The Five L’s of University


Alright kiddos, you’ve just finished up with the last frosh week ever and I’m sure you feel like experts about everything university and everything Queen’s.  You’ve finally learned where the libraries are, where to get the best food, which of your floormates you hate, and which talking points you should stick to if you want to defend your choice of education to people who say you’re stupid.  I’m here to tell you that you still have a lot to learn when it comes to what university is really about.  I’m not talking about strategically skipping classes to maximize sleep, or getting a bus ticket to go home at Thanksgiving.  What I’m talking about is far more important to your surviving and thriving in university.  I’m talking about the five Ls of university.  

L Number One: Lowering Your Standards

You might think right off the bat that I’m just talking about lowering your standards regarding the people that you’re willing to hook up with.  While that is correct and you should indeed lower your standards in that department, I’m really talking about lowering your standards in general across all aspects of your life.  What kind of average were you thinking for first year?  Maybe 85%?  Take about 10-15 points off that one and maybe you’re looking at something a bit more realistic.  Want to move into an awesome ghetto house with 3-7 of your best bros?  Prepare yourself to settle for a decent, but not particularly impressive 3-5 bedroom unit in a multiple unit house.  The sooner that you embrace the first L of university, the sooner you’ll start to thrive here.  

L Number Two: Losing Your Mind

This is maybe the most famous L of university and one that most people know about.  University can make you go absolutely fucking bonkers.  Sometime around November you’re going to realise that without even knowing it, you have been on a slow road to going batshit insane since the day you got here.  I’m not saying inanimate objects or conceptual entities are capable of fucking with people, but university fucks with people.  It doesn’t really help that you’re fighting insanity while at the same time being drunk for about 50% of your waking life but hey, nothing worth doing is ever easy right?  Just lean into it and enjoy the wild, insanity inducing whirlwind that university is.  

L Number Three: Lying to Your Parents

This one was always pretty obvious right?  When your mom asks you what you did this weekend you’re not going to tell her that you drank your body’s weight in beer, lost your health card, and twisted your wrist after tripping on a curb.  You’re going to tell her that you went out, had a couple beers with the lads, and called it an early night.  The key is to not make your parents worry unless they have to.  If you actually need help like extra money or someone to tell you that you’re loved unconditionally then yeah be straight with your parents.  But as long as you’re barely holding it together, keep that large and intricate web of lies around for as long as you can.  The uncertainty surrounding your life decisions is a godsend not to be thrown away all willy nilly.  


L Number Four: Lying to Yourself:

This one is more vital than you could ever know now frosh.  You’ve only been here for a week and you have no idea what life will be like in one, two, or even three years.  Let me tell you that if you don’t consistently lie to yourself, your university lifestyle will be unsustainable.  When you notice that you satisfy about 75% of the warning signs for alcoholism you could be honest with yourself and make positive health changes in your life, or you could lie to yourself and continue to enjoy irresponsible drinking.  Instead of going for a run to try and get back that cardio that you’ve definitely lost since high school, just hit another bowl and tell yourself that you could still definitely rip a sub 50 minute 10k if you had to.  If ignorance is bliss, then willful ignorance is goddamn ecstasy.

L number Five: Just Ls in General

You’re gonna take a lot of Ls in this place.  That’s just the way it goes.  Everyone takes Ls though and you shouldn’t feel too self-conscious about your own.  Just keep learning, have fun, be safe, and use protection.  Make it a good first 12 weeks.  

– Brendan Robson