All of a sudden, the day that I thought would never come had arrived. After three years of dreaming about UBC, about the classes I would take and the adventures I would have, all of my dreams suddenly weren’t dreams anymore. I’d ordered my books, bought my plane ticket, packed all my stuff, and said my tearful goodbyes to my friends and family. I was really doing this.
Sitting on the plane, watching Toronto slowly fade into a series of green rectangles below me, I began to get a sinking feeling in my stomach, and for a single, panicked moment, I thought I’d made a horrible mistake. The reality of the situation had sunk in: I was leaving, moving thousands of miles away from my friends, my family, and my home. There would be no coming home after school and sharing a snack with my sister, laughing and talking about the kind of day we’d had. Gone were the days of driving around Richmond Hill with my friends in my run-down ’99 Chevy Malibu. I would no longer be able to have movie nights with my mom. I couldn’t even go back home if I forgot my favourite cardigan. I was leaving everything and everyone I knew behind to move to a city I’d only visited once, where I knew virtually no one. It was completely and utterly terrifying.
But then, just as quickly as it had come, the panic was gone. As we descended into Vancouver International Airport and I saw the ocean rush towards me, a huge, uncontrollable smile spread across my face. In that split second, I realized that I belonged here. There was a reason that I’d dreamt of going to UBC for so long, even though it was going to change my life dramatically. I wanted it to change my life. I’m going to have amazing new experiences, meet a ton of new and incredible people, and study things I’m truly passionate about. I’m going to work harder than I ever have in my entire life and be inspired by my amazing surroundings. Most importantly, I’m going to be able to steer my life in the direction I choose and become the person I’ve always wanted to be.
As all of these thoughts raced through my mind, I felt the plane’s wheels make contact with the runway and a much more welcome feeling washed over me: the feeling of coming home. That feeling has persisted ever since my arrival in Vancouver yesterday, and I know it won’t be going away any time soon.