Twists and Turns in Montreal

            The week before coming to Montreal for this semester was like freshman year all over again. I am from New Jersey so going to Vermont for school seemed like a whole new world. There was all the same excitement and fear before coming to Montreal that I had leading up to my first semester at Champlain College. While packing for Montreal my head was all over the place trying to make lists of everything I needed and how much space I had in actuality to pack. I was also just so excited to be in a new place and be able to explore. In this excitement, my sense of organization seemed to go out the window and stay that way for the first couple of weeks while here.

           When arriving in Montreal there is so much to do and see it is a little hard to remember that you’re here for school. The orientation weekend is packed full of not only information about the housing and academic centers but also a good amount of exploration and fun. It’s a bit like diving into the deep end of a pool but in the best way possible. The staff here does such an amazing job making sure you’re getting ready for life in the city because a couple of days after arriving classes start. In retrospect, this is when I should have taken a few seconds to sit back and organize myself. For me, getting organized means writing out my schedule, important dates, and homework in my planner. However you get organized, I highly recommend getting started on day one. There is so much to do in the city but it is important to remember that there is plenty of time to do it all. It’s a lot better to get organized and realize that any plans can wait for another day rather than realizing when you get home that you have a quiz you forgot about. It’s unneeded stress that is easily avoidable.

Now that I’ve gotten organized and it’s a few weeks in, I have found the best balance between my internship, school, and fun. Since finding this balance I’ve been able to enjoy the exploration of the city so much more now that I know I am not forgetting about anything. This previous weekend I went out with a friend to find a vegan bakery that had been suggested to us and we stumbled upon the cutest neighborhood not far from the academic center with beautiful buildings, street art, and a beautiful park. What was supposed to be a quick outing turned into a whole afternoon of just wandering around and enjoying the refreshing sights of a new city. It can also be a bit overwhelming at times to know there is so much going on at all times especially if you’re from a smaller town like me. After class one afternoon a group of the class went to go grab dinner and stumbled upon a road that had been closed off for a street fair. There was music and vendors all along the street which lead to a few unplanned stops along the route to dinner meaning the night went longer than expected. At times like this, it is best to just sit back and take in as much as you can. Two of our more popular stops of the evening were a free sample of a Cheeto Puff that had been dry frozen and a stop to watch a group of people play a game of Just Dance in the middle of the street. The group of people playing Just Dance seemed to be a mix of other groups as some were in normal clothes and others were dressed in a range of costumes. The whole night was so much more than anyone had expected and it was all because we just decided to go with the flow of the city. Basically, my biggest lesson over the last few weeks has been to get yourself organized ahead of time so that when opportunities for exploration and fun occur, you’ll be ahead of the game and ready.

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