The Truth About Those First Few Weeks of College, Part I | Teen Ink

The Truth About Those First Few Weeks of College, Part I

October 13, 2010
By Erinhatgesprochen SILVER, Stafford, Virginia
Erinhatgesprochen SILVER, Stafford, Virginia
5 articles 1 photo 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" -- Monty Python

- It does not feel like college. It feels like a summer camp. They dicatate where we go and which groups we're in and what we're doing. Today they even dictated what we had for lunch.

- I did not see my roommate and go "OMG love you bffs for life lyke ttlly!". We don't laugh and hang on each other and giggle and hug it out and act like soul sisters. We just met two days ago.

- Most people I have met so far are either atheletes or want to do something involved with science. I'm an artsy English major. How talkative do you think I feel?

- I swear to God that most of the girls I have met today are named Katie.

- Already I am able to point out the cliquey, bitchy girls who seem to not have figured out yet that this is not high school, and nobody is impressed by them.

- There is no curfew, though you cannot get into any dorm but your own after 10. There are quiet hours, though people don't seem to follow them as I'm pretty sure loud music, loud voices, and vaccuming would break this. The no-curfew thing is also a drag when your roommate decides to take a shower at 12:30 in the morning.

- Being shy sucks. I am not going to randomly walk into someone's room to hang out with them if I don't know them. And people seem to think I'm...I don't know, aloof? But Jeezy Creezy people, did it never occur to you that maybe I'm *gasp* shy?

- I don't feel like I fit in here. I feel too young and too closed off for this kind of an environment. Sitting on the field during orientation I feel like there's nothing I want to tell anybody about my life. I don't even want to tell them my nickname is Germany (though I do) or that I only like Oreoes when the icing is coloured. I feel sometimes like maybe I should have waited - though taking a year of to travel Europe would not have fit me financially.

- The food in college - when you are allowed to eat in the dinning hall - is about a million times better - at least here - than they make it out to be in media, or than your parents make it out to be. It is certainly better than that nasty-ass crap in high school. Not only that, but you have more choices not only as to what to eat, but also as to what to drink. Tea. Coke products. Pepsi products. Milks.

- The beds here, once you get them done up, are much more comfortable than they are made out to be.

- Freshman 15 is just a rumour. I know I haven't been here long, but I stayed at a college for two weeks last summer and actually lost weight. Besides, thanks to orientation, you won't be given the chance. Also, the cafeteria is pretty frickin' scary. You'll wanna get out of those before those upperclassmen show up.

- The guys here are just as doofy as they were in high school (No offense, boys). This is a good thing, because the girls haven't grown up much either. They guys are easy to get along with, when they're not ditching you in the woods with a GPS but no checklist.

- The first two days which are, quite reasonably, the most stressful, are also the ones that The Powers That Be decided to jam-pack with Orientation fun. And like a friend told me, Orientation is not quiet as fun as they make it out to be. They either won't let you rest or they leave you alone in your dorm for 4 straight hours. Considering that I am in tiny town no one's ever heard of before, it's not like I can really go anywhere or do anything. I understand giving us maybe an hour break, but I really do not need 4 hours to myself. It's not like I have homework to do...yet.

- Forcing a group of people to find waypoints using sucky GPSes, play a giant game of memory and run cardio laps is not exactly the best way - or really any way - to teach teamwork or help them bond. Especially when these people are not even in your Orientation Group, and the chances of you having to work with them again any time soon are very slim.

- Playing a clean game of Never Have I Ever might be an icebreaker, but you don't really learn anything. It also isn't any fun if you can't use explicit content.

- Just because we are in college and no longer need permission slips to watch movies does not mean you should offer the dirtiest movies you can find (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Eurotrip) for the film nights. Something actually worth those two hours of your life would be nicer.

