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If you don’t live on campus and are driving, here is tip number 1: figure out where you’re parking your car to avoid walking back to a $45 ticket on your first day.

I did the complete opposite of what students are supposed to do in their first year. I didn’t get involved on campus, never raised my hand in classes and tried my best to just disappear.

Once I looked down at my notes for a minute too long « Bon matin, Zak! C’est déjà l’après midi, you know, we’re all awake! » he’d rattle off.

Two years ago, in 2016, I was given the chance to start my bachelor degree at UBC, and I really thought I was in control — and I was mad at my family and friends for telling me otherwise.

But in my second year, my roommate and I decided we wanted to a) break free from needing to interact with other humans at parties and b) be self-sufficient and mature adults.

My iPhone, which blares out the alarm tone dubbed “Stargaze,” has been going off for at least two minutes, begging and pleading with me to wake up with every note. I groggily lay there, my eyes barely being able to focus on my phone’s screen.


The distance, for the most part, made the beginning of this transition easy. Being far away was nice, I felt free and in control of my life’s happenings. I could stay out until whenever I wanted, hang out with who I wanted and go wherever I wanted.

The Ubyssey received responses from over 400 UBC students on their drug and substance use. Collecting this type of information via Google Forms, where we can’t interview respondents directly, isn’t ideal — but it revealed interesting and compelling trends about student substance use.

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