notes from the dorm
Jocelyn Wong, University of Western Ontario
Upon arriving in London (London, Ontario, that is) after a two/three-hour drive that required me to contort my body and press it against the car door (there was no more space in our SUV - we even had to 'fold' one of the seats down), I was taken aback by the scenery.
Being used to Hong Kong, Toronto was already a culture shock. And London is more of a college town where the university makes an impact on people's everyday lives. In fact, in a Japanese restaurant, there was even a 'university Western roll'.
The next day I went shopping for everyday items and learned of the amazing Masonville Place that's filled with jumbo packs of junk food, and more cosmetics and clothing outlets than anyone can dream of. Not to mention a cinema with a video arcade IN it. I've got to try out Guitar Hero after watching Step Up 3. If I thought that the two (very full) suitcases and overflowing bags that I brought were 'too much', I was going to have a very rude awakening.
I had spent so much of my life being taken care of that I didn't notice how much stuff I needed to live a simple student life.
Within two days, I had a list of things I've taken for granted: from a heating kettle (for emergency cup noodles) to printers - my collection of 'stuff' has at least tripled from when I was in Toronto.
Of course, I forgot to buy the most important stuff until the very last minute - blankets and laundry bags. This is the moment when my trusty mother comes in to remind me how unready I am to embark on this new life. I had only two more days until move-in-day/ the start of O-Week (orientation week).
So far, what's left me with the deepest impression was visiting (rather, sneaking into) the campus on my day of arrival in London.
My dad took his car and we drove around my future classroom buildings and, most importantly, the dorm. I was overwhelmed by the Harry Potter-esque buildings and college vibe. But we had to leave soon - the dorm supervisor practically shooed us out of the building as the dorms weren't yet officially open.
Right now I just can't imagine lugging two bursting suitcases full of clothes, shoes and memories all in one go.