I am officially done with my freshman year of university and am currently working my way up as a sophomore! The sensation is rewarding but bizarre to say the least. In a moment, feelings of last year, of things I did at this time, and the people that I saw last immediately flood my mind. When people say that university flies by, boy, they weren't kidding! So, with the growth, maturation, and development I've encountered in nine months, let me share what I've learned and the epiphanies I've received since coming back home for the summer.
Let me begin by stating that high school is completely and totally over-rated. My apologies to those who laud high schools, the memories one is tied to, and the people you've encountered, but seriously, high school is only a precursor to the college life. Which, by the way, is far better than high school life. Not only do you get more freedom and liberty, but you are propelled in the real world and you have to put what you've learned in twelve years in practice. That is, assuming that you are not commuting from home. The things you learn in high school is minimal compared to the material presented in university academia, the people in high school are so utterly juvenile that likely, they are not going to be your friend for years to come (unfortunately), and being in the same town and place long after high school is draining to the human soul. How, you may ask, am I so certain of this? Well, all throughout senior year of high school, I wanted it all: the exams, the stress of applying to college, and prom. I honestly thought that that was all there was. I didn't care what university had if I couldn't experience the typical high school experience. Fast forward 365 days later, I've realized that high school is nothing but 4 years of a person's life, a chapter in one's story, but I digress when people say that it's the best 4 years of a person's life. It's just 4 years.
Being in Virginia for 9 months, living there for 3 more years for college, and possibly settling down there, I've adapted to the American way of life quite well. That being said, when I came back to Canada for the summer, I had a culture shock! You would think that I would experience one when I moved down there in August, but no, I had one when I relocated back to Canada for the summer. And trust me, that took me completely by surprise. I didn't expect it, and quite honestly, I surprised myself. The things I've seen, the things I've experienced, and the things I've tasted has given me somewhat of a baseline. One of the things that struck me immediately is that people in Barrie (my hometown)--men and women--dress laxly. They have a very sporty, laid back, and putting-no-effort-in-my-outfit attire. Women dress the same, like fashion sheep. They all wear the same sporty jacket with the yoga pants. There is no effort put in appearing put together and display carelessness towards their appearance. Men, on the other hand, have lost any respect I've had for them. (And I am referring to 13-21 year old guys.) They have the same shaggy hair, low-slung pants, skater shoes (which went out of style in 2008), and a hoodie. Gentlemen, I believe it's time that you took some fashion cues from the men from the South. They not only know how to dress, but also display respect in their appearance and comportment. On the same token, Canadian guys just don't have a charm. They dress the same and have no ambition or drive (or perhaps that just happens to be the case in my town?). Regardless, American men and women know that even if they're just going out to Target or Best Buy, they don't look as if they rolled out of bed and slapped some clothes on them. People don't judge you solely based on looks, but they do say a lot about the person. On the other hand, it truly is only a geographical nuisance. Had I live in Toronto or Vancouver or study in Quebec, that certainly would not be case. That only amplifies my decision that lest I decide to settle down in Canada after graduation, one of the places I would like to live is near Toronto and Quebec...but that's another post for another day.
Something that I took a deep and personal interest in when I first arrived is the spiritual temperature of Canadians. Now, I cannot and will not speak for the majority of Canadians, but I am referring to the people I know back home and the people I see, whether via Facebook or in my home church. Let me first say that people at Regent are a special group of people, but what they represent to me is that I am not the only person who believes in this or that in Christian theology. They exercise their dominion in the spiritual world, they do spiritual warfare, and they believe that Jesus Christ purchased healing, freedom, and prosperity on the cross. So that was reassuring to me, knowing that I am not crazy for believing in that and living it. So then why is it that the moment I come home, I feel out of my element? There is a spirit of apathy of Canada. People are very concerned what their peers think about themselves and do not live in the freedom Christ bought them. Also, very few operate in the supernatural realm. Maybe they speak in tongues, but do they receive visions, words, and grow slain in the spirit. Back at Regent, if you're feeling sick, people will lay hands on you and speak agains the illness or ailment. I would love to see that mentality back home, but sadly, it's rare, if existent at all.
This could be a representation of the people in the north (Canada and northern states), but this doesn't change what is true and a tangible reality. I'm not condemning what I see or the people I associate myself with; I'm simply making an observation based on what people say, do, and act. I sincerely hope that my observation isn't rigid and remains this way forever. However, just because people back home don't think the same way I do doesn't make me a freak. Back at school, this is the norm.