from the mind of

 

Jake Hopper

on UNIVERSITY

Urgency has become lost in university. “This needs to be done at a certain date or else” has just sort of become “or else what?” You suddenly have the freedom to put your priorities wherever you want them to be and that prioritizing can be daunting. You’re self guided at that point, and while it means that your accomplishments are your own it also means your failures are entirely on yourself. That heavy responsibility can really drive some people down.

on MUSIC

The way and the reason I’ve made music have changed. Back in grade 10 I was playing music and was in a band, not because of the musical or artistic aspect of it, but because it was a fun thing to do with your friends and a good way to get girls. By the end of high school, I had a bad experience with the way my first band kind of ended, and it wasn’t really a conducive environment for me and I became a little bit more solitary in making music and making art. Now it has become an emotional outlet I suppose, as opposed to something that’s just fun. I guess in a way it’s connected to your self worth in university, because the identity that you build for yourself in these places becomes more important because everyone is so much different from everyone else: everyone is from a different town and speaks a different language, or has a different cultural background, so everybody is looking to distinguish themselves. You could say music was a part of my identity building once I came to school.

Music is a way to be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling. For me, if I sit down and all I can write is ‘woe is me,’ then I start to assess my own mental state and understand why this is all I’m putting on paper right now.

on SPACE

You must make a space you can make a home in. One of my biggest problems in university was that yeah, my dorm room might have been a nice space and one that I enjoyed but it was not a productive one, necessarily, or one that leant itself to a healthy lifestyle. It became quite easy to lay in bed and watch TV. It became very easy to not leave my room. It becomes hard when you don’t vary the space enough and you don’t change your surroundings often enough. It becomes really easy to turn inward and hang out with all the negative emotions going on within yourself. When you’re always stuck with the familiar, you’re not really looking around and taking in whats in your room, you’re just thinking internally and looking within yourself.

Being able to blend into a crowd doesn’t bother me so much. I feel incredibly isolated in the library. I go in and see people working incredibly hard all hours of the night and I get hit with a wave of, ‘I don’t belong here’ or ‘I am not filling my quota like these people are.’ You see other people at their best, and you, at your worst are like, “Clearly I am not up to par.” You don’t see other people’s failures nearly as much as you see your own. Going to a place like the library, where you are surrounded by seemingly productive people it becomes very easy to feel alone in your struggles. Little do you know, they’re spending their entire time in the library on twitter but thats not what you see, you don’t see their screen, you don’t see behind the curtain in that they too are probably working on a project that they procrastinated for two months. Certain spaces make you feel certain things, and when you walk into a library you get a feeling that you should be productive. The problem with that is that I rarely feel productive, so it’s a sort of a reminder of what I am failing to do most of the time

some ADVICE FOR YOU, YEARS AGO

Never have two days that are the same. Do something every single day to distinguish it from the rest. I’m not saying make every day memorable, I’m not saying don’t have sick days, I’m just saying, be doing something unique always. If you’re always doing something different, then you are taking more chances and you tend to land on the things you actually like. Whereas if you just get stuck in the same routine of being unproductive it becomes much harder to build an identity for yourself. We are building an identity for ourselves here as much as we are presenting it, and then adapting to changes.

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