Kevin Kim, Associate Features Editor
As a fresh, bright-eyed student at UTM much like so many others, my first year has been a whirlwind of great success and utterly disappointing failure. I’m of the opinion that everyone who makes their first venture into university goes through those kinds of motions—great highs, crushing lows. While some are obviously able to acclimate faster than others, I’d bet a pretty penny that the story of the failed midterm is one that resonates with a lot of people who had the pleasure of going through their first year.
While I had to concern myself with test anxiety and assignment mishaps, I also invested myself in a weekly extra-curricular activity aside from academics–first by choice, and eventually, by obligation. I decided to write for The Medium and eventually became an Associate Editor for the Features section.
As a student that came here for forensic science and is now intending to pursue mathematics, I have always, in one way or another, been fascinated by the natural sciences and what they have to offer. It may seem odd, then, to engage myself in something like writing articles for the campus newspaper. But, if I have any say in the matter, it isn’t so odd at all.
I’d like to first outline the point here that’s most obvious to me: people have diverse interests. Sure, I love mathematics. Unravelling definitions and theorems into something I can digest is often the highlight of my day. However, I do sometimes have a life outside of my program. For one, I usually play video games in my free time. I devour romance novels for breakfast in bed. And, most importantly, I love to write about just about anything. I’ve realized in my first year that even if you’re passionate about a field that seems completely far gone from some other field, you’re obviously allowed to enjoy both.
Perhaps as a contrast to the argument I just made, I also enjoy writing for The Medium because it has something for almost everyone. Anyone who takes a passing glance at the paper might first realize the separation of it into multiple sections, each concerned with different concepts. For example, the Features section tends to highlight local events and happenings within UTM and Mississauga as a whole, just as its name would suggest. But the four sections, although different, work together with the same purpose: to provide the campus with information.
If you’re someone that wants your voice to be heard all throughout UTM, then there’s a whole section of The Medium dedicated to opinion. If you would love to attend a local art gallery and critique the pieces there, then try your luck over at Arts & Entertainment. When I say that there’s something for everyone, I’m not trying to be disingenuous. If you can name something that you would enjoy writing about, it’ll probably pop up eventually in the mailing list of one of our sections.
For Features, I got the chance to interview a professor that teaches within our very own math department and write about what and how he contributes to the university. I interviewed another professor in the math department about the developments of the K-12 curriculum as it pertains to math and how it is taught. It goes without saying that as a math student, I thoroughly enjoyed composing these articles.
If you’re concerned with something like the practicality of an extracurricular, then writing for the paper really pays off in dividends. The intricacies of effective writing can be incredibly difficult to grasp, but committing yourself to a 600-word article every week (and potentially much longer) will give you a handle on it pretty quickly. One of the main reasons why I applied to the mailing lists of The Medium in the first place was so that I could keep my writing skills in shape—no matter what field you intend to pursue, being able to write well is an invaluable skill to have in your professional arsenal. Chemistry and biology students write lab reports; sociology and anthropology students write essays. Writing, writing, writing—you may hate it, but it will never leave you be, so it never hurts to improve on it.
Although my reasons for enjoying writing articles for The Medium despite being a science student have largely come across as devout advocacy for the paper in general, I’d like to stress once more that no matter what you study, if you ever get a hankering to write, you may find The Medium to be a nest of positives, as I did. After all, a chance to report firsthand on something directly related to your passions is an opportunity that’s quite hard to pass up.