We made it! And it's surreal.
Our bus arrived to campus late Monday afternoon to be greeted with a very warm (and very loud 😆) welcome from new our Vic House family. Since then, this has been only the second time I've been able to sit down for more than ten minutes! It's completely true that a day at Pearson feels more like a week in regular time because there's always so much to do, so many new people to meet, and so many experiences to make!
My first sunset at Pearson was spent dining outdoors 🍴 with my new housemates before lying out on the docks to watch the stars. It's remarkable how different the sky 🌠 can look depending on where you are and at Pearson it's breathtakingly beautiful. Never in my life have I seen so many. We even caught sight of some shooting stars and wild deer.
The first full day here was absolutely CRAZY in the best way possible. Friends from my home in Ontario have been asking about my time here and the best description so far has been "it's like summer camp in the movies". You know, the ones that are too good to actually exist in the real world.
We started bright and early with swim tests for first years, followed by bike tests, then bay jumping into the Pacific Ocean, then sailing over to Race Rocks , then meeting over 100 sea lions, then climbing a 160-year-old lighthouse, then watching humpback whales, then speeding back to campus, then having a Vic House meeting, and finally house bonding (both of which consisted mainly of hugs, snacks, and a very wide arrangement of tea- thanks Lucas). All in a days work lol.
Every year, a group of Pearson students train for the Race Rocks Challenge- a 6km swim in open water from Race Rocks back to campus.
Race Rocks is such a fascinating place it deserves a post entirely to itself. In short, it's an Ecological Reserve and lighthouse station that is home to countless species of wildlife and ocean life, including sea lions, elephant seals, bald eagles, and orcas! It's located 6km off the shores of Pedder Bay (our campus) and is currently being looked after by eco-guardians, Mara (Pearson College alum) & Kai who we had the pleasure to meet and spend time with. I'm blown away by the amount of history and culture tied to such a small piece of land and I hope I'll have the opportunity to spend a weekend at Race Rocks sometime this year.
Our second full day was a little less of a chaotic triathlon (aka less land-water-biking repeat lol) but equally as fun. Starting off with a campus tour, we were the first house to visit Chic Boutique 🛍, Pearson College's second-hand store filled with everything from stationary to clothing, raincoats, and boots. All the items are free of charge, as everything in the boutique was donated by students of previous years who chose to leave certain things behind for future Pearsonites.
In the afternoon, we took a short hike further in the woods to play a game of stealthy tag/hide-and-seek with Japan House. It was very intense and myself along with three others threw on swimsuits and jumped into the bay to cool off afterwards. We even saw a seal! I've always loved the water and living so near the ocean is a dream come true. If you're keeping track, I've gone swimming every day since arriving here and spoiler alert: I also take a dip in Matheson Lake on day three.
I rounded out the night with an evening of learning how to country/square dance 🤠out at the tennis courts before returning for some (totally spontaneous) room bonding with my roomies.
Speaking of which, I have the loveliest roommates, both of whom are second years from Japan and Afghanistan. We have so much in common and I'm looking forward to a great year with them! My last roommate will also be an international student (tbd) that we hope to meet in the weeks to come!!!
Day three (today!) included one of my favourite Pearson moments so far. A group of us went on a two-hour (one each way) morning hike 🥾 up to Cougar Ridge which offered stunning views of Matheson Lake and the forest. The photos do nothing to justify the captivating landscape! It was also a bit of a spontaneous trip and were told last minute (more like second lol) to grab a bathing suit if we wanted to swim around/across the lake. Absolutely no regrets, the water was so fresh and the view simply spectacular!
That takes us to the present. I'm currently in my room working on some math homework 📝 in preparation of classes tomorrow. It's been a crazy few days but I'm sure the immediate chaos will wear off as classes start. One thing I've noticed is that there is ALWAYS an activity going on at Pearson whether it be a game, hike, bay jump, or party, and it's up to us as students to prioritize our tasks and decide which events are worth going to. That's something I'll have to figure out more as I go, but I'm looking forward to all UWC has to offer!
Thanks for reading until the end! I'll see you in the next update :)
PPs. Thank you to all the lovely people who have reached out so far! It's incredibly gratifying (and equally as exciting!) to know that this mess of a blog has been helpful to some. I wish you all the best of luck with your applications : )
Until next time,