"Before the strike had occurred, the students in my Art Fundamental class had simple concerns about what would happen. They questioned concerns such as, "What about the tuition that I paid? Where would it go?", or "What about the projects that my teacher has assigned? When will they be due?"And they were easily answered by my teachers with hope that there would be a conclusion with all of this.
I received e-mails from my teachers about what would happen to my classes if it occured; what would happen to the assignments, tests, midterms, exams, etc. It was all answered, and I was still not calm. I received notifications from Sheridan, and always checked their website every hour; I've messaged friends from different colleges, and all of them tell me that the strike is going to happen, and I've talked to parents sharing their experiences about strikes that happened to them, having the worst being for 3 months.
The night of October 15th was probably one of the most anxious nights I've ever had. I sat in the kitchen with 3 devices, my dad's laptop, my dad's iPad, and my iPhone, continuously refreshing the Sheridan website at the same time having a conversation with some of my friends from the Art Fundies class on my phone. With most of my friends and my parents asleep at night, I was still up, waiting for the 12:01am email and notification to show up, I still wait by around 10 pm.
And with a notification already showing up half-hour after, it has been confirmed that the strike is to commence Monday October 16th, 2017. I felt a different sensation, and it was more of a guilt-ridden sense of emptiness, with a sprinkle of anxiety. Now that I know that I won't be attending school, what would happen next? The more I question that, the more I felt unmotivated and empty.
As the first few days pass by, I kept contact with friends who were attending their classes while I was stuck at home playing Wii games and watching Netflix and YouTube story-time animations to kill my time. My days started becoming longer and longer each time, and I felt less and less motivated to do anything at home. I started feeling like a couch potato, doing absolutely nothing but keeping track of Snapchat streaks, Facebook feeds and Instagram issues in bed or on the couch. I would be doing my assignments from class, but then I felt as if there was no accomplishment in doing so while there were no classes.
I had a lack of knowledge as to what was going on. I watched every Ontarian news channel that brought up about the strike but each day gets a little more confusing. I watched faculty on the TRC roundabout entrance hold on to large signs that talk about equal pay or higher wages, but I didn't quite understand the scenario. All I know was that the strike affected my education, and that I can't go to school because of it.
But did that affect my way to learn? Of course, school was boring back in high school when I had to listen to boring lectures about Shakespeare and the smallest details about what deserters did in World War II. But for some reason, I craved knowledge. As weird as that came out, I wanted to learn.
I wanted to go to school. My want was to learn about facts, history, or even things that I could depend on in the future.
With the help of my boyfriend, I started attending his History lectures at McMaster University. I felt a little bit of joy, yet a little bit shy about attending classes that I wasn't even assigned to. (I did not pay for either... sorry :( .) I started learning about passages from the Iliad and the Odyssey, stories that I've heard from my mom but never took the interest. I recalled the memories of witnessing some of the Parthenon at the British Museum while I attended his Archeology lecture; And as every slide passed on, I grabbed my sketchbook and started drawing what the professor was lecturing on and on with extreme passion.
The strike was still going on and on and I felt more and more urge to learn and do, so I took the time at home and started learning how to sew clothes, and I started preparing my portfolio for a program that I wanted to attend. I then started reading some of my sister's psychology notes she made from her "Human Growth Behavior" classes, and started drawing some of the diagrams that were in her notes. I was making my time worthwhile, knowing that a few weeks are passing by, and my motivation to do different things were much better than before.
And although I kept going on and on with the many new things that I was doing, I look back to my school. Knowing now that it's still on strike as the 4th week passes by, and hearing that the strike will continue on for another 2 weeks, it has been obvious that my student experience with the strike has been deemed negative. But soon as the weeks went by, it became a positive experience for me to take the time to grow new things in life to enrich my skills, my knowledge, and overall my understanding of post-secondary life.
But I didn't lose hope. I still wait for the day the school will open for all of us to learn again."