I’m almost done with my second week at McGill, and I can tell you I’m not enjoying myself. It’s not fair to just say this without recounting everything I’ve done (and haven’t done) since arriving at this university, so I thought I would do that here.
When I came to Montreal, I had two days before I moved in. My bags had been lost in the transfer between United Airlines and Air Canada. I also came down with a fairly bad cold that kept me in bed for two days. I do realize that this was in no way McGill’s fault, but I do believe that sometimes there are signs from the world that what you are doing is not what is for you. I couldn’t help but think about this idea as time edged closer to move in day.
Moving in and meeting my roommates was perfectly fine. My apartment is nice, my room is a good size, and the two other girls I am living with are kind, interesting, and good flatmates. So far, that aspect of university is the one I have been enjoying the most. Frosh (Canadian “orientation” events) started two days after I moved in. I got a sunburn on the first day and came down with yet another virus that evening. I was sick to my stomach for most of Frosh and didn’t participate.
To be honest, in a way, I am grateful that I fell ill. Frosh events ended up being a lot of drinking, drugs, and partying. By the end of it, all of the freshmen and Frosh leaders were hungover and had a head cold. All of the participants had decided to drink from each other’s glasses, hook up, and crowd themselves into very small places. They then spread this “Frosh Flu” to the rest of us. I have that flu right now, but I’ll come back to that.
Classes start. On my first day of classes, I was taking Legal Anthropology, Calculus A, Introduction to Philosophy, and Near Beginners French. I have since switched Calculus A for Introduction to Communication Studies because Calculus A had barely started and it was already keeping me up at night. Looking back on these past two weeks, calc was probably the only class I signed up for that made me feel like I was lost.
Maybe that was a good thing though. My anthropology lecture was 1.5 hours long and consisted of a lot of intuitive ideas about law that I already had a sense of. Philosophy started with the question of “do we have free will” with the basic argument. I will admit I was not aware of this specific argument, but I will also say that I don’t care. I can’t stand this philosophy class. It’s huge, I feel like I can’t speak, and it makes me miss Socratic seminars more than anything. I am desperately clinging to the online Socratic I do every Sunday to maintain my love of Philosophy.
French isn’t so bad. I do think that foreign languages may be one subject that I do well with in a classroom setting. In that class, we have 29 students instead of 300 and we have a workbook instead of a textbook. So, in essence, my favorite class so far is the one where I get to write and speak in a language that I am unfamiliar with. It also happens to be the smallest one I am a part of. Who would have guessed?
Now, I have the Frosh flu and I’m not allowed to miss class unless I have a doctors note. I hate to say it, but some of my high school classes were more interesting than what I’ve experienced so far. Everything else except the days I go to school and living by myself is almost exactly the same as high school. I miss Socratics, I’m already sick of being talked at, and I’m having a lot of trouble fitting into a social scene because I don’t want to drink.
I’m not happy. Not with my classes, not with my lifestyle, not with the culture of the school I chose. I’m feeling stuck. I’m not sure what to do about my unhappiness at this moment, but I know what I need to do about this cold. I’m going to rest and rest and rest. Hopefully, I won’t fail my classes in the process.