notes from the dorm
One of the reasons why I feel a sense of belonging to university is the similarity in age of the majority of the student population.
Almost everyone is under the age of 25, giving the entire campus a sense of zest, exuberance and 'nowness'. The latest in technology, fashion and pop culture surrounds you, so it's easy to feel like you are at the centre of everything that is hip and happening.
Of course, an unfortunate side effect of this is the sleepless Friday nights spent trying to block out the bass beats of techno music reverberating from a floor party in the lounge across the hall. There, students expend all in one night the pent-up energy from a week of sitting idly in lecture halls.
Another prominent feature of the student population is that they are mostly (not including those studying engineering) sane and have their wits about them.
Although this may sound obvious, it only takes a trip from University of British Columbia into the far reaches of the Greater Vancouver metropolitan area to notice a drastic reduction in the young and beautiful, and an exponential increase in the elderly and the obese.
If you are ever in need of a mildly life-affirming experience, you only need to venture into the shadier neighbourhoods of Burnaby to gain an appreciation of your supple limbs and clear mind.
This is in contrast to good ol' Hong Kong, where the term 'elderly' corresponds to amiable 'uncles' playing mahjong and petite grandmothers practising tai chi in the early morning - not pale, withering wraiths with dull, bloodshot eyes; and where nobody is so obese that they depend on electric wheelchairs to move around.
And that is why, after a weekend spent in the wilderness of Greater Vancouver, I am a tiny bit glad to return to the pulsing heart that's UBC.