Durham, NH: The rain came down as I stood on the outside of the field house. A drop ran down my face and into my eye. "Where is she?" I asked. I found myself standing in the rain waiting for my sister, a freshman at the University of New Hampshire. So far my first time visiting hadn't been a whole lot of fun. I had been waiting in the wet weather for twenty minutes with no sign of my sibling. I looked to my left and finally saw her. My journey through the social life of UNH was about to begin.
I first experienced a football game. There were many happy people despite the drizzle; I found the school spirit quite uplifting. The Wildcats won (a good way to start a visit).
To go from the stadium to my sister's dorm meant another walk through the rain, but off we went. Greeting us as we entered the dorm was the sound of music, somewhat softened by the buffer of the wall. We entered her room to find her roommate sitting on a bed listening to a CD and typing on the word processor. She stopped work and the three of us visited. The door flew open and a recently-showered female raced in, grabbed a towel, dried her face, and left without saying a word. I would soon come to find out that spontaneous interruptions were not uncommon (another trait that led to the feeling of camaraderie between the students on campus).
After talking for what seemed like hours, I asked where the bathroom was. I walked down the hall and through the heavy metal door that separated the rooms of the opposite genders. My walk became an inspired shuffle as the constant thump, thump, thump of rap music sounded through the walls. I could see myself living in a setting like this. I returned to a room full of college-age students and made myself at home. Hours passed and people came and went.
I fell asleep, and woke up on the floor. Most of the people were gone. My thoughts soon turned to my stomach which was calling out for food. My sister and I headed to the cafeteria, where I was about to experience the food of UNH first hand. I was pleasantly surprised by the plates of fresh fruit that accompanied the expected fare. It didn't taste half bad either.
We passed many people on our stroll back to the dorm and then to my car. They were involved in an assortment of activities ranging from studying to a pick-up game of Ultimate Frisbee. I just couldn't get over how much fun these individuals seemed to be having at school. It was wonderful.
I really got a feel for the social life of a college that weekend. I have returned many times for concerts and sporting events. Every visit has shown me more and more about the life of students at the University of New Hampshire. They seem like a very friendly and open group of individuals. I would recommend UNH to anyone who might feel a little lost or uncertain while residing at a larger school. The students at UNH are sure to accept you and make you feel like you belong. They did with me, and I will be forever grateful for that. f
Reviewed in 1997
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.