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Western Became My Home Away From Home

Before coming to Western, I lived in Calgary for 18 years. I had never moved houses, let alone move away from home. Although I used to travel a lot by myself and with my friends, I never thought that being away from my parents would be so hard.

When I was applying for universities, I only applied to schools outside of Calgary. I thought that moving away would open my eyes and allow me to experience new things. I never took my mental well-being into account. Because I travelled so much, I thought I’d be completely okay without friends or family near me. I had absolutely no idea what I was putting myself through; I didn’t have a single clue about what moving would entail. I was moving four provinces away and I didn’t think twice about it. I never planned when I would see my parents, or where I would go for reading week. I just decided to move.

The first week being away from home was incredibly difficult. I drove from Calgary all the way to London, and I still remember the feeling I had when I hugged my Mom and Dad goodbye and watched their car shrink as they drove away. I didn’t think saying goodbye would be that difficult.

When I first moved, the adjustment was stressful. I couldn’t see my parents, I didn’t know anyone in London, and Ontario felt completely foreign to me. I came all the way from Alberta to a place where everyone else knew the surrounding area. I wasn’t necessarily overwhelmed, but I was slightly worried for myself.

Move-in day was my very first time being at Western. I came to the university without touring it or knowing anything about it. Even though September was a difficult time for myself, I truly learned how to love Western. Now that I’m in second year, moving away from home is a lot easier because I allowed Western to become my new home. It’s okay to not feel comfortable the moment you get here because Western offers so much to students that allows them to eventually call it their home.

After a while, you start to notice all the wonderful things about this school, like the positive energy that surrounds campus and the fact that people take pride in what they study. Students are so proud of their faculties and their traditions, and they show their enthusiasm wherever they are. Students are always engaged with campus events and appreciate what Western has to offer. People wait in the Spoke line for 30 minutes for bagels and show up every Wednesday night to jam out with Rick McGhee. Clubs are constantly having events in The Wave and something new is always going on on UC Hill. Western students are so spirited and so proud to be where they are. Everyone is constantly repping our UWO because we all learned to love Western.

Because there are so many students on campus, you can always meet someone new and you’ll always see someone you know. Western makes students feel at home because it allows everyone to find something they’re passionate about. If you’re open to it, your time at Western can be the best time of your life. There are so many opportunities to get students involved, like Sophing, Staffing in Residence, clubs, or Student Council. I love Western because it welcomed me with open arms, even when I was homesick, and gave me every chance to be my new home away from home.

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