“Sweetest Goodbye”

“And with a tear in my eye,
Give me the sweetest goodbye
That I ever did receive”
-Maroon 5

Hello readers! I realize that I did not post for the last month as I said I would, and I believe that I owe you all an explanation. The CUPE strike at UofT was really all anyone talked about all month long. This platform was to remain neutral on that topic, but truthfully, there was no part of my first year experience that was not affected by the strike. For this reason, I chose not to post all month. The strike is over now, but unfortunately, so is the term. This post will be my last on this site, and I hope that you have enjoyed reading my posts this year as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

As a first year, it’s amazing to think how far I, or really, any of us, has come in such a short time. It’s also very strange to realize that there are only a few short years left for us here.

At the start of the term, I was nervous about moving here, but every day since then has made me feel again and again that I made the right choice.

I still can’t understand things like “kilometers” or “Celsius”. I might avoid talking about them or stop midsentence to pull out my phone and convert measurements in an app so that my friends can understand what I’m talking about. I’ve heard a surprisingly large number of people here say “bathroom” instead of “washroom”. I have slowly learned how to adapt the way I speak to wherever I am, although I do still make mistakes. I’ve also had Canadian experiences that I didn’t even expect when I came here, like trying poutine or Beavertails for the first time.

There were negative things, too. Getting homesick wasn’t fun. Living by yourself for the first time comes with issues of its own. Making friends all over again wasn’t easy (for me, at least). And the amount of problems I’ve had at airports is pretty ridiculous. Seriously. I’m pretty sure Snow Patrol could write a song about my experiences. Instead of “Chasing Cars” it could go somethings like “Let’s waste time, chasing gates, around airports…” (yes, of course I had to throw in one last parody).

What’s my point in all of this? I look back at all of my fears from the start of the year, and I can see how I have grown and changed. I handled those and other challenges and made it through the year. No doubt, you did, too.

In the next few years, we will see a lot more challenges. We probably can’t imagine what most of those will be. Not even a little bit. But it’s important to remember that we’ve already overcome plenty of obstacles. A few (or a lot) more is nothing that we can’t handle. Every moment of every day of every year for the rest of each of our lives is not a challenge; it’s an adventure. Sound cheesy? Sure. But it’s still true.

And so, fellow first years, I wish you all the very best for the future. And for exams, of course.

“Parting is such sweet sorrow”, and so, here is the “sweetest goodbye”
for you

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