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Life at the University of British Columbia – Why Not Canada?

January 6, 2014
Dublin High Commencement

Dublin High Commencement

When I committed to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, I invoked surprise in a few individuals when I shared my decision. Many Americans do not consider Canada as an option for university, and some questioned why I chose not to go to a school in the United States. To me, it seemed that some felt it shocking that I would pick a Canadian school over an American one. Although I defended my choice, I had no real proof that it was the best school for me since I had never attended it. Now that my first semester classes have ended and all my finals have been turned in, I can without a doubt argue that the University of British Columbia is the best school for me. Why not Canada?

Adventure is important to me, and I wanted to go to a university that put me in the center of it. When I walk to class, I get the enjoyment of walking past thick forests, beautiful architecture and a vista of Vancouver’s breath-taking bay and soaring snow-capped mountains. Going to a university with a beautiful campus is essential for me because in times of stress, the view from a beach only ten minutes from my dorm is all I need.

Exploring Vancouver

Exploring Vancouver

I find adventure in Vancouver’s downtown and the surrounding cities. Whenever I have a light day of class or a free afternoon in the weekend, I immediately head to the bus loop for endless options of entertainment. When I feel like studying and having a view different from the library, I go on an adventure for a coffee shop I have never been to for work.

I find adventure in the diversity of my best friends. The countries my closest friends originate from at UBC include Argentina, Dominica, Canada and Taiwan. UBC has no dominate culture and it provides a mix of students from every place imaginable. Canada is a country of multiculturalism, and I would have missed out on expanding my view of the world if I did not attend UBC.

I find adventure in doing well in my courses. I have always been organized in school, but university has pushed me to discover the extent of my work ethic. Although UBC emphasizes the importance of attending class, studying and thinking beyond the textbook, success is completely up to the student. Unlike in high school, no one is there to reprimand you for not going to class or for staying out too late. With much more free time than ever before, it could have been easy for me to slack off.

UBC Thunderbird Spirit!

UBC Thunderbird Spirit!

The freedom is alluring, but my goal of being a political science major and the positive influence from friends around me keeps me focused. At the beginning of the year, I created a list of all my major assignments due through out the term and I planned out when I would accomplish them. With a clear plan, I avoided late nights and panic when it came to studying for big exams or finishing term papers. University does not have to be insanely stressful; with a plan anything is manageable.

The transition from home was difficult, and sometimes the distance between Vancouver and Dublin still terrifies me. Fortunately, my adventures at UBC are my cure. Each day that I am in Vancouver, I am closer to the successes I dream of. Why not Canada?

At the Dublin High School 2013 Senior Awards Night Emily Morehead was awarded a Dublin High PFSO Scholarship, a GAEL Achievement Award for Dramatic Arts (with Ryan McRee), was named a California Scholarship Federation Life Member, earned a Gael Scholar and President’s Gold Award for Education Excellence and earned Dublin High School’s Advanced Scholar Diploma. Emily previously wrote about the University of British Columbia’s Jump Start program for international students.

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Other articles in the Life in College series:

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