Seeing the campus through frosh eyes 

By Sarah Ryeland

Starting out at university can be daunting. Navigating around campus, making friends and meeting deadlines are enough to make your head spin, and for many, freshman year goes by in a blur. But for Nori Evoy, a Communication Studies major, that first year will be well documented — and read by the entire city.

Evoy is the co-author of a blog for the Montreal Gazette called Year One. As part of the Gazette’s online community, Evoy and McGill student Michelle Wong use the web as a kind of digital diary, allowing Montrealers to take a peek into their lives. Evoy’s posts offer a funny and insightful account of her academic adventures.

Evoy heard about the opportunity to blog for the Gazette from her former teacher at Dawson College, Zsolt Szigetvari. “When Zsolt told me about the freshman blog, he asked me if I was interested. I was very excited about it and immediately hopped on board. He put in a good word for me and I guess that sold the Gazette.”

Having grown up on the outskirts of Montreal and then moving downtown at the beginning of her studies at Dawson, Evoy relates her freshman year through the eyes of a young woman who is trying to make an academic career for herself in the city she loves. Blogging for The Gazette is not her first experience with the web, however.

In 2002, Evoy created when her father asked her to test site-building software his company promoted. She picked the island of Anguilla as her subject, since the family had just returned from vacation there. Her site is actually profitable, earning money from advertisements placed by Anguillan businesses and real estate partners.

Even with her outstanding communication skills and web knowledge, Evoy reveals that writing for a major newspaper was a bit nerve-wracking at first. “I don’t have much experience writing for official newspapers,” she admits, “but like anything else, once you get started it’s never that scary.”

With no strict guidelines to follow while writing the blog, Evoy has the freedom to be creative, or even skip a week or two when those pesky mid-terms pop up. “It’s pretty loose in the sense that we can write whatever we want, whenever we want, for however many words we find appropriate.”

And the blogs say it all. Like any first year student, Evoy has a heavy course load and at times finds her university life overwhelming, but works hard to make the experience as fun as possible.

“… It seems that some of the most valuable lessons and skills one learns during university years don’t come from a textbook. Expecting the unexpected and being able to deal with it and bounce back, and continue on the intended general direction, is one of the most important skills one can expect in university life.”

Nori Evoy, “You Can’t Force Balance”. Oct. 21, 2007.

Nori’s blog:


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