Ocean Views and Stylish Shoes: Pretty Standard for College in Canada

Ocean Views and Stylish Shoes: Pretty Standard for College in Canada

By Contributor

LadyM finally arrives at her university in Nova Scotia after a hectic week of packing and goodbyes!—Sparkitors

This past week has been a rush. After months and months of waiting, I am finally here, in my wonderful (but weird-smelling) postage stamp of a dorm room, ready to start froshing. I have never been this excited in my life...but getting to today was harder than I expected.

In mid-August, when I finally bought my little purple day planner, I flipped through the pages and realized how limited my time at home was. So began the frantic scramble to see all of the important people in my life before leaving on a jet plane (cue the chorus). Before long, my wallet was empty and I was full of nostalgia. I was reminded that I have some really awesome friends; some of them are the best for movie theaters and mall wandering and frozen yogurt dates. Others, I can count on for marathoning bad 90s TV series or Greta Garbo movies. And then there are the barn friends, who take the cake. Who else would I turn to for late night trips to Crabby Joes to get their half priced appetizers after 9:00? For riding ponies through deep water, without worrying about having to go to the restaurant damp and smelling like horses? For crazy ATV rides (on some really sketch ATVs) throughout all of the corn fields in rural Ontario? My frantic reunions made the back half of August one of the best few weeks of my life so far.

Although the goodbyes were amazing and fun, there were some bittersweet going-ons. I know I'll see these people again. But I had to think about the friends who I missed because they were off winning horse shows in Kentucky. And the wonderful people with whom I have had falling outs—the time for us to "refriend" each other is finished. This is the end of an era, and I find myself reflecting on the good and the bad.

Even the most morose and nostalgic side of me couldn't stop me from looking forward to the hellos. I'd been chatting with my classmates on Facebook, and they all seem great—very Sparkler-esque and fun. And then I logged on and found that I had already been invited to a party... in my room. I am very glad that my roommate gave the heads-up; it could have made for an awkward situation had I been in my PJs. First party of my college career—I'm very pumped. I'll finally get to meet some real life Haligonians!

The next ordeal was bag-packing. Originally, we were going to drive, and I was going to put everything I owned in a pick-up truck. But then we decided to fly instead, and the airplane thing meant that I had to slim down my possessions considerably. As a chronic over-packer, I was proud of myself for fitting my things into 4 suitcases.  I was less proud of this when it actually came to lugging them through the airport.

After much preparation, the day of reckoning finally arrived. Saying goodbye to my 2/3 of my family was easier than expected. I don't even remember bidding my sister a fond farewell. She came into my room, bright and early, before going to school. Apparently I was half asleep, and grunted my sentiments. Saying bye to mom was similarly unemotional, minus the grunting. It was short and sweet, and her last words to me? "Don't drink too much." Thanks for the vote of confidence, mom.

The flight was painless, perhaps even pleasant due to much viewing of Modern Family. And then I was here: Halifax, Nova Scotia.

I love it here already. Lots of hills (fight that Freshman 15) and a beautiful ocean view. It seems like a fun place, too. Lots of young people (yay university towns!) and a very busy downtown.

My dad and I purchased all of the must-haves (and really, you don't know a city until you know its Walmart). I acquired some nasty blisters from shopping in my stylish new shoes, and as a result made a great impression as I hobbled up and down "Hillifax."

Friday we got to tour. As recommended, we spent some time at a historic Citadel. They fired a cannon, which thrilled the toddler in me. To help make me feel like the mature college student that I am, I spent a long time talking to an 88-year-old WWII veteran. Overly emotive fool that I am, I was losing a fight against tears. We spent the afternoon at Peggy's Cove, a beautiful natural area with a stunning lighthouse. It was a peaceful way to end the mini-vacation before my life changed forever.

Despite my excitement, I slept very well that night, and before I knew it I was on the road to the campus.

Upon arriving at school, the first thing I saw was a bunch of upper years in bright orange T-shirts standing at the gates, holding signs and cheering. One of them asked me my name, and it wasn't long before they had turned "Megann" into a chant. We drove up to my residence, and a number of students grabbed my (many, heavy) bags from my car and pulled them up to my room... where I met my fantastic roommate! I am so excited to get to know her better, she seems fantastic.

My room is unpacked, and everything is tidy. This will probably last until tomorrow, when I will make it my goal to clean my room, but will never actually get around to doing so. Now, it's time to go down to a barbecue and bid my old man farewell.

Stay tuned—coming up, FROSH WEEK.

Point of Interest: In the States, is university synonymous with college? It's not so in the cold, cold north. We have university, a 4-year degree program that is fairly academic in nature, and college, a 2-or-3-year diploma which is more practical and usually relates more to a trade.

Yep, college and university are pretty much the same word here in the U S of A. Have you started either of them yet? Are you about to embark on FROSH WEEK?

Related post: So Many Clubs, So Little Time!

Topics: parties, parents, canada, college, friends, roommates, college tours, dorms, packing, going to college, university, new friends, new beginnings, saying goodbye, off to university series

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