Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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A love letter to the Class Of 2024

Joe reflects on survival, and art too

From Covid to graduation, I find myself feeling school will never end, but also that it’s already over—a mix of senioritis and imposter syndrome. I find that so many of my classmates are already applying for real jobs, while I continue to pursue the lucrative role of starving artist. 

Either way, this is a step up from being locked in Risley Hall under strict Covid lockdown. 

A smart woman once impressed upon me the importance of reflection. And I am nothing if not a sucker for smart women—so, let’s do some reflecting. 

First year was hard. Observing COVID-19 protocols, having campus closed and always worrying about being yet another kid evicted from res, even if the COVID precautions made sense, it’s undeniable that they sucked.

Throw in a not-so-healthy dose of Seasonal Affective Disorder—the acronym for which is SAD, which is way too damn poetic—and I think a lot of people in my year had a really tough time. 

So, as someone from the Class of 2024 to another; I congratulate you for not dropping out.

I would reckon that most people my age had a curveball during the pandemic: the death of a friend or relative, loss of routine and/or support structures, or even just the effects of plain ol’ cabin fever. 

For me, it was drugs. As Tai Verdes sings, “Not hard ones, just ones that changed my mind up”. 

A little towel under the door and an open window, being stuck inside Risley day in and day out was a lot easier when I was high. There was more of course. 

The social strains of isolation, trying to enter a post-secondary institution and the grating effects of cabin fever—but that’s the beauty of substance abuse, you just forget everything else. 

I hate to break it to anyone who hasn’t had the illusion crushed yet, but COVID and its fallout did some serious damage to people across Canada; everybody was sad

Most of us stuck to it. We kept rolling out of bed to log on to watch some professor try to “get this new-fangled techno book to do the gosh darn thing I need it to do”. Despite all the grumbling and challenges, most of us made it to graduation.

I salute my classmates. I see what you’ve done. It wasn’t easy but you’ve got this far. Hopefully, you made at least a few friends along the way. You’ve probably lost some others, maybe been kicked out of an apartment or two and managed to come to at least a stalemate with your demons. Fucking props to you, good job kiddo. There’s lots more to go but you’ll get there. 

Since this is Something About Art, I feel that it’s only right I recommend some thematic art. This list of some favourites over the past four years is designed to anchor you, for when things are intimidating outside and all you want to do is climb into bed and surrender, I can only hope that these work as well for you as they have for me.

Songs to crumble to: 

“Debt” by Eliza McLamb

“Feeling Whitney” by Sydney Rose (yes, its a cover)

“Hero” by Family of the Year

Songs to smoke then dance to:

“Drugs” by Tai Verdes (or “Drugs” by Lil Aaron, dependent upon how high you are)

“Feeling Whitney” by Royal Bliss (another cover)

“LDN” by Lily Allen

TV recs to romanticize with:

Over The Garden Wall, for enjoying the end of things

Community, for what I hope are obvious reasons

Love Death Robots, for gnarly sci-fi 

Be well, I am hardly one to congratulate as I am constantly in a state of disaster. Nonetheless, I wish the best for you, don’t let the world get you down. The sun will come out tomorrow.

And the world always looks better after rainfall. 


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