Senioritis 101: Saying Goodbye to my Undergrad Life at Guelph

I came to Guelph from Jamaica in my first year a completely different person. I had a long-distance relationship (not for me at all), my hair was still straightened (I’ve since returned to my ferociously curly roots), I had never lived away from my family for more than a week and I had no idea what was about to hit me in terms of winter in Canada. I went through SO MANY amazing and terrible first-time experiences, but I promised myself I would only think of the ones that make me proud to be a Gryphon. I’d like to say that I would never go back in time and change anything, because it may alter where I am now… but sometimes I do think that I would have done some things differently. I wouldn’t have wasted so much time and energy into helping people who didn’t know how to help themselves, I wouldn’t have taken certain classes, I would have gone to certain parties (and not gone to some); hell, maybe I would have changed my major. But living without regrets is one way to be mentally happy, something I admittedly still struggle with. I decided to write this article to highlight what I’ll miss the most and least about my time as an undergrad student at Guelph.

 

My Amazing Friends

When I say you cannot go through this university experience alone, trust me, I’m not lying. I made some friendships in first year that I thought I would have for life - wrong. But there were some I made in first year who I consider my closest friends (sorry friends from JA, still love you the most). One of the hardest things about graduating is that I won’t get to see some of these beautiful faces multiple times a week anymore. The friends I’ve made at Guelph and in Canada in general have been there for me through some of the worst weeks of school (which I like to call ‘hell weeks’), they’ve been there through all the hoco’s, all the St Patty’s day weekends and the endless club/bar nights. They’ve made my university experience one that I’m forever grateful for, and although it will be hard to not see them so much, I know that the next steps that they take will better them in so many ways, and I’ll be rooting for them always.

 

Caribbean Parties

Island Vibes is THE event of every semester, and I look forward to each and every one of them. While it is nice to experience the Canadian aspects of partying, nothing will ever match up to these Caribbean parties. They’ve been my home away from home and somehow always come around exactly when I’m feeling extra homesick.

 

Downtown Guelph

When I say downtown Guelph, I don’t mean standing in line for hours to get into a cramped club - I mean all the cute little restaurants and cafes that make me feel all artsy. I’m not one to take aesthetic pictures for Instagram or anything, but I won’t pretend like the occasional brunch snap doesn’t somehow make its way to my Instagram or Snapchat story.

 

All-You-Can-Eat Sushi with Friends

I don’t think I have to explain this at all. All-you-can-eat sushi, what more could I want with the people I love?

Cultures in Stone Road Mall

This is my sh*t. This place has THE BEST healthy food. I honestly didn’t even really know what quinoa was and just assumed it was super healthy vegan food that I wouldn’t like, but the people that work there know my order by heart. Whenever I go to another city I try and find one, but none are ever close enough to where I am and it just breaks my heart (I highly recommend the southwest bowl or the California bowl - you’re welcome).

 

Basketball Games

This somehow became a tradition with two of my most cherished friends (shout-out to Leah and Harkirat <3), and this may be the thing that I miss the absolute most. Something about getting super anxious in the last quarter of the game with these two girls just always made me so, so happy. When I realized it was the last home game that the three of us would be at, I got super sentimental and almost cried. I’d encourage anyone that goes to Guelph to go to a home game, whether it be basketball, football, hockey etc. It’s hard to beat that feeling and the energy that goes on in the last few minutes of a game.

 

Learning How to Take Care of my Mental Health

Before I came to university, I just thought that how I thought and acted was just me. I learned so much about taking care of myself mentally and physically and was able to erase my own stigma about mental health. People at Guelph are always willing to listen, and I got an unbelievable amount of online resources to help me when I really needed it. Whatever life or university throws at you, PUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH FIRST - TRUST ME.