#TBT || University, First Year Part 1

Welcome to my new series!  I don’t know, is it called a series on a blog?
Category?
Subject?
Article genre?

Anyways.  Throw Back Thursday continues to be all the rage across most social media platforms, so I decided to take it to WordPress and start at the beginning of a huge life adventure… leaving home and going off to University to do my undergrad.

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I went to Trinity Western University.  For those of you who don’t know it, it is a small private Christian university just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia.  That’s in Canada, if you don’t know.  Remember the 2010 winter Olympics hosted in Vancouver?  Yeah… that was during my last semester of school and it was pretty exciting.
My sister was two years ahead of me and she was a part of S.O.S., which stands for Student Orientation Staff.  That’s her in the middle wearing the red hawaiian shirt.  I’m in the green.  I knew the school, I knew my roommate, I knew my sister and her friends.  I was certainly nervous and I missed my friends and life back home all ready, but I think more than anything I was extremely excited.
See, I was home schooled growing up.  I went to public school for kindergarten and first grade, and then in my senior year I took a couple classes at a community college and graduated six months early.  Apart from some other random classes I took outside of the home, that was the most I had ever experienced of school like most people.  I know a small private Christian school is still a vastly different experience than most people, but to me I couldn’t get enough of the social life in my first year.
Anyone who went to Trinity will tell you that a hot topic is the campus community, but that’s because for most students, it is a huge plus of the school.  Pretty much everyone you meet is always down for making a new friend.  I was shy and an extreme introvert.  My roommate was outgoing.  We connected with our dorm (a floor of girls) pretty quickly and in turn became friends with their friends.  My first year was one of the best years of my university experience.

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My sister helped me a lot.  Unlike high school, she wasn’t too cool to hang with her little sister.  She was really sick in fall semester, but toward the beginning she took me a couple times to the drive in theatre.  Three movies for less than the price of one at the big theatre?  Yes please!  We would open her little hatchback Hyundai, use bungie cords so that the door would be half open, snuggle up with a lot of blankets and pillows, and munch on bad nachos while we watched movie after movie for something like nine dollars.  I will forever be in love with the drive in movie experience.

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My roommate Mikaela and I were very into dancing this year.  She all ready was, and I sort of was coming in.  The school was going crazy.  It was the first year that social dancing was allowed on campus.  There were school dances every few months (I had only been to two dances during high school, one time as Mikaela’s “date”) and classes sprouting up all over the place.  Mikaela and I hopped into a west coast swing class right away and continued the year with other genres like lindyhop, ballroom (all the things!), and salsa, to name a few.  The above picture is from a dorm date* where we went swing dancing.
*Dorm date–a guys’ dorm and a girls’ dorm (15 to 18ish people on the same floor under the same RA) go out on a prearranged excursion.

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I can’t remember why Amy had these.  I think she made water balloons for the Fraser open house and then forgot about them?  I can’t even remember if she meant for them to be frozen, but they were.  We spent an hour or so peeling the balloons off of the frozen, food color dyed water and smashing them on the concrete sidewalks.  It was fantastic.  If you’re going through midterms or something, this is a great way to let of steam, and I’m sure passersby would love to join in.

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One of my favourite photos of Mikaela and myself.  It was her birthday and her parents and myself worked really hard to make the day special for her.

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We decorated for Christmas REALLY early.  Mikaela’s family came for a visit and took us to Ikea, so we bought some jars for candy (which made our room a fairly popular hang out spot), and Mike somehow acquired a tiny Christmas tree.  I think the RA and RD kindly looked the other way when we plugged in our lights, because technically they weren’t allowed.
We’re such rebels.

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The great blackout of 2006!  We were without power for two days!  I wish I had gotten more pictures of the chaos outside.  The wind was insane and trees and/or tree limbs were all over the place.  Half the classes were canceled, but unfortunately my resilient philosophy professor gallantly plowed head.  By george, I hated that class.
At Trinity, when the power goes out, it is everyone’s favourite time.  We are forced to put down our homework and suddenly galavanting around campus, creating obstacle courses with couches, and dressing up as the opposite sex and sneaking (or streaking) through dorms becomes highly entertaining.  For two days we lived by the light of the windows and emergency light in the halls.  Everyone gathered in the cafeteria or LC (lower caf) because of their generators and food.  We could get hot cocoa and charge our appliances.  The really studios tried to get their work done, while the rest of us became children playing games and telling ghost stories.

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This was the result of one of the best dorm meetings ever.  We went outside in the cold and wet and wrestled in the outdoor volleyball courts.  I have no idea what inspired this epic idea for my RA, but half of the dorm absolutely loved it.  Amy (on the right) and myself were naturally small people who probably felt the need to overcompensate by acting extremely tough all of the time.  For us, tackling people was not unheard of in everyday life, therefore a further excuse before there was snow on the ground was glorious.

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My parents drove up for Thanksgiving.  It was SO MUCH FUN.  I always really enjoyed when my parents came up outside of dropping me off in the fall and picking me up in the spring.  Come to think of it, this may be the only time they actually did this.
Kasey and I gave my dad his birthday gifts and then struck a pose in Kasey’s room with our roommates (Casey and Mikaela).  We also went to Ikea.  Fun times were had by all!
By the way, aren’t my parents adorable?

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Our Christmas dorm party was really fun.  We decorated little stockings (I think I still have mine somewhere) and… I actually can’t remember if we ate food and listened to Christmas carols but I’m pretty sure that happened.
Guys, there are so many amazing things that happened over the November to December time that I didn’t photograph.  I spent an afternoon erecting a row of live Christmas trees with friends and the guy I had the biggest crush on.  I couldn’t get enough of the slightly stale ginger bread men the cafeteria was selling.  There was a lot of snow (that post will come later, so follow my blog if you don’t want to miss it), caroling boy dorms, and my general refusal to wear a decent coat.  If only I could share my old YouTube videos with you!  They all break copyright, though, so that’s a no-go.  We frolicked in the first snow until about 5 or 6 am.  That and our giant campus late night snow ball fights are all on film.  Ah, nostalgia.

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THIS.  Whoever came up with this brilliant idea should win something.  We blew up a ballon for every final exam we had, pretty sure we put candy in them, and then after we completed the exam we would come home and pop them!  Everyone who heard it would cheer and it was just excellent.  I think everyone got tired of Mikaela saying she only had to sit four exams, while most of us had at least five.
If there’s one thing I don’t miss about school, it’s the final exams.  If you don’t generally experience anxiety, you will understand it better after going through finals at university.

That’s a brief overview of my first semester at university!  It was hands down one of the best years of my life.  I could hardly have asked for better.  Next week I’ll post about the following spring.  Ta!

❤ – Jamie

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