- So far I have met 3 people who live, at most 45 minutes away who want or are going home at some point in time this weekend for one reason or another. I wonder if they realize this completely defeats the purpose of Orientation. I realize that I will becoming home twice within the next few months, but 1. I'm not doing it for a football game that is not Homecoming at a school I no longer attend and 2. Neither of the times I am coming down is this during Orientation.

- There is a girl on my hall who vaccuums her rug every. Single. Day. I understand doing it after move in, but on the second day it was after quiet hours. Then she vaccuumed it again the morning after. I am considering going Office Space on her vaccuum for April Fool's Day.

- My roommate did not take the required online alcohol course. She did not come to registration. She did not show up to move in until about 6 o'clock that night, an hour after she told me she was going to be there and 5 hours after check-in ended and at the end of our Hall Meeting. After she arrived she did not follow the rest of the freshmen class to the cookout or the icebreakers, nor did she meet her Orientation Group - which is important, because this is our FYE (First Year Experience class, which all freshman are required to take. It is a combination of two subjects and is taught by two professors. For example, ours is called The Stranger and is a combination of anthropology and English. We take this class all year and whichever professor we have first semester is our Academic Advisor, and the kids in our Orientation Group are our classmates. For anyone who cares, The Stranger is how we percieve friends vs. enemies, foreigners vs. civilians, and controversial issues and stuff). Instead, she goes with her entire family and, I believe, ex-boyfriend to Burger King. On the first or second day we are there, she decides not to take a shower until 12:30 in the morning, and does not take her keys with her, so I am forced to stay up until she gets back. Today, our 4th day of Orientation, she is going back home because they are having a cookout for her. As far as I know, this is not her birthday. What her deal is, I have no clue. She also consistently wakes up late, has skipped dinner, and stays up until 1:30 in the morning trying to figure out why her Skype is not working while watching Jersey Shore quite loudly on the TV.

- Maybe I have already said this, but I have only seen my RA maybe twice since our Hall Meeting on the first day. She never seems to leave her room. For example: instead of coming to us and asking us if we had the wrench, she e-mailed everyone on our hall.

- My Orientation Leader seems to think I'm depressed. I am kind of homesick, but that goes with the territory. It seems she is going out of her way to be nice to me.

- The people here cannot give directions. On my way to find my Academic Advisor this morning, another freshman stopped me and asked me if I knew where the historic building was. Apparently, this is the way her Orientation Leader described the office of this girl's Academic Advisor to her. I know I can't reveal the name of my college, but it's all historical. I mean, this college has been here since right after the Civil War. The dorms and a lot of the buildings here are Colonial Style. Not only did this girl's Orientation Leader give her crappy directions, but mine told everybody that our Advisor's office is "the white building after the train tracks". What she apparently didn't realize is that there are about 4 white buildings after the train tracks, not just one. And unlike the other buildings which say "Special Interest Housing" or "Admissions Office", the house our Advisor's office is in just says "206 N. Center Street". This is what the description on the map says as well. Nowhere does it say "Sociology building" (another description from my RA), nor does it say anywhere that this building contains offices at all. For all I knew, it was where the President lives. Thanks (I assume) to this, all of our advisor's scheduled meetings were backed up so badly that one girl had to wait half an hour before she got to see him.

- My anthropology professor is ADD. Yesterday he could not make up his mind which getting-to-know-you question he wanted to ask the class and finally settled on whether we'd prefer flight or invisibility (he later quoted Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; I bet you know who my favourite teacher is already). His office is a wreck. His entire back shelf is just filled with books - and not high class dissertation-esque anthropology books, but fiction books I guess he reads in his spare time. He was being lazy and didn't want to go on his computer (his words, not mine), but when he finally did I saw that he had been on FaceBook when I got there. He didn't remember how to use the school's site where our schedules are done, and spent about 5 minutes talking about how awesome Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog are. He also didn't seem as sure of my schedule as I was. He was also very confused by how much sociology I was taking (considering that I am an English major), despite having just said very adamantly yesterday that he is not a sociology teacher, but an anthropology teacher. I also happen to think he looks a bit like Michael Keaton (or maybe it's someone else I'm thinking of...) and talks a bit like John Malkovich. Not that that has to do with anything.

