Beginning my first year of university was like taking my first step into the “real world.” I was terrified and anxious to be moving away from my home on the mainland, the only place I had ever lived. However, things weren’t as intimidating or daunting as I had anticipated once I arrived.
The campus’ homey feel comes in part from its small size, and after exploring the quad for a bit,I was confident in my ability to navigate my way around to my classes (as long as I wasn’t in the Cornett Building). I participated in all the orientation programs at the start of semester and aside from the classic ice-breaker games awkwardly forcing interpersonal relationships before their time, it was pretty comfortable. The people were so welcoming and friendly — I didn’t feel embarrassed to go up to other students and introduce myself.
This was a huge change from high school where everyone belongs to cliques and people basically live to gossip or spread rumors. In fact, I met one of the best friends I’ve ever had in that campus staple, an African Drumming Circle.
I quickly became accustomed to everyday campus life. From waiting in the long lineup every morning in Biblio to learning to only look one way (not both) before crossing Ring Road, I began to adjust to my new home. The island holds a lot of different opportunities and when I wasn’t busy studying for an upcoming midterm or final, I loved to walk to Cadboro Bay or explore all of the café downtown Victoria has to offer.
I tried to embrace the hippie vibe on campus as well; signing up for Meditation Club and UVic Outdoor Yoga were just a few examples of my attempts to break into this laid-back atmosphere. Before UVic, I was constantly stressing out about what my future career would be and about what sort of education path to pursue in order to achieve that.
But now I’ve realized that no one really knows where they might end up, and the best thing we can do is just to take every day one at a time. My friends back on the mainland have told me I seem a lot less uptight, and had I gone to another university, I think the opposite would be true.
For the first time, I have been in charge of making all of the decisions in my life and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have to second-guess them every once in awhile. It’s been a little frightening, but in taking this initiative I was able to get a better sense of myself and build off of each new experience I gained. I might’ve been shaky while taking my first step into the “real world,” but at least I came out the other side knowing how to walk a little better on my own.