Reflections on my First UBC Term

Now that the year is coming to a close, I sit on my bed in my bedroom in Winnipeg, thinking about how I have finished my first term at UBC.  It seems like just yesterday I was walking in to my new Junior High,  scared and worried about getting lost and not knowing anyone in my class.  Just like yesterday, and yet at the same time how long ago it feels.  I remember the day my parents left me in my dorm room, the day before classes started, with that same feeling overwhelming me, fear and loneliness of a new and strange place.  If I could talk to the me of a few months ago, I think I would probably give myself a hug and say Hey, it really is going to be okay. Better than okay.  You’re going to get through this, and you’re actually going to enjoy it.

The first month at UBC I found really difficult, not because of classes, but because I was extremely homesick.  I don’t make friendships quickly, and small talk with random people doesn’t make me feel less lonely.  Besides that though, I loved my classes. I LOVED my harp teacher.  I felt that I was progressing very quickly with my harp studies, even though I was very hard on myself.  I counted down the days til I went home, but I also had some fun.

When I went home for Thanksgiving, I was ecstatic.  I’m pretty sure I actually skipped on my way to class on the way to that last Friday morning class.  Coming back, I felt better just being at UBC.  I think I’ll always miss my home when I’m away from it, but the homesickness was not so strong anymore.  I had managed to turn my little dorm room into a little island resembling a home in a foreign sea, splashing my personality on the walls, filling it with things that would comfort me when I was alone.  I always do my assignments on time and study consistently throughout the term, so classes continued to go well.

In November, I developed tendinitis.  I think November would have been an excellent month, seeing as I made more friends, went to events, explored Vancouver more, had fun in classes.  But tendinitis was a blotch on my conscience I couldn’t ignore; it really crushed my spirit for a good number of weeks.  The reason I had come out here, the thing justifying being away from everything I love, playing the harp and making music, was taken away from me.  It was devastating.

Near the end of the month I was able to play again, and I’m still recovering slowly.  Exams rolled around, and I settled into a comfortable schedule and enjoyed not going to class anymore.  (Although secretly I think that going to classes is a good thing for me, getting me out of my room and actually seeing people and taking up time so I’m not so bored all the time.) I studied really hard (and I did throughout the term), and I did really well!  I also got back the research paper I had to write for the middle of November and got a 92 on it.  I got straight A+’s for all my final marks and honestly, I couldn’t be more proud of myself.  People always say that even if you’re at the top in high school, university will crush you.  Well, I have to say that if you’re at the top without putting any effort in, yeah, you won’t last.  But if you work really hard, ask for help when you need it, study throughout the term, focus, manage your time… You can do it.  I did it.  I still got it and I am so happy.

The last three months have been both good and difficult, but I have to say, they have probably been some of the most rewarding, and I have grown immensely since I left home in August.  I don’t really want to go back to school in a few days, but it will be okay.  It will be better than okay. And I know that it will only get better from here.

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