By Bailey Martens/Special to the Langley Advance
Flights were booked and bags were packed for Trinity Western Student Alexander Gust.
Last minute, he decided to cancel his flights home and spend Christmas on campus at Langley’s faith-based university.
The Kelowna native had planned to go home as soon as he could. After prioritizing the relationships in his life, however, Gust chose to stay in Langley to be closer to his girlfriend.
He and just a handful of other students have opted to stay in the dormatories during the holidays, instead of venturing home.
Christmas break has consisted of cleaning his room, no morning alarms, and ordering lots of pizza for Andrew Kimball.
Kimball grew up in Saipan, a commonwealth of the United States of America, but moved to Indonesia during his teenage years.
During the semester, Kimball works five jobs while maintaining a full course load. Needless to say, a flight back to Indonesia would cost more than a $1,000 (Cdn.), which wasn’t feasible for the young student.
Unlike previous years, the deafening silence heard across campus is welcomed as he finds rest.
As for Christmas traditions, he’s got one he’d like to keep. Kimball plans to honouring his roots by listening to traditional Indonesian Christmas music today.
Too costly to go home
Second-year nursing student Eva de Suza echoed similar sentiments when discussing her decision to stay on campus this holiday season.
She also cannot afford the potential $2,000-plane-ticket home, especially for just a few weeks – even if it is Christmas, de Suza said.
Freedom from school work has allowed for time to catch up on tasks that are forgotten in the hustle and bustle of the semester. Decorating, reading, and baking were all on top of de Suza’s list.
This year, she is thankful for those who have invited her in to join local holiday festivities. De Suza planned to spend today (Christmas Day) with her sister who also resides in Langley.
Dubai would have been her choice
It’s hard for Ivy Fernandas to feel the Christmas spirit.
The 21-year-old biotechnology major, is not enjoying the solitude. It is lonely and depressing to be spending Christmas on campus, Fernandas told the Langley Advance.
She is originally from India but now lives in Dubai.
An all too familiar story of sky-high airline prices has left her stranded.
As much as she would like to be home with her family for the holidays the budget won’t allow it, Fernandas explained.
Trinity is Home for Curtis
Trinity is a quiet, calm, place just to watch the snowfall in the winter, according to TWU resident Paul Curtis.
Paul and Keara Curtis are spending their first Christmas as a married couple at Trinity today.
Both Paul and Keara lived on campus during their time as students, but they now live together at Trinity year-round.
Paul works in residence and Keara recently began her teaching career at Belmont Elementary, after graduating with a degree in education last spring.
For Paul, his childhood home in North Vancouver was a place of refuge during the holidays, away from Trinity during his undergraduate degree. Likewise, Keara remembered the excitement of going home at Christmastime.
But transitioning to TWU as a full-time place of residence has been surprisingly easy, considering how many 18 and 22 year olds they are surrounded by, Paul joked.
As it is their first Christmas on their own, they are starting their own Christmas traditions, Keara remarked. She has spent hours making dried oranges and decorating with fairy lights. Additionally, the couple decorated a small tree with four ornaments.
There are many reasons people find themselves at a university campus on Christmas. Some stay to be close to those locally and others stay out of necessity.
Keara described the change of living on campus during the holidays isolating and challanging, but at the same time new and exciting.