- Every single building on this campus has an alarm. If you leave the door open for about a minute, it will go off.

- The freshman here are not very friendly people. The staff are all very welcoming and the Orientation leaders are - as would be expected -very perky and nice and happy. The freshman, however, don't leave their doors open. The people on my hall to the right of my dorm will close their door if you happen to walk by and look at thier dorm. You don't even have to go in. They're just that unfriendly.

-During August I stayed at my college for a couple days for a Leadership program. I left my dorm to take a shower, and upon having closed my door, I realized that I left my key and ID (which we were supposed to be wearing all the time) in my room, and could not get back in. This would not have been so bad if it had not been for the fact that no one was in the hall, including the RA. For some reason, this was one of those rare points in time where everyone's door was closed...including the RA's. I figured this was not so bad; I had a robe and all the shower stuff.
Except my towels.
Today I get back from Brunch (really? who's great idea was it to only allow teenagers to eat twice a day? the same person who decided there was nothing wrong with holding thme back from moving in until 2 weeks after every other college and university - including community colleges - in the state had moved and started classes?) and throw all my stuff - my key & swipe, cell phone, bag - on my bed and leave the room. Because my roommate closes the door every time she comes in, I have gotten into the habit of closing the door every time I leave. Unfortunately, the doors do not fully unlock when you unlock them; they just let you in. Having seen my RA at lunch I figured she was not in her room, and left my hall. So now I did not my cell phone to call Campus Safety, my Orientation Leader, or my RA, or my swipe to get back into the hall so I could ask another girl - should one come by - to borrow a cell phone to call our RA. Thankfully I (obviously) got back into the hall and my dorm by walking down to the bookstore and asking another Orientation Leader to call Campus Safety for me. I think this may be more embarrassing than locking your keys in your car. There is no way to look cool while leaning against a collumn when you are obviously locked out like there is against a car. (Maybe this is why they gave us a 4-hour break.)

- Community style bathrooms are not that big of a deal. We're all girls (or you're all boys), so get over it. No one's going to see anything they haven't seen before. Even if a guy happens to be using the bathroom when you come out, do you seriously think boobs are news to him? What is horrible about community style bathrooms is this: cleaning. You don't have to clean it, which is actually really horrible because the day before the custodian does, the floors are flooded and there's hair in the showers, the stalls smell disgusting and it looks like someone's bathed themselves using the sink. So always wear shoes when you're in the bathroom, capiche?

- When the fire alarm - or the smoke alarm, for that matter - goes off, it might be, I dunno, smart? to get out of the building. Don't stand in the hallway like an idiot, looking like you've never heard a fire alarm go off before. Even if it's just a drill or just a malfunction, get your ass out the building. You could be cited.

- For the past couple nights the girls in my hall have gone out partying and returned drunk. One night they were even at a frat party, which we are not allowed to be at unless it is a registered party and we are on the guest list. So on top of breaking the law by being drunk they are also breaking school rules. Not only are they drunk but they return after quiet hours have started...and are not being quiet, as you can imagine.

- One of the girls in my hall apparently (as in, according to her roommate) has a different guy in her room every night. Because getting drunk every night and the fact that you apparently (as in, according to people who have spoken to this girl) didn't need financial aid to go here wasn't giving you a bad enough reputation.

*To Be Continued*

The author's comments:
I wrote the first half during orientation and the second half during the first week of school. Since then, a lot of things have changed; I have a new roommate, I have better friends, I am in more clubs, and so many other things that I couldn't remember if I tried.

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This article has 1 comment.

Dadio said...
on Nov. 3 2010 at 10:17 am

Well, I feel advantaged in that I was given access to the original manuscripts before you published. Just wondering ... do you think you might be a little harsh on your school and classmates? Food for thought.