By Minouka – 1st year student
My name is Minouka and I am a first year student at Quest. Whilst coming up with ideas for a blog post, I thought it would be a good idea to tell you a little bit about what you need to know to survive here (aka, how to prepare for your life at Quest University)!
“Coffee, lots of tea and lots of water”
I was never really a drinker. By that I mean, I didn’t drink enough water. Coming to Quest, one thing I noticed is that people do drink a lot. Everyone carries their mugs, water bottles or thermos with them and that is not just because their bottles have a cool design. Drinking water, coffee (in moderation of course) and tea is actually benificial and it helps to overcome tiredness and helps keeps your head clear. This is important, especially when you have 50 pages of philosophy reading due the next day and your mind is not really functioning anymore. Luckily, Quest is aware of this and we have a small cafe on campus that you can always go to to fill your bottles. Jen, who you can see in the picture below is always ready to help you pick from our selection of drinks and whilst you are at it, you can also buy some pastries and other snacks to make your day even better.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help”
There have been times when I was sitting in a class and it seemed as if everyone understood what was going on but I was very lost. I couldn’t keep up with the conversation, I didn’t understand the readings, nor was I able to write a 1000 word essay on a topic that was way over my head. Luckily, Quest has great services that have helped me. We have something that is called the “Learning Commons”, a place where students who have taken the same course (or similar) make themselves available to help you. They can either read over your essays or help you with questions about readings and much more. Because there is no stigma around it and everyone is extremely approachable, I was not afraid to take the step to seek help. And up until now, whenever I have an essay due that I am very confused about, I seek help. This does not only improve my quality of work but it also has a positive effect on my self-esteem.
“Packing for CANADA?”
Welcome to Canada! The country of cold, rain and an actual winter! Although, I knew all of this, while packing my suitcase, I somehow thought it wasn’t important to pack proper rain and winter gear. And there I was in the middle of November, running around campus in my sneakers even though, it was almost freezing outside. This obviously resulted in frozen toes and the urgent need to go winter shopping. So, although winters are fun and you can go skiing in Whistler, make snowman’s and go on long hikes through our beautiful forests, none of these things are not much fun if you haven’t wrapped yourself with warm winter clothing. Therefore, in order to survive a winter at Quest, pack the following: a rain jacket, sweaters, winter/rain boots, gloves and a toque.
“Using Quest Resources”
Academics at Quest are intriguing but they can also be challenging and require a lot of energy. On top of that, adjusting to a new community, living with roommates and being away from home is not easy. Speaking from personal experience, I want to remind you all how important it is to take some time to socialise, exercise and/or be by yourself. Apart from the surrounding beautiful nature you can escape to whenever things are getting too much, Quest has great resources that you can use too. We have an Arts and Music rooms that are open for use, a climbing, weight and cardio gym and there are many clubs that you can become part of, such as “knitting with old people”, playing volleyball or doing yoga after class. Furthermore, on some weekends there are some bigger events being organised by Quest, in December we had Polaris (a festive dinner between Faculty and Students) and we also had a Drag show organised by our own students that was absolutely beautiful.
“Living with roommates”
In terms of the living situation on campus, Quest offers single dorm rooms and 4 person dorms. This means that you will share bed and bathroom with another person and the living room with 2 other people (total 4 people in a room). I call myself incredibly lucky to live with 3 roommates, who literally have become my best-friends. We laugh together, help each other with homework, make dinners and go to work-out sessions at 7 am in the morning. Whenever someone is not feeling well, we respect this and offer support or leave them to have some time alone. However, as wonderful as all of this is, it doesn’t always work out this way. Sometimes you don’t get along as well as you had hoped because you are two completely different people with different interests and living styles. And then there is of course, the issue with who is responsible for the dishes and taking out the trash. It sounds simple but it can become a problem. My tip for you is to always, always communicate! Put up a monthly calendar with roommate tasks and ASK if everyone is okay with throwing a party in their room or inviting someone over. It will make your living space feel a lot more comfortable.