The Drake Effect

by Scott Walsh, Storyteller for RU Student Life

Like green peppers, Katy Perry or the word ‘screech’, I could never understand why people like sports. I just didn’t see the appeal, until my friend explained it was like rap — it’s not enjoyable unless you put yourself in the position of the artist. So now, Drake is attracting the ire of tennis fans, who see him as a personal distraction to Serena Williams/themselves, as she has allegedly been a little distracted by him lately, and it’s shown in her game.

I call this “The Drake Effect” — when you meet someone and they become so distracting that you start under performing, whether it’s in your career or school or a combination. It’s especially notable in the first year of university when you undergo THE shift from being considered a child to being viewed as an adult. Meeting all your new classmates (or roommates!), being told that these are supposed to be the best four years of your life, there’s enormous pressure to simultaneously do well in school while having fun, going out, and making the experiences that Gossip Girl told us university would be like.

You’ll probably notice when you’re doing it — you (or your friend) suggest to each other that you skip this one class and go grab a pitcher at the Marquis, or that you REALLY don’t need to be studying when Born Ruffians are doing a surprise show down the street. It’s a fantastic feeling — you feel in control, badass, mature. It’s like smoking! And while it’s not as cancerous, it’s still bad for you.

Like smoking, The Drake Effect (or Draking) becomes addictive. Screw it, you never went to the last three classes, why bother going to this one?

And then the grades come in. You’re like that infamous Kim Kardashian cover (minus the bottom part). You realize you’ve basically thrown away four months, thousands of dollars, the opportunity to move forward in your field… for some nights that have all kind of blurred together.

“YOU sound like the Kim cover, jerkhead” you say. Unphased by bullying from my audience, I ask you to elaborate.

“It sounds like you just don’t want us to have any fun. Obviously we could always be ‘being productive’ or working hard, but I’ve just spent four years in high school doing that, will spend the next forty years doing that, and then I’ll probably die because you said Draking is like smoking.”

Good point! Different systems work for different people. My brother used to have a rule that he would only go out on Saturday nights. My sister had a rule that she would stay in every Monday-Wednesday night. Both of them had stellar marks. There is no consistent rule of thumb. You need to figure out how to balance between going out and having fun, but not wasting the $7,000+ dollars you’ve spent on tuition. Serena Williams did not spend decades working to get where she was just to throw it all away on Drake, and you did not spend the past twelve (or more) years on your #RoadToRyerson just to chill in a semi-stranger’s dorm room watching old Friends episodes instead of going to your lab. Stay proactive, stay dedicated. These people may be your best friends, or they may just be your classmates for now — the only thing for certain is that your education will always be yours.