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Fond memories in dark times

For some students at Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College, ending the semester with campuses closing and in-person classes being cancelled was a huge blow.  

Graduating students had their convocation cancelled (at least for the time being). For non-graduating students, the closures meant not getting to say goodbye to friends and professors before the summer.  

Despite ending the year on a bad note, two students from Dal and King’s decided to think of better times and share their fondest memories from the past years they’ve spent at university.  

Every year a new beginning

by Kheira Morellon (Third-year journalism) 

When it comes to life in university, what is worth remembering? 

I thought this would be an easy question to ask myself. Turns out, it was pretty hard. So far in my degree, I’ve spent way too much time binge-watching Netflix instead of writing papers. Eventually though, I figured out the most memorable moments of my time at King’s so far: my first day of each school year. 

First year: I knew no one. On my first day, I had just met my roommate in Cochran Bay. She was the only person I ever had to share a room with who wasn’t my sister. I had already gone through two weeks of the Foundation Year Program (FYP) reading list over the summer just to be sure I’d have time to socialize. I was eager to start. For me, this day would determine if I could make it through a whole degree. Survive today, survive four years here.  

My first class was Foundations of Journalism. There were about 150 students in the room. Just before the lecture started, I was so stressed that my stomach refused any food. But by the end of class, I felt relieved. We were given our first assignment, and the class was just what I expected it to be.  

Second year: I was ready for the adventure to continue. Last year, I survived hell. As much as FYP was a great learning experience, it was way too much reading. By second year, I was 85 per cent sure journalism was for me. I was 10 months into a new relationship. Even if some of my friends had left Halifax, I knew I wouldn’t be alone.  

I went back to the known universe of the King’s quad. The old stone buildings surrounded me. I met new faces and saw familiar ones. Living in Angel’s Roost, I was right across the hall from my old roommate and my boyfriend. I knew where things were, at least until I stepped a foot outside of the quad. I decided on my minor. I was ready for what the year would bring. 

In this image: The front of the University of King's College's Arts and Administration building.
The University of King’s College’s Arts and Administration building. Photo by Chris Stoodley.

Third year: I made it through half of the program! I finally moved out of residence. I was now one year and 10 months into a relationship.  

I was prepared this school year, focused on learning and getting closer to graduation. I felt somewhat healthy and in a good mental space. I finally started feeling like an adult. Sitting in lab one of the journalism school, my notebook and multi-coloured pens with me, I knew I could make it through the ups and downs of the new year ahead of me.  

Why were my first days memorable? Because I knew the whole time I was working toward my dream: to be a journalist. I knew there would always be obstacles ahead of me, but I was never alone in facing them.  

Lunchtime memories

by Anne-Marie Turenne (Fourth-year costume studies) 

“It’s lunchtime!”  

It only took one of us to say it, and the rest would follow. At 11 o’clock sharp every Wednesday, two hours into tailoring class, it was lunchtime for us third-year costume studies students.  

Sometimes, when the instruction ended around 10:30 or 10:45 a.m., we would debate whether it was socially acceptable to eat lunch that early, or whether it was even worth it to start working on our projects before the unshakeable lunchtime hour of 11. Was it worth threading the sewing machine just yet when you knew you would be interrupted for lunch so soon?  

Certain days—heaven forbid!—instruction went past 11, like on the day we learned how to set the sleeves in a historical tailcoat. On such days, we’d cast anxious glances at the clock until the lesson was over. It wasn’t that we disliked the class. It was just a question of habit. Eating lunch at 11 a.m. became as much a bonding experience as a ritual that added stability and structure to a long studio day.  

Situated on the third floor of Coburg Place, the costume studies department proudly sported a kitchenette which overlooked the third and fourth-year studio. This is where we would convene for lunch.  

Lunch was often a mix of bringing our own food and heading down to the ground floor to Tart & Soul Cafe. One of my friends, Samantha Baljet, always had something that smelled delicious. Rachel Farmer loved Tart & Soul’s ginger cookie sandwiches, and Rachel Shaw always bought the vegan peanut butter cups. Another friend, Camille Sandham, had coffee to “get her juices going.” I was never seen without a thermos of tea.

Lunchtime was a time to recharge, catch up and sigh deeply at the thought of all the work awaiting us. We would talk about our progress in projects. We would make plans, often unrealistic, to get as much work done as possible in very few hours. “I’m staying here until it’s done” and “I need to at least finish this or that today” were the type of optimistic phrases echoed week after week.  

Depending how close we were to due dates, lunchtime length could greatly vary. There were weeks where it was too stressful to sit down for more than 15 minutes. Then there were weeks where a full hour was needed. There was always something to do, but sometimes we just needed a long break to fully recharge.  

We were a hard-working group. A lot of us often worked past class time, and sometimes, we even had dinner together.  

In fourth year, these lunches changed to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays since our classes were at different times. Although the length of costume classes allowed for a break, our lunchtimes were only “officially” scheduled amongst us costume students. It was something we did because we needed food just as much as group bonding in the middle of our classes. In the end, it was this solidarity, this unity and friendship, that really made lunches and my whole time in costume studies so memorable. 

Have a fond university memory you’d like to share? Email or comment below.


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