A student’s tale of living out of suitcases

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By Kathy Gauthier

The days before school starts can be very stressful, especially for students who live out of town. They have to worry about packing, saying goodbye to friends and relatives, getting to their destination, unpacking, and finally starting school.

I had all that stress just before school started, plus some more. What I didn’t have was a destination. After months of searching, I didn’t have a home to go to. Neither did the three others who were coming with me to Toronto.

Leaving London, Ont., and the others behind, I packed as suitcase and started my journey of jumping around from friends’ to friends’ to strangers’ places. At the same time, I began school.

My friends and I started searching for a house in late July. There were only a few nice houses for reasonable prices, but each had over 20 applicants. Being a student didn’t give me an advantage over those families and professionals who had also applied.

So here I was in an uncomfortable situation of having to stay at others places, inconveniencing them. I slept on living room couches and lived out of suitcases.

Also, when I had to get into these places, such as the International Living and Learning Centre and Pitman Hall, I had to drag people downstairs to sign me into the buildings.

All of the local hostels were full. Ryerson had no plans to accommodate students without a home. I was thankful to those who took me in. What did other students who didn’t have places to stay do?

After lugging my suitcases around from five different places, we finally moved into our own place on Sept. 27. It’s a little further and a little smaller than what we were looking for, but we had to take what we could get.

I am now ready to start school. It’s too bad I have four weeks of reading to catch up on while unpacking.

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