Teary-eyed goodbyes and my new favourite airline

I never imagined a sendoff as extravagant as the one I got at the end of Frosh Week at Glendon. I also never imagined that I could shed as many tears as I did. The D-Frosh all signed a beautiful card for me, and all of their comments either made me laugh, cry, smile, or all three at the same time. Frosh was one of the most exciting, fun-filled, exhausting, and sickening weeks of my life, but it was the best way to finish off my time at Glendon before I left for exchange!

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Tears. Lots of them.

So many emotions were felt between Sunday and Monday that I can’t even get my head around it. I’ve left so many people I love back home and it is absolutely devastating, but I always remind myself of how excited they are for me and it makes me feel so much better. Mum, Dad, the rest of the fam, Brendan, Kate, Mikhaela, Mac, Aedan, Diana, Sarah, Jade, Parker, Aaron… the list could go on forever… DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME!

My flight to Halifax with Air Canada was horrendous. I sat by the window, which I don’t enjoy when I’m sitting beside someone other than my mum or dad. Picky, I know, but long legs pose problems on planes! It was hot on board and my headphone jack wasn’t working properly. I wanted OUT.

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The view, however, was fantastic!

And then, something magical happened: I boarded my connecting flight from Halifax to Reykjavik, Iceland.

I’m writing this from way up in the air in the middle of the night because I need to express every emotion I’m feeling about this flight. If you ever get the chance to fly with Icelandair, DO IT. I know this doesn’t happen to everyone, but because I am flying solo and asked for an aisle seat, Icelandair upgraded me to ‘Saga Class’ (Business class equivalent)! My seat is almost twice my size and I’d have enough foot room to grow an extra five inches. ♡____♡

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! I’m watching Arrested Development and sharing wine and Pringles with the Dutch woman who’s sitting beside me. Not. Kidding.

Fast forward…

We landed 4:55 am, and I’m sitting at arrivals until 8:30 when I get picked up to go to my first destination. Though I am drinking the best green tea I’ve ever tasted, I have no idea how to work the SIM Card I just bought (which didn’t come with an actual SIM Card…) since it’s entirely in Icelandic. Halp? Problems aside, Keflavik Airport is hands down the nicest building I have ever set foot in!

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Keflavik Airport- Iceland

Some highlights from Iceland will be the Blue Lagoon, whale watching, the Northern Lights, and my trip around the Golden Circle. Post will be coming as I travel from Reykjavik to Brussels on Thursday morning!

Þangað til næst! (Until next time!)

Why you should keep an open mind about your university experience (and why everyone at Glendon already loves you!)

I was so excited for Frosh Week. SO. EXCITED. I knew 100% that I was going to make so many friends and have an amazing time! Having been an active student leader in high school, I was also positive that I was going to carry those skills into university and really make an impact. However, I had this (looking back on it) really odd mindset about going to university.

“Be cool, Gillian. Be cool. They’re judging you. Ease your way into their hearts.”
“Don’t be annoying. Don’t ask questions on the Facebook group. Google it. You know how to Google things.”
“Wow them when you get there. Don’t let your novelty wear off before Frosh Week starts.”

SERIOUSLY, GILLIAN?

A few words of advice to all of my incoming first year friends (we’re friends, by the way. I don’t care that you don’t know me yet; we’re friends), don’t worry about what other people think of you before you even get to Glendon! From day 1, I could see very clearly that I had entered the most friendly and accepting community I could ever imagine. There’s no one to impress, because you’ve already impressed us by choosing to study at the BEST SCHOOL EVER. Just saying.

So, Labour Day came around and I was SO ready.

Voice in my head: “Here we go. Show ’em what you’ve got.”

Big shot.

Me in my res room after setting everything up; I look terrified and it's hilarious.

Me in my res room after setting everything up; I look terrified and it’s hilarious.

This was the part where I let go of all of my inhibitions; I didn’t worry about anyone or anything. All I knew was that this was going to be the best experience of my life! It didn’t matter that Frosh Week had a no alcohol policy, or that we cheered so much that my voice was gone; it was still the best possible way to introduce me to this new stage of my life. So here I am now, looking back on the opportunities that Frosh Week introduced to me. The biggest of those opportunities was the Glendon College Student Union, with which I was a First Year Representative, Vice President Social, President, and now one of the Orientation Chairs with my ~BFF~ Aedan. Can you say keener? My goodness.

Aedan and I being all candid and stuff

Aedan and I being all candid and stuff

So obviously, as an O-Chair, I am obliged to do some shameless advertising in my blog posts. If you have not yet purchased a Frosh Kit, do it ASAP! Just head to glfrosh.com to buy your kit, check out the schedule of events, and have your questions answered. I hope to see you on September 2nd!

To wrap this up, here are the biggest things that I learned during my transition into university life:

1. Keep an open mind about who you become friends with! Glendon is much more diverse than many of your hometowns, so here’s the perfect opportunity to make friends with the kinds of people who you never had the chance to be friends with in high school.

2. Residents, make commuter friends. Commuters can help you to get accustomed to life in the city and show you some great spots!

3. Commuters, MAKE RESIDENCE FRIENDS. I cannot bold, italicize, or underline this enough. Do not get caught in the commuter trap! It’s a real thing. Commuters have an awesome Frosh Week, make a couple of friends, then drop off the face of the Earth. They go to class, and go home. It sounds absurd, I know, but it seriously happens! With friends in residence you have a place to hang out in between classes, and a place to crash after late-night events and on weekends. I’d say that the vast majority of my friends at Glendon are all commuter students from Toronto!

4. It’s okay to be shy, it’s okay to be crazy and wild, and it’s okay to be who you want to be. Despite popular belief, you do not need to change who you are just because you’re ‘starting fresh’ at a new school. You will find your ‘people’.

There are a lot of cheesy “be yourself” gifs. Here are my favourites:

#gpoy

You go, Drake. YOLO and stuff.

That’s all, folks! À bientôt!