The tears begin to roll down your cheeks as you say farewell to your biggest supporters in the lobby of the residence that you will call home for the next eight months. Excitement, sadness, anxiety, and fear wash over you as you watch your loved ones wave goodbye. Have you made the right decision? Should you have stayed closer to home? Is Queen’s even the right university for you? What happens if you don’t make friends? Or get lost at this beautiful campus? How are you going to survive this year away from home?
All of your anxieties are put to ease once you are greeted by spirited, majestic beings armoured with radiant golden crowns, coated head to toe in purple or silver paint, carrying signs and chanting their hearts out in unison. You have yet to realize that this is the beginning of one of the best weeks of your entire life. Surrounded by a sea of thousands of matching bright, tattered and torn shirts, you realize that you are now part of something bigger than you could have imagined. New experiences allow you to venture outside of your comfort zone and give you the confidence to dance like nobody’s watching, lose your voice from the never ending spirit battles, and embrace the lifelong friendships that are beginning to blossom. A feeling like no other washes over you when your faculty’s song comes on the loud speakers and you fulfill the uncontrollable urge to bust out your best moves. You are no longer a shy, reserved, stressed out high school student; you are part of the Queen’s family. Your peers are there every step of the way, motivating you to cheer your heart out, to bleed TRICOLOUR, and most importantly, to be yourself. You finally understand that these people will be your forever friends, and will always be there to lend a helping hand. As you hold your tam over your heart in Grant Hall, you realize that you made the right decision and are where you belong. You are proud to be part of such an amazing community and cannot wait for what the next four years hold. All of your anxieties are eased and you feel more confident in yourself than ever before. You vow that you, too, will be a part of helping recreate this unforgettable experience for someone else in the future. As the legendary week comes to an end and you say goodbye to your new family, you realize that you are finally home, and the tears begin to roll down your cheeks.