Canada Catch Up – OurWarwick

Canada Catch Up

Meredith Whiting | Global Sustainable Development and Sociology Contact Meredith

The end of February marks the halfway point for my second semester here at Queen’s – the time seems to have flown by since I’ve been back! I’m already 50% of the way through my assessments for the term, which is great because I took on one more course than last semester, leading me to worry I’d taken on too much. That’s not been the case, thank goodness, and I’ve really enjoyed the first 6 weeks of content that we had before reading week. 

It’s been just as cold, if not colder, than before Christmas break – we’ve had very few days that have been above 0 degrees, although that’s meant a fair amount of the snow has stuck around. We’ve had a couple of major snowstorms recently, especially over the past weekend (although it’s made me envy the recent UK weather to a certain extent!)

A photo of myself and a friend climbing an 11-foot (estimated) snow pile on campus

Outside of complaining about the cold, I’ve had to adjust to a new class schedule. This usually isn’t so bad, however, I’ve gone from starting at earliest 11:30 in autumn to 8:30 twice a week – a small shock to the system! The first classes begin at 8:30 am and the last finish at 9:30 pm, which makes for a long day if you’re unfortunate to have both – luckily my latest finish is around 5:30. It does make for some pretty sunrises though, which I’ve been very happy to see – there’s been a fair few!

Do I need to caption this??

I’ve really been trying to focus on making the most of the opportunities whilst I’m still here, and especially enjoying the social side of university life whilst the pressure is removed for academic success (at least external pressure to some extent – I’ve found I’m still putting just as much pressure on myself as I would back home!). I spent my first weekend of the semester back up in Montreal, celebrating the birthday of one of my oldest school friends, who coincidentally is also on exchange in Canada this year! It was lovely to get to see her and Montreal again, and explore a new part of the city – ice skating and enjoying the delights of a Montreal bagel. I’ve also been spending a lot of time with the quidditch team again as nationals approaches us in March – which is scary but exciting! It’s been brilliant being able to find a home in Kingston with them all, as they’ve been so welcoming. 

Huddling together for warmth during the cold Montreal nights

Just over half of the team together in a photo that we aren’t playing quidditch in? Unheard of!

Finally, I had some excitement for reading week as I escaped the cold Canadian winter for the much warmer Australian summer! I took some time to go visit my family, where Dad was working in Sydney, for an unforgettable experience. We got to spend some time as a family, which I loved as I really do miss them whilst I’m away, and see some amazing sights and exhibitions. A few highlights had to be going to a wildlife sanctuary and also different installments and exhibitions around the city! (the jetlag and travelling? not as much fun!)

Visiting the sanctuary also meant a lovely encounter with a very very sleepy koala – who seems to have the right idea of how to get through the warm summer!

Couldn’t miss out on a photo opp – and the clouds and drizzle weren’t going to stop me!

The next few weeks are likely to be more full of work than before, as prep for exams starts. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated with my module choices next month, as well as some of the reasons why I can’t wait to go back to Warwick and GSD! (As much as I have loved Canada)

Meredith Whiting | Global Sustainable Development and Sociology Contact Meredith

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