Give and take

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I spent a long time wondering what I should write for my final column. Should I list the things that I accomplished while I was here? The fears that I have faced? The battles that I have fought? 

Should I list the things about this beautiful country that I have fallen in love with? Should I say how badly I want to come back in the future? 

Even now, no amount of words will accurately describe what I want to say about my time in Canada.

No words can tell you the beauty of a winter where snow falls. No words will describe the days where it is so cold that you can feel it in your bones. 

Words can’t describe a country of people so fantastic and supportive that they’re world-renowned for being stereotypically nice. 

Words cannot begin to describe the taste of fresh maple syrup on snow, the roaring cheer of hockey fans at my first Leafs game, the frustration I feel every time I don’t win Roll Up the Rim, or the fear as I slid down a few metres of a frozen waterfall. 

I’ve searched for the right words to describe Waterloo and have drawn blanks. I’ve stared at my computer screen for hours on end trying to search for adjectives that would describe the UW Improv Club, who have become family to me. 

When I leave Canada, I’m leaving behind brothers and sisters. I can’t write about how seeing group photos of us makes me cry, because the idea that I will never see some of these people again is absolutely crushing. 

It’s easy to feel this huge sense of loss as I say goodbye to people, get final souvenirs, and cram some last minute adventures in before I leave. I feel as if this perfect place has stolen a huge chunk of my heart and that I’ll only remain whole while I’m here. 

At the same time though, Canada has given me so much back. Travelling in Canada has taught me that I can and should be content with my own company if I want to do something. It’s taught me that drinking is the universal language, in any country. 

Studying here has taught me that I am very, very small in the grand scope of things. I have met so many uplifting people and heard so many amazing stories, and I hold each of them with me every day.

With that, I’m checking out. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in any way while on exchange, to the people who encouraged me to sign up in the first place, and most of all, to you, if you’ve been reading my adventures through my first ever (and hopefully not last) column. It’s been a great pleasure.

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