Tag Archives: leaving

Second Home?

The time is drawing nearer for me to return to Vancouver, and as usual, the feeling is bittersweet. I am of course very excited for my second year at UBC and I know I’m going to have a fantastic time with my friends there, but I’m also going to really miss my friends in Winnipeg. And honestly, I feel like I didn’t get enough time with my friends here.

It kind of strikes me that this is pretty much the same feeling I had last April when I left campus. I was very sad to leave my friends in BC and I wanted more time for first-year-dorm adventures, although I was also looking forward to seeing my Winnipeg friends again.

I was talking on Skype to a few of my UBC friends tonight, and they all said they were excited to “go home.” And I thought, am I going home too? Or leaving home? Right now, I feel like I’m leaving home, but once I’ve been at UBC for a little while I’m sure I’ll feel at home there as well. I believe that what makes a place a home is the people there. I have fantastic friends in both places, so does that make each place a home? Maybe.

I know that Winnipeg will always be my “first home” for several reasons; my boyfriend is here, my family is here, I have many friends here, I’m familiar with this city, it’s where I grew up. But perhaps UBC has grown into my “second home,” despite how when Steven Toope (the president of UBC) suggested that would happen at the orientation last September I thought to myself: “That is never gonna happen!” (True story.)

Well, things change. I mean, as I just said, Winnipeg is my home. My first home. But I’ve found a home for myself in Vancouver too, and I know I’ll be crazy sad when my time there is done, since it seems unlikely I’ll be able to stay in touch very well with my friends from UBC once I graduate.  I know, I know, I’m getting ahead of myself again.  I guess that’s a bridge I’ll have to cross when I get there, but for now I’m just feeling the bittersweet.

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Packing up a dorm room

It’s not fun.  Not by a long shot.  Even if you aren’t affected by the sadness of packing away eight months of memories and a little space you carved out to call home, and the dread of saying goodbye to the awesome friends you have made this year, trying to find a space for the unbelievable amount of stuff you have accumulated is hardly a party.

Seriously, you say to yourself, I came here with what, five, six boxes of stuff?  There must be at least fifteen now!  I am no scientist.  I don’t know how it happens.  But it just always does.  Trying to squish all of it into the tupperware my parents bought for me to put into storage was stressful.  It was close, and I had to bring in an emergency cardboard box, but I got it done.  Getting what I wanted to take home into my suitcase and carry-on, well, that was a really close call.  Thank goodness my dad and sister were there with me to take a couple extra carry-on bags!

But the feeling of going through knick-knacks you somehow acquired with your friends, pictures you pinned to your now entirely covered bulletin board, and carefully peeling your posters that you bought at Imaginus days at the SUB off your wall can be one of melancholy.  When finally it’s all been put into boxes and taken away, it just feels so… empty.  It isn’t really yours anymore.  It looks the way it did when you showed up on the first day, all scared and excited.

That last night, well, it feels kind of strange.  With your drawers emptied, shelves vacated, and desk de-cluttered, it is somehow foreign, and you find yourself having a little bit of trouble falling asleep. The next morning, you do a final sweep of your ghost town of a room, double checking the closet and under the bed.  You pause in the doorway, and take it in one last time.  You look at your door, now bare of the name paper your RA made for you and the pictures you coloured out of a colouring book.  One last, final glance into your vacated room, and close the door.  Turn that key, and lock the door – for the last time.  Swallow back that lump in your throat.

No folks, it’s no fun, but it’s gotta happen.  Nothing lasts forever.  It would be reasonable for me to recommend starting to pack at least a week before, maybe doing one box every day, because doing it all in one day really does suck, it really is exhausting.  But I feel you, my soul sibling, if you just don’t want it to end.  You want to trick yourself into thinking there’s still plenty of time left.  There isn’t, but I feel you.  It’s okay.

Just think about how fun it’ll be to move into a new place next year! :)

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