Doug Schellenberg

I used to play a lot of hockey, and in the game of hockey, a transition can happen so fast that one second you will be skating one way, and the next second you'll have the puck on your tape, and if you're not careful, and you have your head down, by the third second you'll end up on your back looking at the lights on the ceiling wondering how you got there so fast and hard. It wasn't until I started university, for which I was totally unprepared, that I realized that by the end of September I was on my back and wondering how I landed there so hard and fast. The transition from high school to university left me dizzy, confused, and off guard to say the least. It was like going from minor hockey to the juniors; I was playing with the big boys now. Transition in university is a lot like transition in hockey. It's fast, quick, challenging and most times unexpected.

Transition can be scary. For instance, in hockey it can cause the player to be afraid of making certain plays for fear of being plowed into the ice by an opposing player. One lesson I've learned from hockey is that you can get back up and try again to make the play next time or be scared the rest of your career and refuse learn from the transition. Transition usually brings change. In hockey, it means change in the direction of the play, resulting in a possible scoring chance for the team that now possesses the puck. As a student, you too can cash in on the transition, score, and start moving in a new direction in your life. The key is not to be afraid, and in a lot of cases, this may mean facing your fears and learning that transitions usually come with a lesson. They can show you where you are weak as a person, where to improve. In hockey, transition can teach you where to move the puck, where to skate to receive the puck, and how to keep your head up so as not to loose it again. University is similar. Transition in student life can show you where you are weak. It can show you whether you're weak in your people skills or studying 'til three in the morning for example.

In university, you will experience many transitions, and not in just your first year. It seems that every year I come back to school, some of the friends I made the previous year have not returned for various reasons. Every year I seem to make a really good friend, and every year he or she ends up moving away because of family situations or to attend a different school. Aside from exchanging a few e-mails at first, I never see or hear from him or her again. That's one thing I have learned to adjust too on campus, meeting many cool and interesting people and eventually learning that I may never see any of them again. This is kind of sad when you think about it, but exciting at the same time, knowing that every year I will meet cool and interesting people from whom I will learn all sorts of cool things. Campus life is interesting in that way in that it's not like high school or work where you are with the same people for several years. Granted, you will meet people with whom you may very well create life long friendships -- I sure have-- but learning to adjust to all the different people and experiences and meeting different people year to year is exciting. The transition from year to year is made easier by getting involved in campus life. Getting involved in a club makes getting to meet and know people easier and more fun, and you'll meet more people with whom you may get to be very good friends.

Student life is full of transitions. From studies, to living situations, to new friends, transitions seem scary at first, and you may not feel like taking them head on for fear of being knocked on your backside. However, the best way to deal with transition in university is to embrace it no matter how frightening it may seem. Transition is not only about change, but also about challenging yourself, testing your limits, working on your weaknesses. Like hockey, university is full of transitions, and it has taught me that when in a transition, the best way to success is to face it full on and at full speed. If you do this you have a good chance to score.

Doug Schellenberg

Doug Schellenberg is a fourth year English major at Brandon University with a minor in history. When not writing essays, he enjoys reading, listening to music, playing guitar and attending concerts. He also enjoys camping, jogging, and sitting by a fire on a clear summer evening. He is unsure as to what he will be doing after he graduates

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