As a university student who has to work day and night on assignments and homework that takes up most of my time, I realized that there are times of day that I never get to experience. Due to the nature of my school schedule, I often wake up late in the morning (around 10AM) to go to class and will usually return home to my East Village townhouse by 5:30PM. This means that the majority of my time spent outside of my bedroom is in the afternoon; I don’t see the Sun rise and I don’t see the Sun set. This gave me an idea to try getting out of my comfort zone and experience life on campus during times that most people are not outside – at dawn and dusk. I walked the same 1km route at dusk and dawn (from residence to War Memorial Hall), but at dusk I walked back to my residence and at dawn I walked toward WMEM.
The easier kilometer walk that I did first was at dusk because I was already awake and decided to take a later class. I watched the Sun set over Johnston Green and took a timelapse of the changing sky colour until it was dusk. On my way back home, I definitely felt different walking in the darkness by myself without many people around me. It was quiet, I felt really cold and tired, and the only light that could guide me back home came from the fluorescent street lights and the lights from inside the buildings. I definitely became more cautious and observant during my walk because it was a new experience for me and I had never really walked alone in the dark before.
My next kilometer walk was just after dawn. I woke up at around 6:50 AM and walked toward WMEM through the same route I walked for the dusk walk. This walk had a very different aura to it compared to my dusk walk. Although there weren’t many people outside at dusk, after dawn, there was almost nobody. Not a single person walked behind me, but I did pass by a few construction workers and one or two students. The campus was very peaceful and for me, it was a special experience being alone in such a huge space because I knew I was the only one outside doing something while everyone else was asleep.
Of course, 30 minutes after I finished the walk, people started flooding in and the campus was full of life and noise again. However, there was a sense of freedom and excitement that I felt while walking just after dawn because it was only the start of my busy day and without anyone watching me, I could have done anything I wanted, such as using my giant camera to record the campus without people wondering what I was doing. It was surprising to see that our campus seemed more full of life when it was dark than when it was light; the library wasn’t even open, all the lights in the buildings were off and I must emphasize how strange it was to see the busiest part of the campus being so empty. The morning frost over Johnston Green made it a bit eerie once I arrived at my destination and similar to my walk at dusk, Johnston Hall had a magnificent gradient sky behind it, which I took a picture of to conclude my Kilometer Project.
During my walks, I took a few video clips so that people similar to me who don’t usually wake up so early or are outside when it’s dark can get a glimpse of campus life at dusk and dawn.