The Four Stages of Being a DEVS Student

Well, I’m back, your friendly campus DEVS spokeswoman, here to give you a little more insight into the complicated minds of DEVS students. This time on the four stages every DEVS student lives through in the course of their degree, from my experience anyways. You’re probably thinking, well aren’t the four stages just the four years of the degree? Yes and No. While the four stages I’m talking about do take the form of the four years of our degree, they also encompass the ideological shifts and behaviour patterns that we exhibit during those years.

First Year

As a first year, you haven’t yet declared your major but you probably have an idea about the direction you want to head in. If that direction is DEVS, you’re probably fresh off a Me to We or another volunteer trip, and full of idealistic plans for the future and the belief that you, and you alone, can change the world. Your favorite quote is most likely the classic Gandhi quote ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’.

Second Year

As second-year dawns, you’ve firmly declared yourself as a DEVS major and while you enter the year full of idealistic promise from last year, the further you progress through your classes the faster the rose-colored glasses are ripped off. You begin to question that idealistic image you created last year and trade it for a somewhat more cynical view of global development. Your mantra becomes Soderbergh's mantra from DEVS 230, ‘who has the power? And why?’ But even through all your questioning of the world, you still continue to cling to that ideological piece of yourself and maintain that you can change the world, somehow.

Third Year

From my experience, Third Year is the peak of the DEVS degree; it’s the time that you are at your most radical. As a naïve first year you were terrified and somewhat dismissive of Professor Day’s ‘screw the system’ ideology, now you have fully embraced it. At this point, anything goes, you’ve even gone so far as to consider socialism a viable option, and might fancy a career as a revolutionary. 

Fourth Year

By Fourth Year, the real world has started to set in. Graduation hangs over you like a cloud and suddenly your plans of renouncing capitalist society and becoming a revolutionary don’t seem so plausible. You begin to admit defeat to the system and apply for law school or your MBA though a small part of you maintains that through your mainstream career choice that maybe, just maybe, you can create change in some tiny corner of the world.

So as first years look towards choosing your majors and fourth years reflect back on your undergraduate experience remember that while the you that comes out of your four-year degree may not look that same as the one that went in, the change is for the better.