On Holding On

After a wonderful week with an old friend, I’ve been thinking a lot about the transience of university life. My high school was quite small, and that meant that not many people came and went. Once you were accepted, you stayed until graduation. I grew up with the same friends, and we went through school together year after year. I never worried that any of them would move away, or drop out, or transfer. It was pretty much a given that our friend group was sticking together, at least until graduation.

University is an open door. There are so many options, and there’s really no right way to get your degree. Everyone is on a different track, and everyone has different lives, different priorities. In my first and second years I met people who would become some of my closest friends, but many of them have since moved on to different things, either graduating, transferring, moving home… whatever it was, it took them far away. Luckily we’re able to keep in touch, but its not the same as seeing them every day, or casually meeting for coffee or a movie. I suppose the upside is that we have friends all over the world, doing incredibly amazing things like backpacking across Asia, woofing in New Zealand, studying in Paris, or working for a beer company in Japan. But sometimes Kelly and I wish the world was smaller. Secretly we are greedy, and wish all our closest friends could live in the same city.

This week Reina flew all the way from Japan to visit, and we couldn’t have been happier. It was a truly amazing week. Instead of trying to do anything too touristy our week was filled with coffee dates and movie nights, and casual chit-chatting on the sofa until the early hours of the morning. The way she effortlessly fell back into our lives… it was like she had never left.

A glimpse at our week:

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Amazing wood fired pizza from Il Focolaio (we definitely recommend this place for any Montrealers out there). To walk off the pizza we decided to hike up the mountain, which is beautiful right now with the bright fall foliage.

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We came home and Reina presented us with a myriad of Kit Kat flavours.

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Flavours we tried: Pumpkin Pudding, Rum Raisin, Green Tea, Strawberry Milk, Cookies n Cream, Dark Chocolate, Lemon Cheesecake, Sweet Potato, and the loathsome Red Bean.

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Some of the Kit Kat included directions to bake them, which we tried. They turned into odd but delicious cookies! Most of them were amazing, and Kelly and I are seriously considering importing them to North American markets. We would make a fortune.

The next few days were a relaxing blur of food, movies, exploring, and talking. We saw The Martian, which we highly recommend, and spent hours exploring the Chapters bookstore for art prints, books, journals, and planners. On Wednesday we made Okonomiyaki, a savoury Japanese pancake that Reina introduced to us two years ago in a wacky night that solidified our friendship (recipe coming soon!)

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For our last night together we went to Dirty Dogs Poutine, and had mac n cheese poutine and amazing hotdogs. This post is making us seem extremely food focused… probably because we are.

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Reina’s flight was early Friday morning, so we decided to stay up with her to say goodbye (or at least Kelly did, I accidentally fell asleep at 3am, but it still counts).

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Overall, we had magnificent week. Saying goodbye was hard, especially considering we have no idea when we’ll see Reina again. But we all know we will see each other again.

Everyone has different paths and different priorities, and a large part of university is coping with that fact. The secret, though, is to not let go, and make good friends one of your priorities.

See you soon, Reina!

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