Today is Monday and I have two weeks left of classes this semester. Two weeks left of classes this year.
Two weeks left of Canadian education.
(Well, after that we have exams, but technically all my exams are take-home essays so I’m slightly in denial about the whole thing counting as ‘term time’.)
Obviously Me Being Me and the End Being Nigh I’ve gotten hopelessly introspective about this whole year. Inevitably, I started on a post-it on my desktop with a list of all the things I could think of that I’m going to miss leaving behind. Right at the start of this year I published a post about culture shock detailing some of the most striking differences between Canada and the UK. I remember asking my Mum what she thought of it, and she laughed and said, “it’s a bit negative isn’t it Tess?”
And looking back on it, although I was exaggerating a bit to add humour, it is a bit negative. It sort of reads like a list of complaints actually, and I don’t think in that post I made clear that those differences, no matter how bizarre or inconvenient, were my motivation for taking on a year abroad. I wanted to be in a new culture, one that made me think about things differently, that challenged my expectations, that made me appreciate my home and education back in the UK. And this year has definitely done that.
Things I Probably Won’t Miss
- The little girl I share a wall with in my apartment building crying at 2am. Thank god for earplugs.
- The fact the tipping option appears on the card machine whenever you try to pay at a restaurant and you’re left awkwardly navigating around avoiding giving a 25% tip. (I’m sorry but the GDP/dollar exchange rate is just not the one.)
- Canada isn’t very cash-heavy as a nation which is fortunate because all the small change is basically indistinguishable silver. Why are the 5s bigger than the 10s, Canada? And why are the 25s about the same size as the 5s? I’ve been here 9 months and I still can’t tell the difference.
- Cheese costing $12.99. And not even good cheese.
- The sassy ladies at the bakery in the Social Sciences building who refuse to speak English to you (it’s a biliNGUAL UNIVERSITY LADIES WE DON’T ALL SPEAK FRENCH.)
- Thursday AM basketball practice; my alarm going off at 5:25am, and making the trek to Montpetit sports hall through the silent and frigid pitch black of a January morning.
- The 6-month-long-winter I have endured. Never again.
- Lonely Sunday afternoons killing time, missing my UK housemates like hell, and watching Star Trek before the week starts again.
- uOttawa’s never-ending concrete complex of a campus. I’m sorry, but you’re kinda fugly.
- Glitchy Skype calls home awkwardly in the middle of the afternoon because Time Difference Woes.
- Seeing my dog on Skype and not being able to pet my dog 😦
- Relying on Facebook messenger to keep in touch with the majority of my friends, and the pressure of the ‘Read’ notification and ‘Last Active’ feature (it’s better than nothing but lord it’s just not the same as catching up in person.)
- Weather notifications cheerily informing me it’s going to feel like -27 today. (Bearing in mind I got one of those notifications last week. In March.)
- Prescription costs, and that faff of reimbursing healthcare on insurance (I miss you NHS and I’ll never take you for granted again.)