Student Voices: 50 Shades of the U of A | Work of Arts
Student Voices: 50 Shades of the U of A | Work of Arts

Student Voices: 50 Shades of the U of A

Before 4th-year student Ashton Mucha leaves for a study abroad semester in Australia, she counts down the 50 things she loves and will miss about the University of Alberta

Student Voices is a WOA blog feature that presents the experiences and point of views of current Arts students around campus. Get to know our creative and passionate students through their “voices” and get a snapshot of life as an Arts undergrad. The views and opinions expressed within these student voices posts are solely those of the author.

Some of you may or may not know that I am participating in an exchange to Australia for the winter term (technically their fall term). While there, I’ll be thinking of you all back home, shoveling your driveways and skating across campus while I study Australian Literature on a beach. (This is the part where I tell you my residence is 10 minutes from the beach and it doesn’t get much colder than 15 degrees Celsius).

If you’re keeping track, yes, that means I’ll be finishing my undergraduate degree in Sydney. So, since I am now officially finished school at the University of Alberta campus, I thought I would reflect on some of my favourite memories of life at the U of A and provide a list of common things that people may miss about university, as well as some of the more unconventional things that I will miss on campus:

  1. outside (1)I’ll miss the Beer Gardens during Week of Welcome.
  2. I’ll miss eagerly searching for classrooms and meeting professors on the first days of a new semester.
  3. I’ll miss the hour lineups in the University Bookstore during that first week.
  4. I’ll miss the panic of not having my textbooks in the first week because I decided to forgo purchasing them in order to avoid the chaos and lineups.
  5. I’ll miss spotting obvious first-years and reflecting on how I used to be one of them. Then I’ll miss assisting them, of course.
  6. I’ll miss the free swag.
  7. I’ll miss the faculty cheers.
  8. I’ll miss using every building acronym in one sentence because I can.
  9. I’ll miss studying outside in autumn and going out of my way to stay inside during the winter.
  10. I’ll miss the Second Cup lineups in Tory and the Starbucks lineups in CCIS, Cameron and ECHA.
  11. I’ll miss the creative interpretations of my name that the baristas print on my cup.
  12. I’ll miss carrying trays of drinks into a seminar room in ECHA during finals, just for myself because it’s important to hydrate when you’re studying.
  13. I’ll miss ordering Earls to-go on the phone and walking over to pick it up.
  14. I’ll miss Beez.
  15. I’ll miss the smell of Subway in HUB.
  16. And New York Fries.
  17. And Cookies by George.
  18. I’ll miss seeing people walk around HUB in shorts and bare feet in the middle of winter.
  19. I’ll miss seeing stuffed pandas and stacked juice containers in the windows of the HUB residences.
  20. I’ll miss getting lost in the Biological Sciences building.
  21. I’ll miss the foul smell as I walked past the Biological Sciences building.
  22. I’ll miss skating across campus like Bambi on ice, nearly falling if it weren’t for the frantic waving of my arms.
  23. I’ll miss never having a reason to enter the Engineering buildings.
  24. I’ll miss having classes in buildings that they don’t belong in. (Like Linguistics in the Computing Science building, or Existentialism in Microbiology).
  25. I’ll miss the Librarians at Rutherford North who probably won’t miss me.
  26. I’ll miss waiting for Interlibrary loans.
  27. I’ll miss receiving stacks of books on hold under “M.”
  28. I’ll miss lugging those stacks of books across campus.
  29. I’ll miss having a locker for no other reason than storing my coat.
  30. starbucksI’ll miss being kicked out of libraries when they’re closing.
  31. I’ll specifically miss “the library will be closing in fifteen minutes” announcement in MedSci.
  32. I’ll miss trying to find parking in Windsor when my class starts at 11:00.
  33. I’ll miss the ten minute walk from Windsor to Humanities while I climb multiple stairs and lug textbooks and a laptop on my back.
  34. I’ll miss getting to class with a minute to spare, exhausted, sweating and in dire need of caffeine.
  35. And when I’m running late and don’t have enough time to park at Windsor and walk to Humanities, I’ll miss parking at the meters along Saskatchewan drive for $3.50 an hour.
  36. I’ll miss when the IT guy interrupts our class (providing us with a convenient break) in order to make PowerPoint work again. Yes, you with the beard.
  37. I’ll miss the fire drills where no one has any idea of where they’re supposed to go.
  38. I’ll miss the moment of contemplation between professor and students when we try to figure out if the fire alarm is just going off to test the system, if it’s an actual drill, or if there is, in fact, a fire.
  39. I’ll miss Convocation Hall, just because it’s pretty.
  40. I’ll miss feeling like a sardine as I cram onto the LRT.
  41. I’ll miss when I’m super stressed, dazed and confused, and get onto the wrong LRT. (Guess I’m going to the North side now — brace yourself).
  42. I’ll miss the LRT escalators always being broken.
  43. I’ll miss always being the last student to finish filling out course evaluations.
  44. I’ll even miss those people who watch movies in the library.
  45. And those of you who always talk on the quiet and silent floors.
  46. I’ll miss random photo ops for dolled up Business Students in Tory, as I walked past them in sweatpants and a hoodie.
  47. I’ll miss canceled classes.
  48. I’ll miss participation marks.
  49. I’ll miss never having to write another final exam in the Butterdome since first year Economics.
  50. I’ll miss Humanities, Rutherford and all of the U of A because it’s my second home.

There you have it. If there are some things on this list that you haven’t already experienced, then I encourage you to try them before your degree is complete. So grab a poutine from New York Fries, buy a Starbucks coffee, call the IT guy and roam around BioSci while you can.

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About Ashton Mucha

Ashton Mucha

I'm Ashton Mucha, and I'm in my fourth and final year of my undergraduate degree with major in English and a minor in Philosophy. I am fortunate enough to have been attending the University of Alberta for the entirety of my university career, and I'm looking forward to potentially continuing my education at the U of A in the English graduate program. I love being involved with and taking advantage of the various opportunities and events that UAlberta has to offer. I recently volunteered as an orientation leader for transfer and mature students entering the University of Alberta for Fall 2014. I can confidently say that I am proud to be a UAlberta student, so I was very pleased to show the new students around our beautiful campus and give them any information or advice for their first year. Thanks to the Education Abroad program, I will be finishing the remainder of my final year and the winter semester (yes, I get to skip the snow) at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. I'm interested in learning about Australian literature and comparing it to the types of Canadian, American and British literature that I have learned about over the past few years!