CONFESSIONALS: I miss Burnaby campus

Oh, the sadness of breathing chemicals for that sense of coming home, to no avail . . .

Marissa Ouyang

Written by Madeleine Chan, Staff Writer

I’ll just say it: I miss going to Burnaby campus.

Every day, I got chills taking the 145 bus up the mountain and reaching the peak. See the uninviting concrete façade. See the sports field, the one that has too much money invested into it. It was like starting your day with a cold shower, giving that nice kick to your adrenals, but also paralyzing you with fear of another day at school. What a rush.

To remedy this longing for our school atop a glorified hill, I’ve started changing things around my home to bring more of that good ol’ au de engage into my life. For starters, I bought cans of SFU’s patented “Student Blood Red” paint (Pantone 19-1557 TCX, for your reference) and slathered it all over my walls, floors, Scottish Terrier you name it, it’s been covered. I really wanted to be able to see red everywhere I go, just like I often do on campus. 

I have also not cleaned my room in three months (totally on purpose) so I can navigate the accumulating debris with increasing difficulty. Getting up in the morning to turn my alarm off on the other side of my room feels just like trying to get from Blusson Hall to WMC in 10 minutes. I also order takeout for every meal so that my bank account gets drained as fast as it does when faced with two sushi rolls at Mackenzie Café.

Unfortunately, my home wasn’t built in 1965 and doesn’t have asbestos lurking under its bland walls, so I have to huff the fumes from the otherwise unused Sharpies I bought in first year. You know, to have the same detrimental effect on my health. The SFU experience also wouldn’t be complete without inviting the RCMP into my home to set up a career fair booth. This is where I truly experience that colonial dissonance that SFU radiates.

Though, all of these attempts come nowhere near close to the real deal. Nothing I’ve tried can replicate the sickly sweet smell of the improperly sorted four-stream waste bins or the almost post-pubescent fear radiating off of a gaggle of high school students on a tour with their unusually excited parents. I don’t know how to deal with the fact that one of those groups may never stare at me like scientists studying a wild animal again.

I’m laying in bed now to try to process this loss. I’m starting to see shapes. They’re round, no, oval. They swirl around my vision, clouding my artistic judgement, making me believe that Arthur Erickson is a bad architect. Then, they merge into one, unusually upright statue: the avocado. I stare into the endless hole where the pit should be and think about if you can get avocado toast somewhere on campus, and feel sad that I can’t check. All I can do now is surround myself with these pitiful fleshy avocado replicas and daydream of a time where I can almost fall into the reflection pool on my way to see the real one.