Frosh week. Summer blends with the first cool hints of the coming autumn, just as eager students excitedly turn their teenage selves towards pending adulthood. Nervous energy spills through residences as parents and scholars spend quality time fighting over IKEA instructions before agreeing not to speak to each other until Thanksgiving. 2020.
On campuses across Canada, another class has arrived to lead our nation forward, together embarking on the time-honoured tradition of immediately hooking up with someone they will later decide they don’t really like but will have to see in all their classes for the next four years.
Here comes one excited young academic now. Let’s ask him how his first day of orientation is going.
“I’m broke as a motherfucker.”
Interesting name Brock, would you care to spell that?
“Broke. Out of cash. On my way to the soup kitchen. Up university creek without a line of credit.”
You don’t say. Sorry to hear that. Did you spend all of your money on marijuana?
“No. Well a little. But mostly it went into books, tuition, fees, locks, prophylactics and a last minute Uber to get my things here when my dad and I mutually agreed sharing one more car journey would permanently damage what’s left of our relationship.”
Sorry to hear that. How are you enjoying the city?
“It looks nice, but I can’t really afford to go inside any buildings, and I’m getting pretty hungry.”
Gee. That’s rough. Seems a little early to already be hungry, it only being day one and all.
Well. Sounds like that about covers it. Best of luck with your studies, and finding food. Been nice chatting with you. Sorry no, I don’t have any snacks on me. All the best. Gotta run.
Shouts of excitement ring out across the quad. Colour-coded teams are engaged in team-building activities, mutually navigating obstacle courses that in many ways mirror the myriad hurdles they will all have to overcome as they strive for excellence in the coming years. The sun slants in through the leafy branches of ancient oaks, the same trees under which many generations have lingered in the dewy days of their nascence, before moving on to greatness in the Bay St. boardrooms and Queen’s Park quagmires. There to permanently sealed the doors on affordable tertiary education behind them. In Altum Debitum, fair class of 2021, In Altum Debitum.