Near the end of this summer I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down and talk with one of my best friends and fellow blogger, Katie Broadhead (sarcasmandsentiments.com) and talk about school, church, growing up and other topics. I have divided this casual interview into two sections, the first part (this one) focuses on her adaptation from living at home and high school to living on her own and university. I hope that anyone that is starting their first year of university or just having that first experience away from home can take some of the wisdom Katie imparts and use it to help make these so very important years a little smoother.
Jon: Let’s start right at the beginning for context, what was it like to move away from home?
Katie: It was a weird mix, like you’re so excited, but also it’s hard. Especially growing up in such a small town, I’ve spent sixteen years in the same place, I’ve known the same people for sixteen years so there is a fear of just stepping off a cliff, so it’s this mix of being stressed and sad to leave, but also really excited about what university held.
Jon: Kind of this anxious excitement?
Katie: Yeah, like part of me was elated to be there and part of me just wanted to call my mom and go home. Like about the third week I thought to myself, “I’ve made a terrible mistake.”
Jon: I think everyone feels like that, and some people lean in on roommates then. Did you know your roommates before you lived with them and if so how well?
Katie: Not at all actually. Well one, I’ll use her name since she won’t mind but REDACTED is actually my cousin but we still didn’t know each other, like we facebook friends level, but I was looking for a place to stay and had looked at a few places and then saw her dad pasted on facebook that she was looking for a fourth girl for their apartment. It looked nice so I got in contact and it just ended up working out.
Jon: So how would you compare living with your roommates with living with your family?
Katie: You have to be on edge, Not like in a bad way, but like hyper aware of annoying things you do, cause with your family you just do whatever.
Jon:Because they’ll love you anyways.
Katie:Exactly, and I’m like kind of a messy person so I will kind of scatter things and so you don’t want to be “that” roommate because they suck. So you have to be more aware, but it wasn’t bad since we all ended up getting along really well.
Jon: So what helped you get comfortable with your roommates like that, like how did you all bond?
Katie: It was all of our first years away (from home) so we had that and it’s like, “I don’t know anyone but I know you a little bit.” So we would go out together and kind be each others core, like they became my “Edmonton Family.”
Jon: So you’re in Edmonton, meeting roommates and then next thing that happens is University starts, what was your first day like?
Katie: It was…. oh…. yeah well I had done orientation but the first day of classes I was just a ball of stress, like I had printed out my schedule and a copy on my phone just in case, cause I’m kind of a school nerd, like I set my backpack out the night before the first day, but university it’s like in your head it’s gonna be huge, I’m not gonna know anyone and that is pretty much true, and then I got lost, couldn’t find a majority of my classes, luckily I showed up two hours early to give myself time so I found them, but I really got a sense (in class) that is wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be, like you build it up in your head and then actually you’re like, “I can probably do this.” Except when you go to the wrong class and you have a moment of like what the heck! Then you switch and find your right one and it’s better after that.
Jon: So now I want to you to compare that first day of university to your first day in YSA/ (A congregation of Mormons that are all Young Single Adults, hence the name)
Katie: First YSA experience, was an FHE activity, where a group gathers and would like do an activity or play a game. That day we were playing ultimate frisbee, which is not how I wanted to enter the YSA scene because I’m not althetic and it’s like “great I’m gonna be that girl but luckily one of my roommates, REDACTED was like that too so we bonded over how we sucked at ultimate frisbee, but it was good, like I can’t speak highly enough of Edmonton YSA or my ward, Mill Creek. The amount of people who would offered us rides there, introduced themselves to us, and there was this weird house of guys that had us over for dinner, like that was probably the lowest point of YSA. (I would like to personally note that the end of this answer was absolutely dripping with sarcasm as the interviewee was referring to myself and my roommates, although maybe that is just what I wanted to hear.)
Jon: As I remember one person in that house orchestrated the whole thing and the rest of them just went along with it.
Katie: Yeah but once we got past that it was ok, we became friends with you all and it was very welcoming.
Jon: Plus there was one stud who happened to live there
Katie: *Laughs in my face*
Jon: Anyways, do you think your connection to your church helped with the transition form adolescence to adulthood?
Katie: Like religiously?
Jon: Like did having the church in your life help you deal with the added stresses?
