My third term at UW is coming to an end. Classes are all over and I have to say this is the best term at waterloo yet. Okay, so I got hit by a car while following a friend jay walking across a road (though I only got banged up and am okay now and the driver was sympathetic and had doctors check me out at the scene!) and then had my bicycle stolen (two events that I’ll elaborate on in my next post), but so far I have to say this is the best term yet. My classes all went really well and the studying for my exams is great. I’ve stopped counting on people to be close friends with and in particular to stop pursuing the goal of getting a girlfriend directly. Indeed, I think having achieved this makes me appreciate the time I spend with people all the more and I’m making connections that are at least as good as the ones I had at Acadia. I’m getting to know more people and more generally I’m finding my comfort zone and place in waterloo.
The probationary period that I’m on so that I could take undergraduate courses has really helped with this and not just because it has helped prepare me academically wise. While there was no question that the undergraduate courses I took were very challenging, I saw a lot of the material before. It has made the transition from my undergrad university Acadia to Waterloo all the more easier since I was glad to have those similarities between the two universities despite how one is obviously a lot bigger than the other.
In fact, I’m beginning to get even more comfortable at Waterloo than I was at Acadia. Of course one of the reasons why this is has to do with not trying so hard to get friends and how my personal outlook has changed a lot. But there is also the difference between the two school as well. At waterloo I’m associated with a lot more math students who most include students interested in pure math like me, while I was pretty much the only one at Acadia. Last fall, I didn’t really have the chance to appreciate this difference because of the difficult time I had with the workload, but now that I’ve taken it as my own pace and have known the students for a year I really like being surrounded by others interested in pure math.
I’m starting to socialise more with them bit by bit. We’ve been out for coffee, been to a bar at least a couple of times, thrown a Frisbee around, and even pulled an all-nighter, partying with a few of them. I’ve also pulled another all-nighter with three undergraduate math students working on an assignment in a graduate course I’m taking. It was actually fun (as opposed to being a complete nightmare when I did the same last fall). This doesn’t mean that I regret going to Acadia as opposed to Waterloo for my undergrad. Acadia gave me a lot of individual attention because of its small size that waterloo would in no way have given me (not to mention Acadia was in a really nice setting).
It’s not just the math students that I’m socialising more with either. I’m also starting a writing group this coming fall and have found four other students interested. I’m thinking of emailing the English department in September to see if any of their students are also interested. It may have taken a year, but I truly feel I’m fully adjusted now.