Bump in n’ daily grind

Queen’s is like a small town. There’s no such thing as anonymity.

In my past year here, I’ve learned how tiny our bubble can be. Growing up in Bolton, a town of roughly 30,000 people, I’m no stranger to living in a close-knit community.

Whether it be sports, band, youth council or the other extra-curricular activities I’ve been involved with in Bolton (think Tracy Flick, but less annoying and minus the sleeping-with-the-teacher part), I feel as though I’ve come to be acquainted with a good portion of my hometown’s population.

It’s rare for me to go anywhere around town without seeing someone I know. “Bump ins,” as I call these encounters, are a frequent occurrence in the B-Dot.

Take a trip to the Bolton Empire Theatre for Tuesday $5.99 movie night and you’ll see this social phenomenon at its greatest.

During the wait for the 7:40 Hancock screening with my friends, we had lots of time to bump into people for an update on small town “news” (gossip). I found out my former track teammate could potentially be competing for Canada in the 2012 Olympics and other important information, like details of my high school friend’s drug trip and other information that really isn’t fit for print.

If Queen’s can be classified as a town within the city of Kingston, then the “bump in” is one of the realities of campus life. This encounter can happen at virtually anytime, anywhere and without any notice whatsoever.

It’s the unpredictable nature of this occurrence that can make it exciting, yet nerve-racking at the same time.

University, being a busy time in our lives, often leaves little room for spontaneity. We plan our degrees, our schedules and our activities. In this regimented lifestyle, it’s sometimes forgotten there are a lot of things in life beyond our control. The “bump in” is a constant reminder of this. During your time at Queen’s, you’ll meet all sorts of different people. The most popular of these experiences include the random guy or girl you partied with the night before whose name you’ve since forgotten, the friend you’ve been meaning to make plans with, the former floormate you never hung out with, the classmate you only talk shop with and the “potential” you’d like to get to know (a lot) better.

If it’s someone you wish not to associate with, who insists on forming a one-way friendship, it might be time to politely make up an excuse to exit the conversation before it goes beyond just talking about school and the weather.

The “bump in” is a social phenomenon to be embraced. It’s reminiscent of a less hectic era when people had the time to stop and catch up with each other. The “bump in” cannot fit in any schedule. It defies routine and reminds us that, despite our busy lives and our attempts at planning every minute of the day, we can still be surprised by the unexpected.

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