This is the second piece in a series of three, highlighting Revilla’s experiences of being a student from abroad.
People usually say that time flies when you’re enjoying yourself, but St. Catharines seems to produce the opposite effect. This doesn’t mean that I’ve had a bad time living here. On the contrary, there’s something about the calmness and relaxed pace lifestyle which I utterly enjoy. I appreciate the way time appears to stand still and the hours stretch out endlessly.
Looking back at the time that I’ve spent and the one that is yet to come, I can’t help but reflect on what I have experienced abroad and how I will spend my remaining weeks in the Niagara Region.
Time for studying. The main reason I’m here is Brock University. Despite having dedicated most of my time stressing out, reading book after book, and staring at the computer screen waiting for inspiration to write, the hours spent in the University were also hours spent having fun. There is always some event going on. Whether it is a free breakfast, a games night, a stroll around the trails or a campfire, these activities are worth every minute.
Time to get involved. For me, time well spent is time dedicated to diverse activities from knitting winter hats to playing language games at the Brock French Club. I’m also surprised and grateful for the amount of volunteer opportunities at Brock and in the community. Being involved has definitely made me feel part of this city.
Time and the city. For those who don’t know me, I have a terrible sense of direction. I couldn’t read a map if my life depended on it, and I get distracted as I walk, which means that I usually get lost making my way back. But none of this matters because wandering around the region is like stepping from one world to another. In a matter of seconds, you are either immerged in a forest or walking along the highways. By car or bus, the distances are short. I spend less time in the journey and more time actually being where I want. I probably hadn’t reflected on this enough, but it makes a huge difference on how you live out each day. The short distances have allowed me to distribute my time in various ways.
(Not always) on time. Despite being a small place (compared to Mexico City), walking in St. Catharines may also take forever. Sometimes, it seems like the sidewalks extend beyond sight as I make my way towards a particular place. In Canada, it’s no surprise that everything occurs with such a precision of time. Buses arrive at the expected hour and events begin when they’re supposed to. Learning to adapt is not always easy and I’ve had to miss the bus more than once.
Time after time. There are certain activities in the region that I never get tired of doing. Visiting Niagara Falls is one of them. I’ve seen them in all the seasons, times of day, from different angles, and each time feels likes the first. The thunder-like noise, the powerful force of the water, and the different colours of the daylight and nightlight take my breath away.
Time that remains. Now that I’m experiencing the fourth and warmest season of the year, I’m also living the last and friendliest moments. I have a bucket list of things to discover, to see, to eat, to try, to visit, to repeat, and to enjoy before leaving. Luckily, St. Catharines is generous with its time.
Sarah Revilla is a Masters Student at Brock University from Mexico enjoying her last summer in Niagara.