Monthly Archives: May 2015

Parting Thoughts (Dreams Can Come True)

I have graduated.


Graduating felt so good that honestly, I can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t want to attend their convocation. Okay, I can imagine a few, but the feelings of pride, happiness, accomplishment, and fulfillment was so overwhelming that two days ago I actually starting crying a little bit after I walked across the stage. Being recognized for all your hard work and shaking the hands of your favourite professors who are so proud of you is just so powerful.

As I sat in the Chan Centre on Wednesday, I thought about all the things that have happened in that hall. Hearing the Dean of Arts speak on Imagine Day and chanting our faculty cheers. My first orchestra rehearsal in which I was so scared I missed pretty much all of my entrances. Playing an opera in second year. Playing my very last orchestra concert, Mahler’s second symphony, receiving two standing ovations. Convocation. And later in the evening, playing a solo in the Baccalaureate Concert.

It has been such a wild ride here at UBC. If you’ve kept up with my blog, you’ll know that there have been bad times, including homesickness, disappointment, injury, and anxiety. But so many of the things I wanted from UBC came to me. I wanted to go abroad; at first I thought I wouldn’t be able to but was given the opportunity to go to Belgium for two weeks with the UBC Laptop Orchestra. I wanted to make the lifelong friends that everyone talks about making in college. It took me about six months but I found the friends that have been like family the last four years and who I am sure I will stay friends with for a very long time. I’ve always sort of imagined in the back of my head what it would be like to be a valedictorian, and although I wasn’t one, I was asked by the director of the School of Music to give a short speech at the music reception after the graduation ceremony. And since the first time I saw a picture of the Chan Centre, I wanted to play a solo on that stage. And I did on Wednesday night.

I would like to end this final post with a message to incoming students, or anyone who is a few years along and maybe feeling a bit lost:

Your time at UBC will be many things. It will be hard, it will be fun, it will be challenging, rewarding, lonely, and full of friends. There will be lows, yes, but there will also be such amazing highs! UBC really is a place where you can make your dreams come true, as corny as that sounds, if you know what you want and go for it. You might be homesick, or lonely, or be struggling with your schoolwork; you might even decide that UBC is not for you at all. Whatever your situation is, UBC has resources to help you and things always get better. There is so much opportunity for growth here; enjoy it while you can because it will be over before you know it.

When I arrived at UBC four years ago, I didn’t know a soul in the city and I was homesick and so scared I could barely eat. At my Imagine Day rally, President Toope said that he hoped UBC would become our home, or at least our second home. I thought, “That is NEVER going to happen.” Well, it did. It did, and now it’s time to say goodbye.

So long, UBC. It’s been rad.


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I’ll Miss You, Vancouver

I will be moving back to Winnipeg at the beginning of June. The thought fills me with many feelings, some good, some bad. So I thought, why not make a list? So here it is: Things I’ll miss about Vancouver, things I won’t, and things I’m looking forward to back home.

Things I’ll Miss About Vancouver:

  • The warm, green winters. Not sure how I’m going to deal when next March Winnipeg is still under snow.
  • The huge amount of small businesses and variety of independently owned restaurants and shops.
  • The cherry blossoms. And rhododendrons. And magnolias.
  • The transit system. People like to complain, but we generally get a lot of bus service for a reasonable price! Winnipeg’s transit system isn’t nearly so nice.
  • The mountains and the ocean.
  • The lack of potholes on the roads.
  • How active everyone seems here.
  • Seeing the skiing trails lit up against the night sky.
  • BURGOO! And Dentry’s. And Grounds for Coffee. (Those cinnamon buns!!)
  • My friends. Although; my friends are all actually moving away from Vancouver this year as well, so it’s not like staying would fix this problem.
  • How well dressed everyone is here!
  • How walkable the city is.
  • How much cheaper the produce is.
  • No mosquitos!

Things I definitely will NOT miss:

  • The rain. I hate rain. So much.
  • How much it costs to live here.
  • The fact that everything I want to go to is so far away. Seriously! It takes so long to go anywhere!
  • Getting passed by the bus.
  • That wet, wet cold.

Things I’m looking forward to back home:

  • Prairie sunsets.
  • Prairie autumns. I haven’t been home in the fall in FOUR YEARS and I am so excited for this September! Fall on the prairies is the best.
  • Snowy Christmas season.
  • Reconnecting with old friends.
  • Having my boyfriend in the same city.
  • Not paying rent and saving money by living with my parents.
  • Having a tub-shower (in my apartment they are separate and I don’t like it).
  • Having actual natural light in my bedroom (again, my room here is very dark).
  • Some of my favourite Winnipeg haunts.
  • Being able to take gigs because I’ll have access to a vehicle.

I’m sure there’s more that I can’t think of at the moment, but I think you get the picture; leaving a city and moving back to another is a mixed bag of emotions.

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