I remember the day I approached my first Plan 100 class: "Introduction to Planning". I was 18 years old, away from home for the first time and anxious to meet the Urban & Regional Planning classmates with whom I'd be spending the next four years. I took a seat in the back row. Introductions were made. Smiles exchanged. Connections established.
In that room, friendships were formed that continue to this day.
First year was a learning experience in more ways than one: Lecture Halls; Assignments; Mid-Terms; ES Socials; BE THERE OR BE SQUARE; Thursday night classes followed by pub nights at the C.C. and then seeing who made it to Friday's 8:30 a.m. classes.
We ordered SURP T-shirt for our year and wore them with pride.
Second year brought increased challenges but with more classes in which we found familiar faces. The ES Coffee Shop was the regular stop for coffee and bagels. Friendships grew, as did class spirit. We studied hard. We socialized a fair bit too.
Third year began with a field trip to Montreal; blurred memories of Olympic and historic sites mixed with punk bars and other Montreal highlights still bring a smile to my face. Through lectures, assignments and Plan 300 Group meetings we defined new meanings of 'community'. During the day, we often found ourselves in the Studio. The Studio was also the place for those dreaded all-nighters when group-work dead-lines arrived.
Finally, we made it to fourth year. We were working on our Senior Honours Essays, searching for jobs and promising to keep in touch.
Without social media, keeping in touch was more of a challenge than it is now. Thankfully, a couple classmates made the effort to organize 5th-year and 10th year reunions, both of which were well-attended. My sincere appreciation goes out to those who organized our previous reunions: the class trivia made us laugh; the softball game (private sector vs. public sector) was just competitive enough; great dinner conversation gave us the opportunity to catch up; commemorative t-shirts and mugs help us remember the events; as well as the all-important class photo on ES steps! How wonderful it was to see everyone who could attend and to plant a tree in memory of the one we had lost.
It is incredible that thirty years have passed since we left the University of Waterloo. The Alumni Affairs Department has been very helpful in organizing our 30th Reunion. Reunion weekend promises to be a great opportunity to reconnect, share old stories and photographs and meet the families. I'm hoping for a good turn-out. BE THERE OR BE SQUARE