My son Zach has just completed his first class honours undergraduate degree in History at McGill University in Montréal. Although his graduation will only be virtual he’s now done!

Firstly, where on earth did the four years go? Didn’t I just drop him off to his residence for first year? 🧐

I’m so proud of him! An awesome accomplishment which I don’t think he’s fully grasped just yet.

It hasn’t come easy, particularly since the start of the pandemic. Zach has always struggled with depression and this past 14 months has really tested him in terms of his overall mental health.

Featuring prominently has been the isolation that we’ve all endured since the pandemic began. I know it’s been difficult on us all, but exacerbated for someone like Zach. He’s been afraid to leave his apartment, and therefore lived like a hermit for 14 months. Never good, but particularly for some like Zach.

Clearly this had a significant impact on his physical health as well…

He’s now returned from Montréal and is living my with my ex in Toronto.

With his coursework all done, he can now refocus his attention on his next phase of life. Zach is hoping to travel to Australia in the coming months and apply to undertake his Masters degree in Australia.

He plans on applying to attend the Australian National University (ANU) which is based in Canberra (Australia’s capital city) and has the best history program in Australia. Interestingly, on the world University rankings both ANU and McGill are tied at #31. How weird is that???

Canberra is some 1,250 kilometers (776 miles) south from our home here, just north of Brisbane. Fortunately for me I live 25 minutes from the Brisbane airport and the flight times from Canberra to Brisbane being just under two hours.

Definitely close enough for a long weekend for either of us which will be awesome!

His objective is to complete his Masters then move onto his Ph.D in History as he wants to become a History professor and lecture at the University level, with a speciality in Australian history.

He’s always been fascinated with history and geography, with his first love always being history.

Even from an early age he had like a photographic memory for historical facts, the depths of which my ex and I would shake our heads in disbelief.

If he challenged us on a historical fact during a conversation, more often than not he would be 100% correct. Yeah, even at the age of 7 or 8….

Everything changed for him after he attended Georgetown University in Washington DC for summer school at the end of 10th grade. He had decided to study Foreign Policy for the summer.

Yeah, not your normal teen that’s for sure! 😁

This summer turned out to be a true turning point for him and his desire to pursue an academic career blossomed from his experience. When he came back after the summer he was transformed.

From this point forward he applied himself 100% to his studies and upon graduation was the top student at his high school with a final grade of 98%. Which, for the humanities is almost unheard of, especially given the subjective nature of this area of study.

From here he had his pick of schools and programs…all through his focus, hard work and perseverance. I think some of my coaching rubbed off, well at least just a bit. ❤️

He chose McGill to do his undergrad with a history major. He continued to apply himself relentlessly over the four years, but as I said this last year really took a toll on him physically and emotionally.

Originally his plan was to attend Cambridge in the UK for his Masters but again with the particularly virulent strain running rampant in the UK he decided to change tack and study in Australia.

Fortunately, Australia has no community Covid transmissions and so our lives here are totally back to normal, with no masks or restrictions. Clearly a better choice to come and study here if nothing more than for his health.

The bonus for me is that we’ll be able to spend time together which will be amazing. In the short term I’m hoping that he will join me in my daily fitness activities and build his strength and energy levels back up after depleting them for so long.

On my WhatsApp video chats with him, his mood and outlook have brightened considerably since completing his final assignment last week.

It also helps that the possibility of coming to Australia is starting to formalize and take hold in his imagination now that the decks have been cleared.

I know that he really wants to live a life without masks or quarantine as his closest companions…who doesn’t!

Now it’s just a matter of deciding on the timing and getting onto a flight. Fingers crossed that the prices have come down a little and that he can get here soon. ❤️

Now, if only I was able to get Sam here sooner rather than later…. She has just finished her second year of her five year coop degree at the University of Waterloo. Missing her like crazy. ❤️🤗

On an unrelated but good news front, my shipping container has finally cleared Australian Customs. The shipping company is scheduled to deliver my container next week, finally I’ll have all of my personal effects. Yay!!!

Only three months overdue, but at least its on its way now. 🙌🏼😁

Until next week