Nostalgic advice for past and present first years
As you sail across a crystal ocean on an early September day, watch for the sun’s rays to break through the misty clouds in its empyrean seat. You circle around the ring to finally take your place. This is the day that marks the beginning of your journey at UVic.
As you live in these hallowed halls, remember that your truest friends live just around the corner. You do not have to go through these tough transitions alone. Hold on to your connections beyond your first year, from late night Cap’s runs to study dates in the Quad. These are the just and loyal friends who will make you feel like you belong. Continue to make breathtaking memories while doing meaningful things with the people you call friends.
As you step into your first lecture, remember those words with every striking tone: Literature as our moral compass teaches and delights. You will be challenged and sculpted to step into this newfound power. Recall your spirit integrating into the narrative. Watch as the world expands before you in a sea of seats and chairs. This is your vocation. Lose yourself fully into your subject material. It will teach you more about yourself than you know yet.
And o’ Victoria, her body bound in aquatic coves and laced with verdant forests. Her mantle is an atmosphere of life that you must discover for yourself. There is a nation that was here before you and which continues to thrive — take the time to know its nooks and crannies. Learn from these people and what it means to occupy their space. This city announces a work of splendour that is unlike any place you have known before.
You will toil over ink and paper, and weeks will turn into short-lived recollections. But remember your home and family, who anxiously await your return. This academic crusade is the bildungsroman of your life. Relate to them your pursuits and passions — you’re eclipsing your former self.
But as you traverse deeper into the story, despair may overcome your character. You may feel desperately alone, lost, and submerged in an endless episode of instability. You may feel as if you will never make it in the outside world, but you are not alone in your strife. You belong here and you deserve to feel safe. Remember to ask for help when you need it. There are many people who are ready to guide you, and you only have to seek them out.
You know that there is a marked difference between the world you live in, and the world you want to live in. Begin to create a different environment with your vision. Become involved in initiatives and projects that you can actively contribute to. Your voice matters, even amongst a sea of others.
And as you start your first year here at university, learn from this high world what you can. Bright and boundless is the way to the shores of your future. Someday we will meet in a room with a view, overlooking our happy place — between the land and the sea. So in the meantime, in between time, hold onto this paradise as long as you can.
Your future self