A Place to Call Home

By Amy Carter

I grew up in a smaller city – one that kids couldn't wait to leave. We were tempted by the draw of the big city, and Edmonton was always that place for me.

When it came time to find a college, Edmonton won out over Calgary. So I came to Edmonton a student, dropped off at the Grant MacEwan Residence by my family and left to fend for myself. I was terrified. I knew no one, had no idea how to get around, and couldn't even locate the nearest grocery store, or bank, drug store, movie theatre....The very first day of school I missed the bus, waited for 40 minutes, and was 20 minutes late for class. But it got better.

I'm grateful for good friends. Within weeks I’d met great people, and they helped me learn my way around the city, explore the nightlife, properly utilize public transportation, and experience what Edmonton had to offer.

That September I attended my first ever football game. Anxious to see what other new experiences the city had to offer me, I branched out. I attended a play at the Roxy theatre, navigated Whyte Avenue, visited the Old Strathcona Farmers' Market, and went to the Fringe Festival. I found the best deals for movies, shopped endless blissful hours, located the best pubs, found my favourite restaurants. Soon, I was looking for my first piece of real estate – a condo downtown, blocks from the surprisingly inspiring 124 Street, my Grant MacEwan campus, and Jasper Ave.

It was during my first year here that I lost my wallet. Since it contained important information I had to initiate replacement of my ID; however, one day I received a call from a man who told me that he'd found my wallet. He returned it to me intact. I was completely surprised. I'm currently working at a non-profit organization within Edmonton where fundraising is a big part of the work. I have found businesses and individuals to be very generous in their giving. These experiences have opened my eyes to the kindness of the people of this city.

This year I experienced A Taste of Edmonton, Capital Ex, an Oilers game, the Edmonton Indy, and several concerts. At each of these events I felt like a part of something bigger. These are the things that make Edmonton a great place to live and visit.

The more time I spend in this city, the more I discover. There are treasures to be found in all neighbourhoods. Living in the 124 Street area, I have come to appreciate the culture and the talent that Edmontonians have to offer. As an aspiring writer, I hope to join their ranks someday.

Granted, I'm not a fan of traffic. I sometimes spend too much time in malls and occasionally I get completely lost, but Edmonton means a lot to me – good friends, a job that is helping me grow, an education that is shaping my future, and a place to call home.

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