paper despite those four years. Some of the most important things I have learned have been to always have a backup plan and to find an activity that helps you clear your head – and tidying up your surroundings, I’ve found, is the best thing for it.
I do miss being in school already. It brought structure to my daily routine. But I’m excited to tackle my new venture, which is learning how to cope with a business and lead others. Adjustment is going to be a big theme this year, because this time I’ll be in charge of not just this paper, but my own education from here on out.