The Adjustment Not Only to Acadia but to the Hill

By Rachel Sparling

The personal adjustment to university and what we should expect from it has been pounded into our grade twelve brains again and again. We’ve all come to experience this new chapter of our lives from different variations of small towns and big cities, but none of us has known anything like Wolfville, or further, like Acadia University.

Not long after you’ve moved in, the exploration of your new home with your new housemates begins. Main Street has so much to offer for not being very long in distance. There is everything you could ever need literally between the Clayground paint-your-own pottery and the Library Pub.

On your way back to campus, it is impossible to ignore the charm of the home you’ve chosen for yourself for the next few years. Your senses are overwhelmed by the beauty of the lush, green grass stretching far ahead toward the carefully crafted stonework of University Hall. The huge, strong trees stand tall with the university. They look as though they’ve been there the entire 175 years; if only they could tell of the things they’ve seen.

Taking those first few uphill steps back to residence seem harmless. Light, excited babble bounce around you and your fellow innocent first-year friends. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, that Annapolis Valley sun feels ten times stronger than it just was. Heat mirages rise up from the pavement. You start sweating, quickly swiping at your beading hairline, hoping your friends don’t notice – but the secret is, they’re all feeling the struggle too. Your calves start burning in a way you didn’t imagine was possible this far away from a treadmill. It doesn’t take too long before that excited babble falls to a hush because now you’re all struggling to get air stealthily into your lungs without doing that embarrassing gasp.

Remember how beautiful campus was from Main Street? Well, every Acadia student can testify that the campus is a first-hand experience of beauty disguised as evil.

The top of the hill is so close now, and you can’t ignore the silence between the laboured breath of you and your friends alike. You don’t want to be the first one to admit this hill just might be the death of you. Inside though, you’re all thinking the same thing, I promise: How the hell am I going to manage to make my way up and down this thing for the next four years?!

I hate to be the one to break it, but we think this hill is monstrous now? Wait until new elements are added to the equation. Winter is coming Axemen and Axewomen, and with it is coming layers of ice.

When you and your buddies finally get to the top of the hill it’s all you can do not to double over and pant like a racing greyhound. Just when you’re wondering if you’re going to be the one to admit that you almost lost your life in that uphill battle, one of your friends nonchalantly pipes, “That’s a bit of a trek, eh?”

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