Wednesday, September 06, 2017

First Impressions

This morning, I was two minutes late to my first class at Brock University. It was BIOL 1P91, the first semester Introduction to Biology course. I was late because I wanted to make sure that Matt and I had something to eat, and to continue our tradition of getting breakfast on our first day of school.

This morning, I was two minutes late to my first class, and there were no seats left by the time I got there. In an entire auditorium, there were no seats left. And, it's not like I was the only person left standing either. There were probably around 30 of us who were either standing in the back or sitting on the stairs in one of the aisles.

The professors told us that there are 1000 of us taking this class. The largest class I've ever taken before this had around 100 people in it, and by the end of the class we were down to 40. When I went to Carleton University, I did have a class with around 400 students in it, but I don't count that one because I didn't finish the class. Even still, this class more than doubles that number.

So, I wasn't the only one standing. And, I was far from even being the latest student to arrive. There were some people who showed up behind me at fifteen and even twenty minutes past the time that the class began. I'm not so worried anymore about the first impression I left on that teacher. Partially because I doubt I'll even talk to him more than five times over this semester.

Regardless of that event, it feels a little strange to be back at university. It's definitely a very different atmosphere than there is at college, and Brock is, as you could expect, much different from Carleton. It is definitely making a unique first impression on me.

When I was going to Carleton, I planned ahead and moved to Ottawa early so I could find my way around better, which was definitely helpful. The school was large, but it was friendly and fairly easy to navigate. There was an entire network of tunnels underground that could take you around to most (if not all) of the buildings on campus. It was right next to the Rideau Canal, and it was just, well, big.

This time around, I had only visited the school once before I started school yesterday. I vaguely know where all my classes are, but I've spent little time figuring out exactly how to get there. Apparently, I should have spent more time figuring that out, because this school is quite confusing. There are many circling halls and buildings with courtyards in the middle, and a strange name/numbering system in some buildings. It's a fairly sprawled out campus, but it's well maintained and I actually really like it so far.

However, there is one thing that I am absolutely adoring about this campus: the green spaces.

Carleton was pretty nice for the surrounding area, and had some pleasant green spaces to use, and Niagara College, especially the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, was really well done, but I don't think either of those schools has anything on Brock's green spaces.

I haven't spent much time walking around yet, but I've already found a few beautiful areas on campus.

Some of them are just small touchers of green, like a few trees around a paved court yard. This one, pictured above, also had a fountain/pond in it, and it was so pretty.

And, there is another courtyard in an other building that at first glance is already extremely beautiful, but then when you get just a little bit further...

It has an entire pond ecosystem! It's absolutely gorgeous and it is the most peaceful place I've found on campus. I'm sure sometimes it will be a little louder, because it is used as a study system for some of the environmentally related programs/courses, but when they're not using it, it is quiet, calm and beautiful. I'm really looking forward to spending some time out there, but I think I'll need to find a small blanket to keep for use on the ground. In the mornings, it seems to be a bit damp. This time of year it's no problem, but when it gets a little cooler in the fall or in the earlier parts of spring, I'll probably not be so relaxed about having wet toes!

Out of everything I've experienced so far at Brock, this is my favourite.

Forget the vendor fair, forget orientation, forget all of that stuff that is supposed to make this first week great for freshman/Year 1 students. All I want is some green space to enjoy. And, you know what? I'm going to do it.

Right now as I write this I'm sitting in another courtyard at a picnic table. I've got wifi from the school which is definitely helpful, but I'm sitting outside in the shade (though it is a bit cool) and enjoying it while I can.

After all, it won't be long before it's chillier outside and then it'll be snowy. When I spend so many evenings at work, like I will tonight, this free time is certainly at a premium. So, when I have these breaks after classes, I think I'm going to do two of my favourite things: sit outside and write.

And tomorrow, I'm going to make it to class earlier. Much earlier. For the smaller classes, I'm certainly going to want to make a good first impression.

-Erika Elise