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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

“Degree” sounds like such a fancy word for all the hard work and tears that go into one. If you read that and said you haven’t cried at all yet, lucky you, but also, I don’t believe you. University isn’t easy. It tests you in so many ways that you expect and in many more ways you don’t. So, what do I think of my own degree?

Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with it. Being an English major has its pros and cons. I’ve never tested well or had a “math brain,” and English gives me the outlet to create and get marked on that. If you told me that I needed to do an online test every week with a chemical formula, I would suffer, so in that regard, I’m lucky. But English has its downfalls too.

When I first started university, I had no idea what I really wanted. The idea is that university will guide you to exactly what you want, and for most people, that’s an absolute lie. For me, first year taught me that high school is nothing to be scared of, university is. With five long classes at random times throughout the week and sometimes having five assignments all due in the same week, I wanted to pull my hair out. But I figured it out and pushed through, and now here I am.

To reflect on the good and bad so far, I would say that first year was okay, second year was the worst, and thus far into my third year, it’s passing first year on the rating scale. The reason for all of this usually has less to do with school and more to do with my personal life. In first year, everything was new and exciting, but it was also a lot of work and really hard stuff. Additionally, struggling through COVID Zoom meetings made life difficult. My computer was old and slow, and living with roommates was all new to me. Second year was a mental toll. The classes themselves were so interesting and led me to what I really want to pursue after school, and for that I’ll always be grateful. But my mental health was lacking. I had my wisdom teeth taken out and had Bell’s palsy from a pinched nerve in my face… yeah, not good.

But if I’m talking strictly about the school aspect of it, the coursework was interesting and I liked all of my professors. I’m lucky that the Laurier English professors love what they do, otherwise, I might hate the school part of university. I found a lot of creative writing classes that managed to help me get back into the good thoughts and process some things I hadn’t yet. Second year was a transitional period to say the least.

And here I am, in my third year. The only real downfall of third year now is my mistake from second year. I had the option to take a mandatory class last year and didn’t, and now it doesn’t fit into my schedule. I know it’ll work itself out, but it does make me angry at second year self. As far as mandatory requirements go, I feel like there’s all kinds of leniency to what you take and it’s amazing. Some of the mandatory courses aren’t great, don’t get me wrong, but when you have the option of one bad course in a category versus an even worse one, you’ll pick the one that doesn’t sound nearly as bad. To have that choice is what I like so much.

I’m looking forward to fourth year and what else it can teach me, but I’m happy with where I’m at now. I love to write essays and be passionate about a subject that I get the choice to write about it. I also love classic literature and the fact that there are a few options for those also makes me happy. The only real downfall now is the limited course selection, since I’ve already taken so many I liked and can’t take them again.

Knowledge is power or something, and I guess I’d have to agree. Looking at my work from first year now is proof that I’ve already learned so much, and I still have a long way to go. English is a passion for me that has only increased since university and I look forward to anything else it can teach me. If you have the luxury of enjoying your classes and your degree, be thankful, I know I am!

Bailey McIntyre

Wilfrid Laurier '25

Bailey is in her third year of English studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. From a small town, she escaped when she could by writing whenever possible, as well as reading all things Sci-fi and Romance. She loves Snowboarding, Baking and watching early 2000s movies with hot chocolate. Bailey has a passion for all things writing related and is also the Arts and Life Section editor for The Cord Newspaper at Laurier. Wishing to pursue editing and publishing post grad, writing is her main creative outlet.