A Letter From 36,000 ft.

Let’s get real for a few minutes, I knew that coming to Ryerson brought with it a number of commitments.
I’ve been taking planes for as early as I can remember – to Mexico with my parents or even quick flights to California with some friends. I’ve never really thought much of it up until recently.
In 2014-2015 I took somewhere between 20-30 flights to destinations around the world. To some that’s a low number, to others it’s unimaginable. Hours of my life have been spent sitting in these cheap and uncomfortable seats blasting through the air at 500 mph and 36,000 feet above sea level. One thing’s for sure, my frequent flyer miles have really been piling up quite nicely.
As I sit on my first flight of 2016 leaving from YVR to YYZ, I find myself in some state of reflection. Maybe it’s the vibrations echoing around my headphones because the wire is touching the wall of the plane, or the constant noise which fills the cabin of the plane. Maybe even the fact that the baby located two rows up has decided to stop crying for the past hour (bless). This flight for some reason or another reminds me of why I chose Ryerson. Why I would choose to fly from one side of the country to the other multiple times a year, just to torture myself through University. Why this is the life I choose to live.
It certainly wasn’t the first choice for my parents. What kind of a mom would want their child to be as far away from them as possible for the majority of the next four years? Not to mention the financial strain it would put on them. But they’ve always wanted the best for me, which is why I think I convinced them to let me do this thing. To be honest, I think it was as much of a learning curve for my parents as it is for myself. It definitely wasn’t easy for me either. I left my family and friends on the day of my first flight to Toronto knowing that when I returned home, nothing would be the same.
To me, it’s all about perspective. When I am in the air and back in Toronto, it’s as if my brain chemistry switches. I am in a state of excitement, wondering what the next semester will hold and what challenges I’ll face. I know that I will also have the capacity to take on any task which may come my way. When heading home to Vancouver, I feel warmth. I know my family and friends are awaiting my arrival. I know my brain can take a quick break from the demands of school, and that I can (try to) relax.
Find your journey. Whether it be through plane, train, car, or even a stroll through town, your pathway to Ryerson will help define the person you want to be during your time here. Ryerson is full of amazing possibilities. You won’t know it until you get here, but let me tell you it’s so worth it. It will fuel you everyday to wake up knowing that something out there is waiting for you. Know that should you find yourself accepted, it was for a reason. You belong at Ryerson, and no matter the journey, I can guarantee that with the right mindset it will all be worth it.
Judging by the patch of turbulence I just went through and the new found sweat on my palms, I promise you that the words I just said above are true.
Best of luck on your #RoadToRyerson, how ever that may be!
Shay Alford.
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