It’s hard to believe that summer is (almost) over! I refuse to acknowledge the end of summer until I step foot in my first class, which will be on Wednesday at 9AM. So woo hoo about 1.3 more days of Jen Summer!

The past couple of days have been really crazy, but one thing that’s constantly been on my mind is how different moving and settling in this year has been compared to last year.

Last year I moved into Totem Park (represent!) I think three days before everyone else was supposed to move in, but I just put my stuff in my room and chose to stay with my parents in our hotel room until like the day they left; I just wasn’t ready yet. My parents drove me around and took me to Walmart, to a Rogers store, etc etc, and helped me organize my room a bit. They stood in line with me to buy my books and get my UPass and UBC card, and they sat with me at the International Students orientation for parents (does it have a name?). After my parents left I was kind of in shock for a few hours, but I decided that I felt fiercely independent and woman-of-the-world-ish, but by nighttime when I was alone in my dorm room (my roomie hadn’t moved in yet) I found myself freaking out and wondering if I would EVER feel at home here.

This year, I took a bus alone from Los Angeles to Vancouver, and checked myself into a hostel for a night. I met up with two of my friends within an hour of being in Vancouver, and the next day I was off on a three-night retreat with my sorority. After crashing a a friend’s place in North Van for a week, I moved into Fairview Crescent. Within 8 hours of checking in, I was hosting a friend’s birthday party in my apartment. Slowly but surely I’ve retrieved my stuff from my “storage” (aka I gave my stuff to my friends who don’t live too far away, promising to retrieve it when I came back to school), bought my books, and gone on mini-shopping trips to the grocery store (more on this later on in the post).

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the differences between moving in last year and moving in this year.

College is a completely different experience from high school; even if you’re not living on campus, your classes are cooler, the times are crazy and sometimes all over the place, and the overall atmosphere and attitude of campus is just different. If you are living on campus you’re dealing with even more: learning to live with people from all over the world, not having the convenience of mom to cook for you, and the whole being-on-your-own-for-the-first-time thing. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make here is directed to any first years that may be feeling lost, homesick, or even simply overwhelmed at how freaking HUGE college is. Yes, UBC is huge and you’re in a graduating class of a few thousand students. Don’t worry; give it time. In time campus will become smaller for you, and in a year you’ll most likely find yourself flying/driving back onto campus and find yourself thinking “Yay I’m home!” I know I totally did.

Inspiration over, though. Back to my shopping experiences.

I’ve never really grocery shopped for myself before. I mean I’ve gone for my family before, armed with a shopping list and mom a phone call away (“Did you want 1% or 2% milk?!”), and of course I’ve run out to the store because I had a craving for waffles or whatever but there weren’t any at home. Totally different from now! Today and yesterday have been my first times grocery shopping to keep myself alive, and it’s basically been epic fails both times. The first time I headed to Safeway and came home with four frozen dinners (4 for $8!), a loaf of bread, and sandwich meat (honey ham and turkey, in case you’re wondering). Today I tried again, this time at Save On Foods. I returned with four cans of sliced pineapple, apple juice, oatmeal, and body wash. What is wrong with me!

Even worse because we don’t have a can opener yet. So sad.

This post has gone on way longer than intended, so I’ll make my exit now. I hope everyone else is doing well settling in and getting ready for school to start! Seeya at Imagine Day!


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