If I were to list the milestones of my life – points on my timeline that gets a huge star that marks the beginning or ending of huge events – today would be well on top of it.
Orientation to UBC med school took place over a 3-day period that ended this Friday. I met dozens of amazing people that I couldn’t wait to get to know better, saw hundreds more whom I haven’t even talked to yet, heard from faculty, staff, and senior students and tried to picture what my next four years would look like, went into the anatomy lab with dozens of cadavers in body bags and got excited for next Friday’s real anatomy lab, but today, the feeling of a new beginning finally set in.
Since Charlie got a year-round residence and he finished his NSERC last Friday, and my residence in Marine Drive doesn’t open until this Saturday, I generously invited myself into his room and moved in today. As I usually do at the start of the school year, I try to set up a healthy exercise routine and mentality, so I headed out for a run.
But this run brought with it more significance than I expected. Just for fun, I ran around campus in a “flash back of undergrad” style. Starting with Totem Park, I ran past the roads where I first tasted independence and university life, and remembered walking with roommate David on Lower Mall to LSK early in the morning, chasing the ever-faster Carolyn and May. I also remembered Shad Valley and the alumni bbq, and realized I probably won’t have a chance to work in a summer camp again.
I went to Vanier, where I spent a spectacular 2nd year. I was on top of my game in many respects, but one thing I remembered most vividly was playing pingpong in KU with my closest friends, listtening to David Tao’s then newest album. I went to Rose Garden, went to Gage towers and thought about my one crazy year with RC, and skipped Fair View where I spent my dark 3rd year.
It felt like a quick, 30-minute review of how I spent my undergrad and how I got to where I am. I thought about the people I met, fading in and out of my life, each making their own marks. For each person, I felt grateful for their playing a part in my growth. Without any of them, I wouldn’t be the same. And since I wouldn’t trade anything for what I have right now, I wouldn’t trade anything for what I had in the past either.
Tina just came back from a retreat and was about to meet me for dinner. So at the end, I wasn’t just running back to my temporary residence; I was running to see her. I will share with her stories of my orientation, my new friends, and I will learn from her what she did at the retreat.
Tomorrow, my first class for med school starts at 8am. Today, I’m ready for it.