As I wrap up three and a half months in Edinburgh, I’m having mixed feelings about returning to Vancouver. I miss my family, friends and UBC program. I’m familiar and comfortable with UBC’s course structure, while here I’ve been constantly lost, trying to figure things out as I go.
The English honours department in Edinburgh is much bigger and studying literature in general is considered more “scholarly” in the UK. However, at UBC, I know most of the students in my program — as well as many professors — by name, and I’ve missed the smaller classes, student participation and grading structure.
In Vancouver, I left behind not only my family and friends, but also two steady jobs and a long history of volunteering with Girl Guides. The Brownie unit I’ve been working with here made me feel immediately welcome, but my unit back home has been a place of solace since I was 14 and I look forward to being called “Brown Owl” again.
Despite my homesickness, it’s going to be really hard to leave my flatmates, my a cappella group and my free weekends filled with travel and sleep — not to mention the city of Edinburgh itself.
Last week was our a cappella end-of-semester showcase and when I finally got emotional thinking about leaving them, they told me, “It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.” That really resonated with me since I’ve always struggled with the finality of change. Nothing has to be final and the power to choose my next destination after I graduate still rests in my hands. If all goes to plan, I’ll be back here.
I’ve lived in Vancouver my entire life. I always knew that I wanted to go to UBC and I have no regrets about the choices I’ve made. The lifestyle in Vancouver — yoga, kale, fancy coffee, Lululemon — is one I feel I fit into, but I’ve surprised myself by feeling like I fit in here too.
I’ll miss Edinburgh an unspeakable amount, but I know that although there will no doubt be tears, returning to Vancouver will always feel like coming home.