When Evan Dixon arrived on the Queen’s campus last fall, he wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. “I didn't really know a lot about Queen’s before I came here,” he says now, at the end of his first year in Engineering. Having no guaranteed residence accommodation didn’t help. But he knew a few others from his high school, in Stouffville, north of Toronto, who’d also elected to matriculate here. “Me, my girlfriend, my friends Noah and Nick,” he says, “and a couple more people who I wasn’t entirely familiar with.”

A couple months before his arrival to Kingston, he found a shared rental with a couple upper year students, which became an off-campus home of sorts to his growing circle of friends in and outside Engineering. He found a community, and everything fell into place.

“For the most part,” he says, “I think that no matter where you go, you'll always find your people. I found a lot of very open-minded people here that made things a lot easier.”

As for advice to incoming students who might be concerned about finding a group of friends, Dixon suggests not to put too much pressure on yourself. “Branch out as best you can,” he says. “Queen’s is such a big community, that it's not the end of the world if meeting your crowd takes a bit longer than expected. I didn't really have an easy time making friends, but I think having clubs to be a part of made a difference. I also had people from school who did that a bit for me. In terms of me, though, I think I know how to filter I suppose, that is I can discern for myself the crowd I’d fit in best with.”

Academically, Dixon will be specializing in Computer Engineering when he returns to campus in the fall. This follows the discipline selection required by all first year engineering students. In a time in where he found himself missing the wider range of courses from high school, this choice was difficult to make. Though he remains unsure of his ultimate career plan, the year allowed him to evaluate his interests in general.

“I missed the balance of arts with science courses,” he says, “which made me want to change my major to something like English, for a short period of time. But I didn't really want to let go of Engineering. I figured the best decision for me was Computer Eng, because I could funnel my creativity into technology and maintain that balance I sought.”