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  • Writer's pictureSarah Miles

Juss Dweet: Taking Advantage of Where You Live

Nah lie, I chat so much about taking advantage of your surroundings, but I haven't been doing that in Montreal.

At this point in my life, I'm in Montreal more than I'm in Jamaica- 75% of the year, to be exact. Don't get me wrong, I love Montreal but at times it can be hard for me to appreciate it because it's associated with my university experience. It becomes synonymous with my homesickness, the goodbyes. I have become lost in a routine and endless cycle.

This is exactly what happened back home in Jamaica. Yet the moment I left Jamaica, it was the only place I wanted to be. When you live somewhere, you often don't appreciate it and time slips out of your hands and is taken for granted. I don’t want to do that with Montreal.

I’m halfway through my university experience, and (not to be dramatic, guys) I’m starting to freak out. Not only because I’ll soon be in the 'real world' and life is going to come at me faster than I can ever image- but because I feel so robbed of my time. I've lived here for almost two years, and I don't even have a valid excuse for this loss of time. The experiences and memories I could've built during this time locking myself up in my apartment while there's a whole city just waiting to be explored.

I need to stop the buss ears, quit complaining, and really juss dweet.

The lookout at Mount Royal. A perfect view of downtown, and only hike you'll ever catch me do.

Montreal is that perfect blend between North American and European. The contrast between Downtown's high-rise buildings and Old Port's cobble-stoned streets. It’s a city that is so welcoming, and easy to navigate- apart from the French signage. Its city, lined with beautifully preserved historic colourful homes with spiral staircases, has some of the most delicious food and best views in the world.

So, why do I continuously make excuses and complain?

Yes, it’s really cold, and I miss the warmth of the Caribbean. Yes, often not speaking French can be a barrier in communication. Yes, I hate walking around alone, and feeling lonely. None of that matters, though. The problem is that I've gotten too comfortable with the things that wouldn't bother me if I was visiting a foreign country and limited of time.

I keep boosting myself to explore Jamaica, and try to find a new perspective in a space I'm so accustomed to. Montreal is my second home, and I may not live in the city following university, so why do I not have the same mindset as I do in Jamaica?

Time has flown by so quickly, and I don't want graduation day to arrive and I look back and wish I did more. I hope this serves as a learning lesson not only for me, but for you guys to get out of your comfort zone and be a tourist in your own environment. No more excuses. Montreal, I’m coming for you.


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