I just had a peculiar feeling. It’s not the first time I’ve been back to campus since graduating. In fact, I was just there a few months ago, but as I was approaching the Endowment Lands this evening, the oddest sensation crept up inside me. I felt anxiety.
Donning my UBC sweatshirt by pure coincidence, I was doing my good deed of the year and assisting my not-so-little-anymore cousin jump his car. I was still irked by this feeling and I couldn’t shake it as we were heading to the pub for a catch up. On our way, I had the realization that it had been 10 years since I’d purchased this very sweatshirt, and as if I was walking the halls of my old high school, all those strange inner conflicts and insecurities found their way into my brain.
University was a wonderful and horrible time for me. I spent my first year hung up on a guy that wasn’t really that into me mostly because I didn’t know how to play the game and therefore played it all wrong (hashtag facepalm). The cement walls of my dorm didn’t help and the pressure of school/pressure of partying dichotomy often plagued my sub-conscious. Instead of gaining the Freshman 15, I lost it. Suddenly, I went from being the moderately pudgy girl to some how remarkable skinny (I have a little frame!), but had no idea how to handle it. I still saw myself as that pudgy girl and bonded with another girl who was in the same boat. She ended up being my bestie for three years and in the fourth year she broke my platonic heart and I now only refer to her using curse words. But together we waded through the awkward waters, making and breaking friends along the way. A fantastic team, I’d say! And after four years, I escaped the confines of studying and realized the depression I had been living in for that time. How much I had held back. How many experiences I missed out on because I was too busy being scared. And how this strange cloud had hovered over me that I didn’t know existed.
But today, as I left campus I took a moment to reflect and I’ve come to the conclusion that I really like who I’ve become over these last 10 years. I’ve gained all that lovely weight back, but I have never had more compliments on how I look than right now. Not even when I was a skinny minny. I’m confident and every now and again I like doing things that scare me a little.
Sometimes I pick up French hitch hikers, have dinner with strangers, drive across a massive island on my own, take shoddy vans across a desert, walk through tiger country, give my passport to a stranger, eat street meat (not recommended), eat an animal I’ve pet, drink a bottle of wine and plan one of my dearest friend’s wedding, or I walk into a pub of university kids and not feel bad about myself. It’s a great feeling to realize I’ve come that far. I hear it gets better with age and I’m kind of stoked on that idea!