Volume 96, Issue 56
Thursday, January 9, 2003

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"Real world?"

Re: "Rocks are too hard," Dec. 4

To The Editor:

I'm writing in response to the letter entitled "Rocks are too hard" in which a student complained that the standard course load should be eased from five to three courses.

Dear readers, let me share a secret with you, known only to people who have lived the undergrad experience and now reside in what we now know euphemistically as "the real world." Even at five courses, undergrad life is the cushiest deal going. Don't tell anyone, but it's true. And some day when you are sitting in your job, you'll look back and wish that you only had to do five courses again.

Save this letter until you're 30 and re-read it. I will personally buy you a very large beer if you don't look back longingly at a five course load and say, "Oh man, I wish I could go back."

Look, the role of a university is not only to give you a basic academic skillset, but also to prepare you for your future role(s) in life (working for a company or being a researcher, whatever you choose), by instilling a drive and a work ethic that will benefit you in later life. Reducing your workload would do you no favours and would instead mean that the university wasn't doing a major part of its job – training you for life.

And when you get into the working world, unless you have a large trust fund or become a rock star, you're going to have to expect ongoing learning and long days. Better get used to it when you're in university.

Adam Watson
BA Econ '93, MPA '96, MBA '02

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