Vancouver Diaries


Article by Eleonora Mezzo

A few days ago I found myself scrolling through my camera roll. I had never thought about the concerning amount of photos I take until that very moment. Looking at the memories I shared with my friends made me want to make a post on this blog dedicated to my freshman year experience. UBC (University of British Columbia for whoever does not know what I’m talking about) sure gave me a lot to study in the first year, but also a lot of fun changes in my life, starting with moving to Canada by myself. I am not gonna pretend that freshman year was easy. It was pretty intense, especially mentally speaking.
Coming to Canada involved waiting for two months for my study permit to arrive in Sweden and trying to start my life in Vancouver from a distance at the same time. The whole process was not enjoyable, as I had class at 4 am due to the timezone. Therefore, I like to think that my freshman year officially started on November 22nd, the last day of self-isolation as well as the day I was finally able to associate a real person’s face to my friends’ Instagram accounts. Here’s a summary of my freshman year. A special thanks to the people that made this year somewhat okay.


It all started in November. Although November was a very random time to move to Vancouver, it was worth it. I packed my bags in one day and left the day after. Quarantine was my absolute lowest point in my life. Would I repeat the experience? No. Am I happy I did it? Yes. Did quarantine leave some long term consequences on my mental health? Absolutely yes.


December was when things started happening, one of which was final season. Just like all of my fellow university students, I hated finals. What made it even worse is that I was stuck in Canada for my Christmas holidays and no family members to celebrate it with. However, my amazing friend was kind enough to invite me to her Christmas lunch, which I am really grateful for to this day. Just because I am particularly lucky, this was the only year, in my 19 years of my life, when my winter break got extended by an extra week. I like to think it was just done especially for me. Thank you UBC.


At this point in my freshman experience, I was pretty much settled in. Term 2 started and along with starting new courses, I met some of my current best friends. Pretty wholesome. If I were to summarize January in a sentence, I would describe it as probably the best month of my freshman year, as it was the first time I had ever getten a surprise cake for my birthday.


February was time for the first trip I took outside of Vancouver. Booked a bus ride, found an air b&b, and packed my bags for the weekend. Whistler was fun. The highlight was seeing my friend do her hair right before going tubing.

MARCH 2021

March passed by super quickly. I spent most time studying during the day and going to the beach for dinner at night. Most importantly, I went to the cat cafe in Vancouver, where my obsession with cats was officially confirmed.

APRIL 2021

I have mixed feelings about April. On one hand, April was one of the best times I had in Vancouver. I had my first sorority formal, which was a little different from other “normal” years, but still a very memorable night. I also decided to go on a two-day escape with my friends to Victoria, right outside of Vancouver. We didn’t see any whales from the ferry, but I still had a good time. On the other hand, April was final season again. I only had two exams but still managed to overthink and let anxiety affect my scores. I am just happy it’s over.

MAY 2021

May marked the end. Freshman year, which I officially finished in April, continued by bothering and annoying my friends at their apartment until they were sick of me. THE END. I’ll let you know how second year goes.