Growing up, I would make my parents take me to universities wherever we went: UBC, the University of Edinburgh, Oxford, SFU, and, of course, UVic. Being on a huge campus and getting to study with people who actually want to be at school has always seemed amazing to me.
The last time I was at UVic was for the orientation. I just walked around campus smiling because this time I was actually supposed to be there. I wasn’t a 14-year old trying to look like a UVic student anymore, just a UVic student who looks 14.
A few days later, I was standing in Target between sheets and bath towels. I, the university student, couldn’t for the life of me figure out if the sheets, the blankets, and the towels were all the same shade of cream. That was when it hit me. I’m moving out. I have to buy sheets and towels that are the same shade and find the right kettle. Even more shocking was when my sister came upstairs before my dad went back to work and said, “This is the last night we’re all going to live in this house together until Christmas.” Ouch.
I got so incredibly lucky with my family and I know that university won’t change how impressively close we are, but it still feels like the end of an era. I have to buy cream things and won’t spend more than weekend in my childhood home until December. How weird is that?
After I chose the right sheets and towels and watched Modern Family with my own modern family, I lay awake until three in the morning wondering about my biggest transition since stepping over the threshold of the kindergarten classroom. What’s it going to be like on move in day? What are the chances I’ll forget where my room is? How hard will it be to make friends? How will I do on my first paper?
I ran over possibilities and paper topics in my head, and at 3:30 I crawled in next to my crazy sister, because I’m a mature university student now. The next morning my excitement returned in force—I went for a run and everything.
When I was watching Across the Universe with my best friend from high school, I knew how hard it was going to be not to see her all the time. When I was trying jalapeño mac-n-cheese chips with my mom, I realized no one else would get our family jokes. But, having spent a lot of time thinking at three in the morning, I’m hopeful that moving to Victoria in cream-coloured style will bring more inside jokes; I know it won’t be the end of old ones.
Baylee Woodley is an incoming first-year English student from Comox.
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