By Laura Reilly (EGPR ’18)
Back in Burlington, receiving Facebook invites for RA events as a Junior isn’t as exciting as they were in the first year of college. Admittedly, while making paper cranes in the common room with some friends is stress relieving, it isn’t exactly something you’d look forward to all week (or maybe it is, if you’re really devoted to paper cranes). In Montreal, those Facebook invites are something to get excited about. From the pub crawl during Orientation Weekend to traveling to the top of Mont Royal, the RA’s and staff here have got it down. In such a busy city with so much to do, how can you pass up any opportunity?
Last weekend our RA’s Matt, Haley, and Natalie brought us up to Mont Royal Park, where the group Les amis de la montagne (The Friends of the Mountain) offers any winter activity you can think of. From snowshoeing or cross country skiing to ice skating, rentals for equipment is affordable and the park is open all day!
Getting to Mont Royal was a piece of cake. The RA’s gave us all free metro/bus passes for the trip, and in no time we were there. They covered the cost of rentals for ice skates and we all spent the day falling on ice and getting one-upped by children who didn’t even wince when they fell. The rink was large and circled around some benches, which is where a lot of us sat around when we wanted to take a break from embarrassing ourselves. A few of us raced to see who could skate around the rink the fastest, and when I say fastest I mean without completely wiping out.
After we returned our skates, a few groups went to go hike up to the top of Mont Royal to see the beautiful view, while others decided it was time to go back to the residences and make some hot chocolate. Getting back home from the park was even easier than getting there. The RA’s were also super helpful in navigating and making sure we all knew what was going on, too. On the way home we decided that we’re definitely coming back to the park, whether it’s an event or not. There were so many different options for activities there that you simply can’t just go once.
The events that the staff set up for us here are chances that aren’t to be passed down. What better way to go explore the city and do fun things not only for free, but with people that are just as excited as you? No matter how much schoolwork I have, it’s worth it to go out and do something that you wouldn’t normally do by yourself.