Since I started grad school, I’ve made a great group of friends in my cohort who have all collectively struggled with me in TAing undergrads, pushing deadlines for our own papers, applying (and getting rejected) from scholarship applications, finding the right supervisory committee to downright avoiding our own supervisors for fear of not having produced enough work. All the while we’ve all had to deal with life and that’s given us all a special bond this past year as we’ve developed and
figured out this tricky business of grad school. One of the things I made certain of in September was to make sure we all spent time hanging out with each other and coordinated a lot of social events ranging from hikes, snowshoeing, brunches at Urban Fare, dinner parties, study sessions, pub nights and marking groups where we could air our grievances. I knew these things would come to an end as we split off after the first year of mandatory course work. The first year was where we had the opportunity to see each other in classes on a weekly basis and now it’s come to an end. It was a moment in our lives that will never come back and I’ll never forget it.
One of the great things about grad school is that you’re alloted some funding to travel to present at conferences and so we generally pick a place we want to go, and apply to present at a conference there. The IAMCR in Dublin is one of the biggest conferences in critical communication scholarship and it drew a heavy roster of people from SFU including some of my friends. Sylvia, who’s in my cohort came for the conference where we shared a dorm and then went for another 5 days travelling on a bus tour around Ireland. The entire trip, conference and bus tour, was great but it was made great because of her upbeat and sassy personality. She was always ready with a funny-as-hell remark and I loved that we could talk about anything and shut off our brains from academic-y discussions which was what we needed after 4 days of intense conferencing.
Despite that, we still sat outside in this meadow and chatted the evening away because good company always trumps poor physical conditions. I would have been miserable and distracted with my allergies had it not been for her and I’m thankful for that.