Zooms and Zzzzzs

As a first year, term one was chaotic and lonely and overwhelming. Homesickness mixed with feelings of displacement from moving to a new continent and jarring independence made for a difficult first month. But as each week passed, it got a little easier, until I found myself enjoying each day more and more. I settled into the routine of campus life — walks on Main Mall, doing Shoppers Drug Mart runs and munching on Blue Chip cookies.

By the time December rolled around, I had adjusted to living alone, built friendships and gotten a good handle on my academics. When my last exam was over, I hugged my new friends goodbye and felt oddly a little happy that I was sad to leave. I took my mixed emotions as a sign that I had built something great to come back to.

After a long winter break spent lounging at home and cuddling my dog, UBC announced we’d be online for two weeks... and then another two weeks. Term two started at 3:00 a.m. over Zoom in my dark living room. It was a stark contrast from how term one began, that sunny September day spent with new classmates in large lecture halls. As an international student, synchronous classes mean that I have to be awake and participate from 3:00 to 9:30 a.m. — the very fate that I took a gap year to avoid.

These past few weeks have consisted of navigating Canvas, a nocturnal sleep schedule and a previously unthinkable level of feeling unmotivated. It’s like the universe heard me when I was homesick last September and said, “Well, there you go, now you can stay home indefinitely.” Though I’m glad that I’ve been able to spend more time with my family (and manage to escape Open Kitchen’s rat incident), when I go back to UBC, I will hug my friends and skip down Main Mall and buy a Marbelous Blue Chip cookie to celebrate.