Today is the official celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first ever first day at my university.

100 first days full of wide-eyed first-year students trying to find their classes.
100 first days of making new friends.
100 first days of finding your new home.
100 first days of dreading coming back to school.
100 first days of feeling lost.
100 first days that led to anxiety, depression, maybe even suicide.
100 first days of self-discovery.
100 first days of getting closer to who you’re meant to be.
100 first days of progress and learning.
100 first days of new beginnings.

Apparently 100 years ago they started school four weeks later than us.
Today there are over 50,000 students at UBC spread across two campuses. Some of them will never finish their degree. Some of them will finish their degree elsewhere. Most of them will worry about what the hell they’re doing with their lives. None of them are failures, no matter what their exam scores say.

Many of us are Canadian, but quite a few of us are not. Collectively we come from over 100 countries across the globe. All of us are here to learn how to be the best we can be.

UBC is hell-bent on being the best, and it’s hard and competitive and sometimes you just can’t take it, but isn’t that just life? Every single person at this school and in the world is just trying their best to do whatever it is they think they need to do. For those of us here it’s learning, teaching, working, inventing, researching, leading, and discovering.

I’ve had my last first day at UBC, and sometimes I complain about the cost of my tuition or the problems with the school government, but I love it here. The community and mindset that university fosters is one of knowledge and creativity and being your absolute best, and I’m not sure I can get that exact feeling anywhere else. I’m going to miss those first days. I’m going to miss this place.

Here’s to 100 more first days.

 

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