notes from the dorm
Elizabeth Wong, University of Toronto
There is nothing quite like the feeling of freedom. You can do whatever you want, schoolwork is far behind you, and there's a gleeful sensation sneaking up your back. University is no different. With less time and more work, freedom means just that much more to students at the University of Toronto.
But just before everyone heads home for the holidays, there is one more business to take care of: partying. Everyone rubs their tired, swollen eyes as they head back to their dorm rooms to remove layers of 'exam sweatpants' (the only clothing you see people wearing around exam time). Sweatpants are an important university studying strategy - you can sleep in them, go to the dining hall in them, study in them and never have to change. If you're wondering about hygiene well for most at this point, 'hygiene is overrated'.
Aside from the past nights of exam study horrors, tonight is dedicated to spending the last night with friends that have become my family. Celebrating with them makes me realise how, although I'm going home tomorrow morning, I'm leaving my 'other' home that seemed foreign to me just four months ago.
As the girls gather and we get into our dresses and skirts, I get a sense of sisterhood. We gather in the dorm hallways with the guys all dressed up and giggling at one another - it's amazing how the vibe changes when everyone isn't wearing something that closely resembles pyjamas.
The mission: Freedom at the Embassy, the unique nightclub where other universities are also celebrating the completion of the first semester. All universities within downtown Toronto have been invited, including some schools from the suburbs.
We rush out the doors into minus 20 degree Celsius weather and shudder as we attempt to grab a taxi. After a few murmurs of laughter and complaints, we squeeze into a cab and head to our destination. We arrive and there is a line - one that leads around the corner, to the left around another corner and to the right like a maze. We recognise a few familiar faces and sneak our way through the line.
Twenty to 30 minutes later, we finally reach the beginning of the line and within seconds, we're in the club. It's a dark space with blasting music and flashing lights. Terrifying? Maybe. But the music is irresistibly fun and every bit danceable, ranging from Like a G6 from The Far East Movement to Fireworks from Katy Perry. I've probably heard each song more than a billion times on my iPod, but when you're in a club the atmosphere is much more exciting. Like anything though, it's not that fact that we're at a club that makes the night enjoyable, it's the company. I could be sitting in a deserted restaurant eating a horrible meal or standing in the freezing cold for hours and I would still be having fun with these people because they are the party.
Freedom is one of the best feelings, and the people you share your freedom with are just as important as the feeling itself. And in the spirit of the holidays, it's those moments of freedom that you cherish the most with the people you love.