McGill, Montreal: End of semester 1

I am currently sat in New York City for winter vacation writing this, feeling very ‘Sex and the City’. My first semester at McGill has been, truthfully, exhausting. The constant French is often overwhelming, the learning style at McGill is very different to Edinburgh and having to settle into a new place, making the most of every opportunity thrown your way whilst trying to complete your third year studies is something I have found hard. That being said, I remember thinking to myself at the beginning of the semester at the time when I was finding the move to this city the most challenging, ‘Ugh I really want to fall in love with this place, but it isn’t making it easy for me’. Well… I did fall in love with it, and it’s brilliant. Montreal is one of those cities that you can never be bored in. I have felt every other emotion, but never bored. There is something to do every weekend- be it fireworks at the Old Port, Snowboarding competitions, Apple Picking trips… the list is boundless. It is a city that embraces every season, but especially winter! I was so scared about the snow moving to Canada. The first time it snowed I wanted to cry, I thought ‘nooo it can’t start snowing now, it won’t stop until March. 5 MONTHS OF SNOW. I’m leaving’. But then that first snow melted and when winter started properly in December it wasn’t that scary, in fact I found it to be a lot much fun. Running on Mont Royal (a small hill on the island) in 2 feet of snow and falling face first into snow drifts I have discovered is a beautiful break from revision. It is like living in a winter wonderland: the huge snow flakes, trees pure white from the snow and icicles hanging from the windows. It is without doubt the prettiest setting I have ever taken an exam in!
I am incredibly excited for next semester. I feel more prepared for the work load and while I have to be realistic about how utterly horrendous the weather will become (-20 degrees C is never going to be pleasant, under any circumstances. Unless you have recently been trapped in an oven or something. But even then I doubt it), I cannot wait for all of the winter activities. I am dying to do more snowboarding, try ice-climbing, go dog-sledging, ice-skating, watch some live ice hockey games… Needless to say my bucket list is fairly long. Yes, Montreal, Canada, they know how to do winter. My next blog will probably be a 1000 word rant while I rage about why and how anyone is expected to live in this specifically extremely cold hell, but right now I can’t wait. I think I ended my last blog like this, but it is just so fitting and will probably be my catch phrase for my year in Canada: Bring it on.

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