Katie:Oh yeah, cause right away it’s actually one of the thigns I love about the church that wherever you go you have this sense of, You’re gonna know someone, and someone will talk to you. Like I don’t even know how I would have made friends without it. I didn’t really get to know classmates well, like I talked to them, but didn’t make friends. So yeah going to to church every week and activities where you get to know people your own age was super beneficial for me. It gives a platform to meet people.
Jon: Plus with that you always have something in common in a shared faith.
Katie Nods, yeah like you know some people will irk you but there’s still a connection.
Jon: Do you have tips for making friends in a new city?
Katie: It’s kind of ironic because I am not good at making friends. I think I’m crippled by where I grew up because you have the same friends your whole life. So my biggest worry about moving was whether I even knew how to make friends. I’m pretty shy and have a lot of social anxiety so that was a big thing for me to be able to expand my friend group, but I think the biggest thing is to have someone you’re comfortable with to go out with and maybe not a group, because then you get too comfortable and you click with your group and don’t meet new people, but one person you can go places with and meet new people while still feeling secure since you are not on your own.
Jon: So have a wingman?
Katie:Yeah, also just realize that everyone is probably just as terrified as you are? especially at university since I’m pretty sure everyone is unsure of themselves and just being nice to people goes a long way.
Jon: Moving beyond friends, your first year at university has midterms and other stresses, what would you say is the best way to cope with those stresses?
Katie: Well I’m a mega procrastinator so I have a lot of last-minute stresses. Umm… I guess the best way would be not procrastinating, but that’s been unreachable for me, I’ve found that past a certain point you just have to realize that me stressing our doesn’t changer the situation and it’s not making it better, so you just have to study and do everything you can and then just let things happen. Just like go on autopilot even.
Jon: What is something everyone should do in their first year in Edmonton?
Katie: I’m so bad at thinking of these things. I really like the open spaces like the legislature is awesome. Churchill square, places where you can just go hang out and enjoy being outside. If you’re there in the summer check out all the festivals. I spend a summer up there and it was awesome. Like people bag on the winters, but the summer is great.
Jon: I don;’t even necessarily think agree with the notion that the winters suck. I think the city comes alive.
Katie: True. Because they know it isn’t ideal so they get to have like the ice festival and yeah I like the Edmonton winter. Lots of festivals.
Jon: So check out open spaces and festivals?
Katie: Also Burito Libre, because it’s fantastic. It’s where I let myself celebrate. Like after my University orientation I didn’t think I could make it, it was super hot out, I was walking home and I needed to stop somewhere and get a drink cause I’m like gonna die here, went into Burito Libre, ordered myself food and somehow thought, “I can do this. I’m gonna be ok.”
Jon: So now I want to pull you back, if you could talk to yourself on your first day in Edmonton, what advice would you pass on?
Katie: Probably not to worry about figuring out who you are because that was a big thing for me, like dang I need to be my own person, it’s like this backpack of who you are. You carry it around your whole life and it’s always been the same and then you just dump it out on the table and you gotta organize, throw stuff out, add new things and it’s super confusing, but the biggest thing is just be comfortable not knowing everything in there.
Jon: The backpack will fill itself.
Jon:So were at the end I want to ask silly questions now. Three favorite movies of all time?
Katie:Jurassic Park obviously, I’m a huge Jurassic Park fan. I really like Harry Potter movies, also the Devil Wears Prada. Like I never get tired of that movie. It’s not that emotionally involved.
Jon: You can only pick one Harry Potter movie.
Katie: The last one then.
Jon: Mythical creature you’d keep as a pet?
Katie: Probably…. Chupacabra, just to say I know where it is, it’s in my backyard in the kennel.
Jon: Buddy cop duo with Jack Sparrow, Gimli, Neville Longbottom pre deathly hollows, Lando Calrissian or Hawkeye?
Katie: Gimli. I’d have his axe. He can carry me around he’s a stocky guy.
This is only half of my Interview with Katie, I’ll be posting the other half sometime this weekend where we discuss her Education and aspirations a bit more in depth. I really want to thank her for being so awesome to interview, she took very simple questions and gave great in depth answers to them and if you want to check out some of her writing, (Including an interview with yours truly.) head on over to sarcasmandsentiments.wordpress.com and check it out. It’s better than 99% of what I do anyways. Have a stellar day y’all.