Oh, the Places You’ll Go (at UVic)

This year, I’m entering my sixth year at UVic. While taking this long to get a Bachelor’s degree was never what I intended, I’m sure happy it worked out this way. My degree here at UVic has taken me places I never expected to end up, and looking back on my six years here, I’m so thankful for all the experiences this university has given me.

When I began my first week at UVic, standing alone in my dorm room in Hugh Stephen, if someone told me that my geography degree would span three continents and six years, I would have never believed them.

Friends since day one, pictured five years later in our (correction: their) final year at UVic.

UVic has taken me many places: from my little dorm room to a basement suite shared with friends, to a semester living with strangers. To Tofino and Quadra Island for reading break trips, and on field trips all around southern Vancouver Island to learn.

To class, and back again.

From crying at 2 am in Clearihue the night before my stats exam, to crying again two weeks later when I found out I had passed. From writing papers because I had to, to writing papers because I was desperate to learn more about something I loved.

From watching the entire ten seasons of Friends to watching all of The Office in one month.

To Utrecht, the Netherlands, for a semester abroad, where I learned more about myself and the world around me than any course ever taught me, where I made lifelong friends, and met my amazing partner.

Friends on a final bike ride through the city on our last night of our exchange together in Utrecht, the Netherlands—photo taken as I hitched a ride on the back of my roommate’s bike (in true Dutchie fashion).

To pursuing a minor in Professional Communications; these courses taking me back to the days I wanted to be a writer, further pushing me into a vein of scholarship I’d never expected to enter.

To a surprising interest in art, fashion, and film.

To three co-op terms and an unexpected co-op designation on my degree, and a term volunteering with the kindest, most dedicated non-profit organization.

And finally, to an internship abroad this semester in Yokohama, Japan, thanks to UVic’s Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives, combining my passions and interests and years of geography & communications knowledge into one awesome capstone experience.

New home for the semester, in a place I’d never expect to call home: Japan. Pictured is Akihabara, Tokyo.

My degree, and UVic, has led me to self discovery, to passions and interests, and to my future.

After six years, I’m glad to say I seized opportunities as they came my way, and threw away my expectations of powering through this Bachelor’s degree and graduating in four years. Much of it may have been spur-of-the-moment and without a second thought, but these decisions always turned out to be the most rewarding.

Here’s to you, UVic!

So, if I have any advice to other UVic students—whether you’re in your first month or your final year—it’s to throw your expectations out the window, do whatever feels right, and let your degree take you anywhere and everywhere it goes.

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