I can't believe I'm leaving.
My life as a graduate student is almost over.
For all my complaints and worries (and blog posts dictating my complaints and worries) throughout the year, I have to admit that I'm quite sad to be leaving this place. I remember moving in last September, scared out of my mind that attempting a Masters degree was the worst decision I'd ever made.
It wasn't. This year at Queen's was more than I imagined it would be. And now, in about 48 hours, it'll be over.
My parents are heading here on Saturday to help me move out, so I woke up early this morning to start the daunting task of packing up my room. Can someone remind me why I brought so much stuff? I'm actually starting to panic. I have no idea how I'm going to fit all this stuff into my parents' car. It took two trips to bring my things to Kingston - and somehow, we're supposed to bring all this stuff back home in one trip. This is going to be... interesting. Books, clothes, shoes, books, books (why are there so many?!), some random furniture, and other miscellaneous items. Not to mention the fact that I haven't cleaned out my office yet.
UM. Why do I have so much stuff?! Good thing I didn't decide to pack the night before I moved out.
My closet now looks empty, with most of my clothing packed away. My walls look bare, with all my posters and pictures taken down. My desk is empty, with all my study items packed away in boxes.
Oh, this is bittersweet.
And, to top it off, amid all this packing hoopla, I'm also editing my MRP.
Too much stress! Not enough time!
And, to top that off, I've come down with the flu. Packing and editing my MRP with this cold hasn't been easy, when all I want to do is hibernate under the covers and sleep away my cold.
Kingston, I've grown pretty attached to you. You were the first city I moved to where I knew absolutely nobody, leaving behind the life I knew, the people I loved, and the family I've never left. People complain that Kingston is a dump - a small town where you have absolutely nothing to do. Well, you know, I'd beg to differ. I actually quite like this city - I've grown to love it, actually. Kingston, you've been everything I would have wanted in a university experience away from home. Queen's provided something UofT didn't: a wonderful, close-knit student community (grad students included) who I've had the pleasure of getting to know, and I greatly enjoyed every moment of my time here.
I'm not going to pretend that life in Kingston was perfect. That this grad life was stress free, that the workload was easily manageable. There were inevitably bouts of homesickness, Skype dates confessing how much I missed home, late nights working away on papers, hours and hours spent at the library and the office, hours spent slaving away over essays that needed to be marked.
But, you know, if I could go back and re-live the moment I decided to come to Queen's, I'd still make the same decision.
We're too smart to be overly cynical. And so, while some moments of this grad life were more stressful than others, I will say that this whole year has been an experience I wouldn't trade for anything. I've learned so much and experienced more than I thought I would, more than I bargained for.
As for the friends and people that I've met and grown to know this year, I will say that you have all made this year a wonderful experience - and a lot more bearable, given the stress and workload we were all under. It will probably be a very long time before I see you all again. And so, I will say that I've been so very blessed to have met each of you, and that I consider myself lucky to have befriended each of you, even if it was just for a year. And, wherever we all end up next year, always remember that I'm just a phone call or a message away, should any of you need anything! :)
Kingston, I will remember my time here fondly. I'll probably never have the chance to live here again. But, rest assured, I will always have a special place in my heart for this charming city.
"Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time."
— Maya Angelou
"All endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time."
— Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
"The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under its roof."
— Barbara Kingsolver