At UBC there are 2 major residences for first year students: Place Vanier and Totem Park. Within each residence lie different houses (this is just to break up the living spaces). In Vanier I believe there are about 12 houses and in Totem there are 8. But the BEST part of it all is where q’ələχən (QLXN for short) comes in. Yes, yes I am indeed one of the chosen ones who get to live in the newly constructed buildings on campus. Whenever asked where I live in Totem, I’ve discovered its easier just to say “that new shiny glass building” because a) unless you live here, no one recognizes the name of the building, let alone can pronounce it and b) it’s fun to marvel at the fact that you’re residence building looks like a hotel.
It’s only been about a week since I’ve lived here but it already feels like home. I didn’t think it was possible to get acquainted to a new living space that easily, but I guess I was wrong! Going into university, a lot of people are probably all experiencing some of the same fears. For instance, a common question might be, how am I going to feel comfortable living in a confined space? Or simply, how will I get used to these big changes. For many, a typical room in residence is a big change, but downsizing doesn’t necessarily mean downgrading.
I’ve posted some pictures of my room so you can see!
If you’re one of those people who takes pictures of their meticulously crafted plate of food or admires a good quality, handcrafted Moleskine notepad, then maybe you’ll appreciate my design choices……
My bed and personalized frames from home, also a world map because I love to travel!
Spacious bathroom vanity. In Qlxn (residence building) there are 2 single rooms connected by a washroom which you share with someone else. These are called connected singles.
Yeah I’d say there’s an art to leaving your birthplace… I mean let’s face it, for many of us it can be a daunting and very emotional process BUT just like anything else, practice makes perfect.
Ever since I could remember I was leaving home. When you’re young, jet-setting across the world to live in a different country feels like an adventure, but sometimes we lose track of that innocent and care-free attitude. As you grow up, leaving home can feel like a completely different experience. But, there is hope! I’ve racked up a few key pointers from my days if you really want to become a master. Here are 7 easy steps:
- Be positive, be positive, be positive. Negative energy is draining and can taint your experiences. Do people actually enjoy drowning in their sorrows? No, I didn’t think so. Kids, optimism truly does go a long way.
- Try to keep the future in mind. Think about all of the awesome things your going to, not what you’re leaving behind (i.e. a beautiful campus, the beach, independence, and people who are socially and academically of the same caliber as you).
- Give yourself plenty of time to pack. This eliminates those mini-meltdowns after weeks of procrastination and that “I think I forgot something, but I don’t know what it is” feeling. Sure, some things you can just buy in Vancouver but most certainly not your favorite pair of jeans that you left at your friends house this summer or that knitted treasure your grandma made for you to keep warm….in the rain….
- Load a bumpin’ music playlist for your iPod and make sure it’s charged (made that mistake and was tuneless for that oh so fun 5 hr plane ride).
- Download Skype. It’s free, easy and you can actually see your mom’s face WHILE talking to her at the same time, revolutionary stuff eh?
- “Goodbyes” are so last year… try a simple “see ya later!” because realistically, we WILL be seeing our family and friends from home, later. Hello Christmas break?
- Takes a deep breath, or a few…
And remember, it’s going to be okay.