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Kelsey Z.

sitting balanced atop a white picket fence between what was and what is yet be.

September 2, 2008 at 4:36 AM

School starts tomorrow and it's hard to believe that it's been 12 months since I was the new first year who had no idea what I was in for. Well I did have an idea. Just not an accurate one. Going up to campus today to practice and prepare for exams and auditions that happen the first week of school, I was surprised at how much I noticed all the "newbies" who are wandering about campus with their group leaders or with their faces glued to a map looking a little lost and overwhelmed. I started thinking about my last 12 months here in Vancouver and my time spent at UBC and I found myself wondering, do any of these kids know what they are in for? How many will stay, how many will leave. How many will disappear into the libraries never to been seen again and how many will disappear into the parties. How many will master the balance between socializing and studying. What group did I fit into? Did I fit into any of those groups?

I came to UBC completely sure of how I was going to manage and pretty much sure and focused that it was going to be like highschool, just that it would be harder and it would all mostly focus on things related to music. I would be the odd one out again and I would just do my own thing and not really care about what went on around me and just be a "good" student by attending classes......or at least doing the work. Or doing other work. Either in class or in a practice room so it didn't seem like I was a slacker just skipping out (even if that's really what i was doing...).
I never anticipated what I was going to experience. Good and bad!

I was not prepared at all for the amount of warmth and welcome I received in my first year. I never thought I could grow to trust people so quickly or to not feel like every step I took at school was like walking egg shells, trying to not break them with my weight. I feel comfortable in my environment. I feel challenged. I feel motivated (most of the time......). I feel excited to be learning. Each day is a new adventure. I learn a bit more about myself and the people around me. It's an interesting journey that can throw you a curve ball at any moment, sometimes with disasterous results and sometimes you hit a home run. I often found myself taking a leap of faith and jumping blindly with two feet in front of me. It's a scary feeling and you always hope for the best, no matter what.

So, after a year of new experiences, new people, new achievements, new foods, a new sense of self, I wonder what the first years this year will experience and how they will change over the course of the year. Are they going to hit a home run at the end of it all or will they strike out ?

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on September 2, 2008 at 5:21 AM
Kelsey, I love the title of your blog and its contents, too. I'm glad that you can look back and see how much you learned and enjoyed your experiences. I'm especially glad that you got more warmth and welcome feelings than you had expected and that you were able to trust more quickly than before. I hope your second year of college turns out even better.
From Laurie Niles
Posted on September 2, 2008 at 5:44 PM
I wish I could find an essay I once read about "in-between time," which perhaps is also what you are getting at here. I think the fall season holds this for many people: a new year of school, a new job, a move, the start of the season. For those of us in the U.S., it's even time to pick a new leader. It's a time of uncertainty, but also of possibility. I enjoyed reading your thoughts!
From Tom Holzman
Posted on September 2, 2008 at 5:54 PM
The answer to your last question is probably some of both. Hopefully, some of them will consult you so that they will have a better idea of what to expect and how to navigate the new experience.
From Bonny Buckley
Posted on September 3, 2008 at 12:31 AM
Nice posting! I enjoyed reading it. Makes me think back to my first few years of college and those uncertain times, like changing schools and my major from physics to music. Your blog's title reminded me of a saying, about how precious right now is, something like "If you have one foot in the past and the other on the future, then you're p*ssing on the present!" And "now" is a gift to be treasured. I think you already got that - try to take good care of yourself very well and have a great year!
From Ryan Wicks
Posted on September 3, 2008 at 3:57 AM
A little aside from the topic of your blog, I rode 2 blocks down East Mall this afternoon, and almost ran into 5 first years with their noses in their maps, wandering into the roadway.

More to the point of your blog, I remember my first year (not at UBC), and had similar ideas of what it would be like. I found the transition a lot like getting hit by a bike.

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