A lot of people ask me what it feels like to have an office based on University Grounds especially considering that I am quite a recent graduate myself. The most common question/ statement I get is ‘Ma, it’s almost like you haven’t even left University, istra!’.
Well actually working on campus is a confirmation that I am no longer in fact a student (even though I still often get mistaken for one), jokes apart, you really get to see the University in a whole new light.
The biggest difference, I must admit, comes in the time of summer. I remember in my first year of work with MUHC it was a shock how Campus life just switches off (except for the occasional event such as Evenings on Campus) and everywhere feels empty because I had gotten so used to students being the life of the University. Which brings me to this next blog post – being less than a month away from fresher’s week I thought I’d give you an insight into how life at the university changes during the summer months.
1) WE CAN ACTUALLY PARK ON CAMPUS
In winter I plan to leave home an hour before work in the hope of actually getting into the office on time. In summer this trip shortens down to a mere 15 minutes (I wish I was exaggerating here…). Ok maybe there is also less traffic on the roads but anyone who has ever been to university can understand how time consuming looking for parking is.
Even more frustrating is listening to your family or friends remind you about your special parking permit whenever you try to vent about how long it took you to find a free spot that morning – everyone has them…
2) THE JUICE BUG AND COFFEE TRUCK CLOSE
If you are a huge coffee fan like myself then this is the first thing you will notice come summer. I know there are vending machines and the canteen but it’s just so handy to pick up a cuppa on the way up to the office straight from the quadrangle.
You also get used to that smell of freshly ground coffee beans on your walk into work so for someone like myself even the air smells different (ok I may be being a bit dramatic here but I really do love my coffee). And if that wasn’t bad enough, I can’t even go next door and get a smoothie because they are also closed for the holidays.
3) EVERYWHERE JUST SEEMS EMPTY
I think this song is the perfect description of Campus life in Summer – it literally feels like a Ghost Town.
Even though I do enjoy some peace and quiet, summer time on campus can be quite lonely. A lot of university employees work till around 1.30pm so afternoons are even more solitary. The shops close, the corridors are empty and even our building locks so unless you have a special tag you can’t get in (I’ve gotten locked out a couple of times….)
4) THERE’S A SUDDEN SURGE OF KIDS ON THE WAY INTO WORK
When you think of Universities the last thing you expect to see are young children but for us this is the contrary. Over the summer months, the hustle and bustle of students frantically trying to get to lectures on time is replaced by all the children forming part of the University’s Summer School ‘Kids on Campus’.
They may be younger but the atmosphere is just as hectic with parents who are worried about being late for work.
BONUS: A SUDDEN INCREASE IN CATS?
If you are a cat lover then you’ve definitely noticed the large number of them that live on Campus. With an over abundance of food and great shelter as well as many feline lovers, University grounds can be considered a Cat Haven.
Now maybe this is just me but for some reason the cats seem to stand out more in summer? Could it be the lack of students that makes them seem larger in number or maybe they actually do call on their cat relatives… this will forever remain a mystery to me.
In retrospect, I personally enjoy this massive contrast between Summer and Winter on Campus as I get to live on both sides of the fence. Students definitely do bring colour to the University but it is also great to appreciate the more harmonious side to the grounds over Summer.