A bustling crowd of people, loud music, excitement you can feel in the air, the ocean, and mountains and high rises on the horizon: this is Day of the Longboat. It is a must-attend event at UBC, and for good reason. It’s the most fun I’ve had in a while, and it really brought me and my team-and-floor-mates closer together. It also brings up my number one way to meet and make friends: get involved.
After waking up a sleepy floormate a few minutes before we needed to leave, my team and I (proudly named Tiger Blood) left for Jericho Beach. The bus was crowded, filled with others headed for Day of the Longboat. When we arrived, the picture described above met me, and covered me in a contagious spirit that had infected everyone else there at the beach. Day of the Longboat is not just a day where you paddle in some oversized canoes: it is a day of pride, of spirit, and of togetherness.
On the way back to the finish line, our boat nearly tipped over entirely – eliciting a lot of loud screaming from our boat and even a lot of gasps from our competitors nearby. Thankfully we rocked back into balance – I think my impression of the day might have been a lot different if I had come home entirely soaked… Anyway, we neared the finish. Another boat just behind us was gaining ground. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten!” Our whole team chanted together, speeding ahead of the other boat. Our runner jumped from the head of the boat and hit the gong with our baton. We all cheered – we had come in fourth! And actually, we found out after, another team had been disqualified, so we got third. We’re all so proud; we did a lot of good work, and we did it together.
Once the race was over, our team atmosphere had gone from kind of separated interaction only between a few people to excitement between the whole group. For me, this was the most exciting thing. Before today, I pretty much felt like I didn’t know anyone on my floor because I’m just so shy, and felt isolated because of that. But after our race we were all so pumped up that we went to Pita Pit and Booster Juice in the village together and I actually talked to some of the other people from my floor. It turns out that Liam on my floor, is also on the blog squad, and is also from Winnipeg, and went to the high school right next to mine! Who would have guessed.
So this brings me to my point: The best way to meet new people and potential friends and to connect with your UBC community is to get involved. Sharing a spirit rush with people will draw you together more than just sitting around awkwardly in the dining hall, where you may never see a person again. Sharing an experience, accomplishing something together, these are things that bind our hearts in extraordinary ways. So if you, too, are feeling like after a whole month at UBC you haven’t met many or any friends, get out there. Get involved. If you share with passions with others, you’re bound to find your kindred spirit.