The miracle of modern transportation is that you wake up one day in one locale and the next day wake up in a totally different one. This was the situation that I found myself in this morning.

No longer in the French Quarter, I was woke up on campus. I got dressed, ate some breakfast, and headed out to run some errands. Almost immediately as I left SJC I could tell the campus was much more alive. There were people everywhere, mostly it seemed, first-year students. They crowded the sidewalks, they got in my way, and they were loud. It got worse as I approached the Student Union Building. The calm which had been my pleasant summer on campus had been disturbed by the influx of younger students.

The SUB was jam-packed with newbies and their entourages, ie. their parents or other newbies. The line-up for pizza at Pie ‘R Squared was out the door by a mile. I had to go the SUB to send off a mail before I got on the bus to do some off-campus stuff. I had to use one of the public terminals.

These computers are really close together. I sent my mail and I know I shouldn’t have done this, but I kinda stealthily peered over to the screen to my left. The dude to my left was young looking, probably not more than 18 years old. He was sending mail using AOL webmail. That should have been my first sign this guy was trouble. I quickly scanned some sentences in his text box. Here’s what I read:

“Well, here I am in ‘beautiful’ Vancouver. Everyone keeps calling it ‘beautiful’.”

“Overall Canada is pretty shitty”

“I already miss the Chicago skyline”

When I read that, I wanted to turn to him and say, “Look, I don’t know who the hell is forcing you to be here, but if you don’t like it here, get the fuck out of my country. Go back to Chicago and your fucking ‘beautiful’ skyline.”

Of course, I didn’t say that. Why? Because he’s young, he probably hasn’t even been at UBC for more than a week, classes haven’t started, and he doesn’t know a damn thing about university life. He’s probably homesick and misses familiarity, even though this is most likely the greatest adventure he’ll go on for quite a long time. I thought it was quite Canadian of me to keep my comments to myself.

His comments though, embody what I dislike about first-year (and some undergrads) the most. They’re immature, quick to judge, tempestous, impatient, and egotistical. The idea is though, that university will change these people into smarter, more mature, and more thoughtful individuals.

A year from now, I’d like to see where Mr. Chicago is. What will he think of UBC then? I sincerely hope he will have found the year to be a superb learning experience. If he still thinks Canada is “shitty”, he’ll find someway to make it back to his beloved Chicago, and maybe my wait for pizza will be one less person.

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