Serendipity: P&C Tips For Surviving a Master’s Program Residency in Victoria

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
― Maya Angelou
{Esquimalt Lagoon}
Let me first say, I didn’t have high expectations for what my adventure in Victoria was going to be like. I was so excited about the learning opportunity but I was also anxiety ridden over being all the way in a different, unfamiliar world {even though I was still in Canada!} all by myself for 3 weeks & I honestly didn’t know what my experience would be like. Then, on the first day of class when I actually stepped foot onto the breathtaking RRU campus grounds and walked into my first lecture, the sky literally dazzled open and there was mostly sunshine for the rest of my time in Victoria. The experience truly felt serendipitous!
I never would have thought that I would have resonated so passionately with the curriculum or that I would have met such amazing people, as I did! The surreal, transformative and simply magical experience that I had in the past 3 weeks is priceless & I am going to really, really miss charming Victoria, the stunning RRU campus, and my cohort!
In saying all this, being homesick is inevitable & missing your everyday routine is expected, so here are MY tips for surviving a Master’s program residency in Victoria:
1. Since YOU chose to take on this learning experience, it’s your responsibility to embrace it {I mean fully!}. Look at it as an amazing opportunity that someone else would love to have, appreciate your position in all of this & embrace the good {meeting new people & learning} with the bad {the tireless readings & being away from home}. You have to shift your focus onto the positive!
2. Make your new home feel like home by personalizing it & making it as comfortable as possible, based on your lifestyle! I love candles, I love wine, I love Pellegrino with lemons, and I obsessively love lattés and so, I made sure I had all of these readily available, so it didn’t feel like I was giving up all my everyday indulgent pleasures just to be here. This may sound high maintenance, but it’s what I needed for my sanity! Be realistic with who you are & what your needs/wants are, so that your experience is that much better! Superwoman does not exist 😉
3. Rent a car during the weekends, so you can take a mental break from all the studying & explore the city you are in. Travelling is a privilege & uncovering hidden gems within different cities can be so refreshing & exciting! {If you can do a spa session, I highly recommend it as a way to rejuvenate!}
4. Seek out great places to eat so that you have options & again, so you don’t feel like you have to compromise what you enjoy by living on cafeteria food or mac and cheese! I am a foodie & I love great food always & I love to try new things! Ask locals for great eateries in the area & definitely indulge in local treasures.
5. Immerse yourself in the culture of your city & get to know it by engaging in conversation with locals. I love culture & I love to find out how people live & I have to say that this was the easiest thing for me to do because people in Victoria are so unbelievably warm, caring and attentive to your needs that it feels like you’re missing out when you compare it to the city you live in {sorry, Toronto!}. Honestly, you always feel like the city is wrapping their arms around you! Take advantage of this by giving back & you’ll find yourself in exceptionally rewarding circumstances.
6. Stay in touch with loved ones! This is a given & I couldn’t have gotten through all of this if I didn’t have an amazing support system!
♥ I hope you find some inspiration through my experience! Happy Sunday!
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