High school was a pretty good experience for me. I spent most of my time either in the music department or working in aquatics. Still, I'd see some movie going on about high school being the highlight of their life and think, really? Are you kidding me? This is not "it". Sometimes I felt that people had an impression of who I was and I needed to be that person rather than just being me.
I fell in love with the University of Guelph the minute I stepped on campus. I didn't know what I wanted to do, I didn't know how to explain it, but I took two steps off the bus and thought, I am suppose to be here. I spent the next 5 months going on and on about it until March break arrived and I could visit again with my mom. Mom was hoping I'd go a little closer to home (might have for my grandparents sake if I didn't hate that campus when I visited at March Break) but I knew in my heart that was where I was suppose to be.
The first day I moved into residence, I had a little epiphany. I knew my room mate from middle school (sigh, not a good choice to live together, we should have been in the same building in different rooms), but really, everyone was the same as me. We all knew next to no one and there wasn't a reason that they wouldn't want to talk to me. So I was just... me. There weren't any preconceived ideas either way. I didn't know if they sneezed orange juice out their nose in grade 3 and they didn't know I struggled putting my shoes on the right feet in kindergarten. It was very liberating.
I am still close to the girls I met in first year. 6 of us went on to rent a house together in second year. Then they wanted to move closer to campus and I didn't think I could afford that. So I took a gamble and didn't sign a lease with them (which is a very big risk for me looking back). It turned out my best geography friend (my maid of honour) was looking for another person to round out her house. It was great, solidified my friendship with her, although I wasn't close to the other girls, they didn't drive me crazy. Fourth year, she and I found an apartment for just us.
I dated someone... ah... well, let's call him Ritchie, it was a nickname he had in highschool. We met December of first year, it lasted for 6 years. He was there for me when my grandparents passed away, I was there when he struggled with mental health. I think a lot of the issues stemmed from me. I was willing to be anything and do anything for him. But in the end, he wanted me, the happy person I can be, not the person walking on eggshells trying to keep him happy. I wouldn't have ended that relationship even when I knew it wasn't making me happy, thank heavens he did it for me. A lot of lessons were learned with that.
University to me is about your education, but so much of that is out of the classroom. Those 4 years were essential in me becoming the adult I am today. I think of those years fondly, the crazy things we did, the friendships that last. Guelph really was about me being in the right place at the right time.