This month has begun the firsts of the lasts. Quest has several traditions, many of which are changing as the school grows and the population shifts. Since my first year, I have helped out with every orientation, Adventure Pursuits (the team-building and “rite-of-passage” of all students first class at Quest), and Cornerstone dinners (upper years mingling with first years at a dinner hosted by our Dean of Students in September). These traditions I love. I look forward to my last Green & Silver (the welcome back dance) and Questival (the formal end of the semester event).
Every year we create new traditions and lose some of our old ones. We no longer have the ninja fort that was a hidden jewel in the woods. Our classy wine and cheese every second Thursday has become too big to fit into the residence rooms. There are other changes too. We now have a Hullaballoo event to welcome all students back to campus that includes live music and socializing. We have a Community Educators Program, which is a group of students trained through a class to design and facilitate workshops for the student body on issues including oppression, eating disorders, and mental health. We (almost) have an official rugby team.
This year I’m a floor representative, which means I am part of the residence council and have a floor of students that I ensure are doing well by checking in on them and hosting community events. I’m working on my keystone project, which is designing, facilitating, and evaluating a group of Quest students through workshops around self and group identity explorations and expressions.
I feel that I have “Quested” well. I transferred from another school, designed my Question (What conditions optimize a sense of belonging?), finished my Touchstones, created an independent study, worked on Keystone over the summer of my third year, went on Exchange, completed Experiential Learning, learnt a language abroad, served on the Student Representative Council and Residence Council, worked for the Academic Building and Admissions, got a ski pass, participated in “Toonie Tuesday,” “Half-Price Pizza,” and met fellow Questies in almost all of the coffee shops and restaurants in town, formed my own club that I ran in first, second, and third year, took Summer blocks, and completed all but one of my Foundation courses in my first three years.
I’m not sure what I’ll leave behind when I leave Quest. I know the mountain range that surrounds us will always have a piece of my heart and I will carry the sense of worth I found here with me wherever I go. The people I met will always shape who I am and the class discussions will always shape the way I think. But I think what I’ve learnt about traditions is that they should be adaptable for environmental fluctuations. Traditions are started by groups of individuals. Even the biggest footprints of individuals within communities eventually wash away with the rains and changing seasons and that is how it’s meant to be. I’ll cry many tears when it comes time to leave Quest, but I am happy to have been one of the drops of water in the sea of Quest students these past three years and I’m excited to see where the river takes me next.
I’m looking forward to all of my lasts at Quest and all my firsts afterwards. As for traditions, I hope to help create some new ones on my way out.
one of the beautiful decorations on one of the doors in my hallway.