I’m thankful for

Thanksgiving is the first time in the school year where we finally get a break from the hectic university life. For those who live on residence, this is an opportunity to visit home and see loved ones. Inevitably, we all have a person, place, or thing that we miss back home. We asked a few first-year photography students living away from home to document who, or what, they were most thankful to see during reading week.

Bryce Julien, 18, Fonthill, Ont.

Bryce Julien - Lexie My Dog

Being able to go to the school of your choice, for the program you always aspired to be in, is an amazing feeling. However, being away from home can distance you from important or cherished parts of your life; for me one of those things is my dog, Lexie. Although I am glad to be done with high school, I do miss coming home everyday and having my dog come barrelling down the hall to see me before I even have a chance to get my shoes off. Always eager to see everyone, Lexie is quite a social animal, one that loves (mostly human) attention, and is quite playful too. She has been a part of my life for almost nine years now; growing up with her by my side has only added to the importance she plays in it. Coming home to see her after being away for seven weeks was quite the reunion; unfortunately, I will have to say goodbye as I return to school, waiting impatiently for the winter holidays.

Ankit Singh, 19, Mississauga, Ont.

Ankit Singh - Ms. Urquhart

I don’t live in residence, but this reading week gave me time off to visit someone whom I’ve missed and have wanted to catch up with for some time. With the amount of work that I have to deal with everyday, it’s been a big change from high school. The biggest change for me has been the teachers that educate me everyday. Ms. Urquhart is a teacher who’s become a part of my life for the past four years, teaching me a handful of what I know about visual design, publishing, photography, and art. Having her as my digital media teacher and the yearbook advisor has enabled me to work to where I am right now. She constantly pushed me throughout my entire high school career to be able to produce the work that I can now. Everything that I learned from her can be seen consistently in my work. She was one of the first to see the talent in me, and I will never forget her for helping me reach this point in my creativity and technical knowledge. I was really glad to catch up with Ms. U during the reading week break. It’s been a pleasure telling her about all my experiences at Ryerson up until now.

Sara Layton, 18, London, Ont.

Sara Layton - Painted in the Paddock

Living in residence in Toronto is a totally new experience for a “wannabe” country girl like myself. The air feels different on your face as you walk down the street to class. The constant beeps, sirens, and noises are absorbed by you as you wait for the light to turn to cross the street. When you wake up in the morning, you find yourself alone in a rather small room that you will call your “home” for the next eight months. There is no one to tell you no, or what to have for breakfast. The decisions are yours. What are you going to make of the day?

Now don’t get me wrong, the change is nice. I like the adventure of being on my own, and having my own experiences as a young woman. But I do miss things from home. Of course, I do. I miss the feeling that my family is always there — now they are there for me two and half hours away. I miss the goodnight hugs from my little sisters, and my wakeup call from my cat at 7 a.m. But what I miss most of all, is the freedom that comes to me when I leave the city and drive to the farm with my Popa. I miss the way the gravel sounds under the tires, and the way the country air smells in the summer months. What I miss most of all about the farm is the unending bond between the horses and me. It’s a different kind of freedom. A different kind of decision making. A different kind of choice. And a different kind of love.

Holly Thompson, 18, Sydenham, Ont.

Holly Thompson - The Not-So-Little Girl

When I first left for school I thought being on my own would be easy, and it was for the most part. Like most students, I missed my mom and my dad, my siblings, my home, and the town in which I once resided. But one of the most prominent struggles I faced was no longer having the opportunity to see my two-year-old niece as often as I once did. Visiting home this Thanksgiving made me realize how much a little human being, like Èmilie, can impact and have such importance in someone’s life. There was nothing like seeing her glowing face come running into my arms when I arrived home. Her speech had improved drastically, and her little gapped baby teeth were beginning to fill in. I missed her adorable over-sized cheeks. I missed her giggles, and her smile. I missed her big blue eyes. But, above all, I missed the overload of happiness her presence gave off to everyone she comes in contact with. I have missed, and I will always miss, watching her grow up day-by-day into the not-so-little girl she has become.