End of an era?

No, the beginning of my time remembering a great run and great people

Left to right: Adam Williams, Jessica Klymchuk, Courtney Dickson, Ashley Wadhwani, Sean Brady, Mark Hendricks, Mike Davies and Karla Karcioglu made up your 2013-14 Omega staff. (Alex Smith/The Omega)

Left to right: Adam Williams, Jessica Klymchuk, Courtney Dickson, Ashley Wadhwani, Sean Brady, Mark Hendricks, Mike
Davies and Karla Karcioglu made up your 2013-14 Omega staff. (Alex Smith/The Omega)

Mike Davies, Editor-in-Chief Ω

This will be my final column for this publication.

“No, Mike! Say it isn’t so!” you all cry out in disbelief.

Your dismay is understandable, even if I’m only imagining it. I’ve been heading up this paper for the past three years, and was filling these pages for a year before that as both the sports editor and roving editor (as well as having a weekly column).

I’ve crafted and put before the world over 300 articles and opinion pieces on all kinds of topics and helped others craft and publish well over 1,000 more over those four years, and I’ve learned a lot about myself in that time.

I’m not just being egocentric here. This isn’t going to be a celebration of all I’ve accomplished or anything. I’m using my experience to share with you in this, my final edition of “Editor’s Note,” the key bit of knowledge I’ve gained during my time here and it might help for you to know why you should bother reading it. I hope you can get something valuable out of it, because I’d hate for these past four years of my life here at The Omega to only be of benefit to me.

I’ve often found myself stuck trying to decide what to write about in these columns (I’m sure you all know the feeling when given assignments with open topics), and for some reason always gravitate back to time and stress management.

And for good reason.

Early on in my tenure here as Editor-in-Chief, I wrote what is still one of my favourite (and most relevant) columns to this day, entitled “Deathbed memories,” where I told you not to focus on your work or your studies, but to have fun instead, because nobody ever says, “I wish I’d worked harder” on their deathbed.

Okay, that’s not exactly what I said, but I did say that you should ground yourself in having some fun in order to fully appreciate your time here and not dwell alone in your books at the expense of having a “university experience” while you get your credentials.

At times, I probably could have done better at taking my own advice in that regard.

I spent a lot of nights at home (or at the office) over the years when I could have been out enjoying myself with friends, struggling to grasp something for class or fighting my way through editing an assignment that would have been fine the way it was.

Not that I regret the time I put into my work. Just the opposite, in fact. I’ve loved every minute of it, but, as I said in “Deathbed Memories,” those nights at home (or at my office) aren’t going to be the ones that come to mind through the years when I think back about my time at TRU.

When I think back fondly of my time here, I’m no doubt going to remember some of my time at work (mainly the fantastic people I got to work with) and how rewarding it felt to produce something for the community on a weekly basis that had some value to people, but the memories that will make me smile are the ones where there were people around that I cared about and who cared about me, and we were doing something that had nothing to do with our studies or our work.

Maybe someone fell down and hurt themselves. Ahhh… good times.

I’ve also written many pieces on mental health issues caused by stress and poor time management, the links between sleep and productivity, and enjoying your downtime when you can find some.

What I’m getting at, what I want to leave you all with (especially going into exam season again), is that it’s important for you to think about what you’re doing with your time, because it has farther-reaching consequences than just not getting to study that last chapter of your textbook before your test or costing you an extra couple of bucks in the morning for another shot of espresso for your coffee.

It’s the most important thing I’ve learned in my years here. I was running this paper and the non-profit society that oversees it, taking two degrees and raising a toddler, so I know how tough it can be in terms of finding the time for everything.

The key is to recognize that you should be considering how you’re making use of it, find a balance that allows you to optimize it, and enjoying as much of it as you can.

Because, like me, you’ll soon be leaving this place, and you should want to be leaving it as a better person that you were when you got here and taking fond memories with you when you go, not going out into the world with a degree and a broken spirit, mentally anguished and trying to remember why you applied in the first place.

My thanks to the crew in the picture above and the previous ones I had the honour to work with during my time here for helping me make it about more than just a piece of paper (or stacks of papers on racks in the halls).

I’m leaving a better person than I arrived, and that’s thanks, in part, to you.

You’ll be what I remember.