Clever second year integrated media student Josie tells us about the importance of making friends, a truly shocking OCAD horror story, and why this school is exactly what she always imagined.
First, tell us a little bit about yourself! What’s your name, year, major, and where are you from?
My name is Josie Eccleston. I’m in second year. I was in drawing and painting but I switched into integrated media and I’m from a farm that’s about an hour and a half east of Toronto.
If you could describe your first year in one iconic sentence what would it be?
Don’t date a highschooler.
Give us your best horror story. Was there any point in time where you messed up BAD here at OCAD?
I went to the LNAP (Long Night Against Procrastination). I didn’t get any work done at all. I was still trying to soak in the university experience. I stayed up until 7 in the morning and I lost my portfolio with all my paintings in it. I never got it back. What did I learn from that? Go to bed.
Can you lighten the mood by giving us one of your best moments here at OCAD?
Well I have a lot of really good moments. One of my favorites would be hanging out in the form and structure classroom after classes were done, getting pizza with my friends and just goofing around. Anytime when I would be hanging out with people, doing stupid stuff. It’s the people that make the experience.
What advice can you give those fresh first years. Give us a brief survival guide.
Make friends. Talk to as many people as you can. Get a solid group of friends you can hang out with. And talk to your profs about stuff. Don’t be afraid to ask them if you don’t understand something. They want you to succeed, and they see that you are interested you’re probably gonna get a better mark.
When you first started at OCAD, was it everything you thought it would be/wouldn’t be?
I wanted to go to ocad ever since I was thirteen. My high school experience was awful and when I got to ocad I just thought it was the best thing ever. There are a lot of shortcomings probably with the school that I did not care. It is everything I thought it would be; the people are wonderful. I saw a lot of videos online of people saying how the school was terrible and how the profs are so mean and everybody hates each other, but that was not my experience at all. People are really nice. No one is that serious about their work. They aren’t stuck up. Everyone’s on the same boat with “I don’t know what I’m doing.” We’re all just kind of confused together.
How do you think your experiences here at OCAD will help you move forward?
I learned how to deal with people. Professors are really forgiving. High School is very different. There’s this sense of authority. You can’t reason with people in high school. Your teachers tell you what to do and that’s it. When you’re in university and an adult dealing with other people, they do take your seriously. Good work ethic is something I’ll take away with it. If you don’t do your projects, you won’t do well.

Interviewed by Zoe Roiati

Photography by Zain Mja