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Letter of the Week: Student shares lessons learned

Foreword by Dana Quenville | Opinion | February 13th, 2006



Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
A student's first term can be an incredible learning experience, even if the grades at the end of the term do not reflect that. As much as students start the term with the intention of passing their courses and going on to second term in the natural flow of progression, there can be bumps along the way that throw you off track.

I could have approached a student who had been successful in their first term to tell us all how he/she did it, but I believe that there are more lessons to be learned along the bumpier path.


The trick is to learn from that experience. What some may define as failure really isn't if we learn from it and make the choice to change our attitude and/or behaviour. The real failure is in giving up or repeating what we did the first time.

“When you lose, don't lose the lesson.”  ~Author Unknown

The following story is from a student who wants to share his experience and the lessons learned. He didn't give up as some might have. He persisted and he learned so much about himself: we can all learn from him.

Let me start off by saying that my academic career is nothing to write home about. I never did well in high school, or elementary school for that matter. I was born and raised in south London, and I like to drink, smoke and have a good time with my friends. Anyways, here's a real story of a real Fanshawe student in his first semester.

I started taking Business Marketing in September because I didn't know, and still don't, what I want to do with the rest of my life. And, frankly, I didn't want to pump gas any longer. I'm not saying it's a bad career, I did it for 3 years, but it's not exactly something with a future in it if you know what I mean. So basically, with no other career options, college seemed like the obvious next step. It was a long semester, and I got off to a bad start when I didn't get any lab codes until a bunch of labs were already due. Reason being I got my textbooks off a friend, so this meant I would have to buy the codes separately. There was a huge line up at the bookstore and I said, “Screw it! I'm not waiting in line with these suckers. I'll wait a few weeks till it dies down.” Little did I know that they would be the ones who would have the last laugh, because, by the time I got all my codes, many of the labs were already due. In the case of Economics, I didn't even know there were labs for that class until about half way through the semester, and that's never good. Next on the agenda was dropping math because I hate math and the schedule was overwhelming as is. I missed a few classes throughout the semester and this didn't help my grades either. I ended up only passing two out of my six classes: Accounting and Marketing. I am now retaking the four classes I failed last semester and having to listen to the same lectures over again can get very boring.

Personally, I have found that going to every class, or at least making an effort to go to every class, is in reality pretty crucial. Knowing due dates, and getting your labs out of the way early is also beneficial. I have also found it is to my benefit to take advantage of my breaks at school to do work in the computer lab rather than going to the Outback Shack for a beer. Basically, all it really takes is to at least just go over some piece of schoolwork every day, even if it's not much.

This information may not help all of you but if it helps change one person around before they turn out like me then I've done my part.
~ Jamo
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