Sometimes at Quest you can get stuck inside the bubble of campus life. You can get so used to life inside this perfect little bubble that a week may pass, before you suddenly realize that you have not left the approximately 0.1km2 area that is the entirety of Quest’s hill top campus in all that time. This week for example, this was my case, except once to go on a run in the forest, and once for a class project to volunteer at Squamish ReBuild.
I am fortunate that my family lives in Vancouver, just an hour away from Quest. Therefore, when I sometimes have these moments and I feel like having a change of scenery, or not walking the same path up to the academic building/cafeteria and back to my room 5 to 10 times a day, I can make my way to the city for the weekend. Because I don’t own a car, I can either take the Greyhound bus (which by the way has less than an ideal schedule and perhaps is not worth the effort because they no longer offer discounted tickets to students…) or try to carpool with someone also heading to Vancouver, this is a popular Quest Student choice (we even have a Facebook page for it). And it’s great because I get to see my friends and family. Except that sometimes when I get to Vancouver, even though I grew up there for 19 years, I momentarily forget what the city is like after being at Quest for an extended period of time. I’ll get off the bus or be dropped off downtown, and it suddenly feels so strange to be walking around a busy city. “Why are there so many people I don’t recognize?!” then just “Why are there so many people?!” and “Why isn’t everyone saying hi to one another even if we don’t know each other?!” and “Why are people seemingly so unfriendly and are not waiting to open doors for each other?!” or even “Why do people not seem so happy?!”.
It’s crazy how different life can be in Quest’s pretty much perfect little bubble, something I was not aware of before coming to live in Squamish last year. I’ve always thought of myself as a city person, but I am slowly coming to enjoy and sometimes prefer living in a small community. Campus life in particular is so simple and I think some of the best things about Quest are the small things that are perhaps just unique to having a close small community, like being able to recognize everyone, and even if you’ve never talked saying hi to one another.