Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 1

College is nothing like I imagined. It's better.

The day started off with early-morning unpacking with my Dad (Apparently someone told him we needed to arrive before 8:00 AM - so I was up at 6:45. My roommate? Arrived around 10 and got settled just as easily.), followed by the friendly introduction of roommates' parents, and then the planned activities.

Matriculation was like graduation. Kind of. No student speeches, but faculty ones. And let me tell you, it's as though Tufts only hires amazing public speakers to the faculty: every speech given held everyone's attention. These guys know how to tell jokes, add stories, and make their point all at the same time. No matter my future career, note to self: learn to do that.

The Class of 2014 marched in like a graduating class and sat down. Someone read to us excerpts from our admissions essays, and I began to realize how fascinating everyone around me really was. We had kids who grew up in much tougher households than mine, or who lived in foreign countries, or who already accomplished incredible academic feats. Advice for students applying to college: Don't write boring essays. Ever. If it's an application essay, go all out making it interesting. Tell about weird stuff that's happened to you. They love that; it makes you a real person.

Apparently tens of thousands applied. Roughly 1300 were accepted. 70 of those were valedictorians, less than 200 are in the School of Engineering, and there's a record number from California. Cool.

My first friends? My roommate, two international students from China (though one lived mostly in Canada), and the kids on my floor of my dorm. Note to the college-bound: Join a coed dorm. It's fun having all kinds of crazy people around.

Not sure if I feel bad about not doing pre-orientation; people made friends there, but they're making friends again now, so no big deal.

It's a good thing we've got fans; no air conditioning and it's hot.

Other notes for college freshmen: Say hi to people. Just do it. Sit down and start talking. And try really hard to remember their names. Or don't, I'm sure you'll manage. It's a quick way to meet people, and it feels so nice having people to hang out with once the parents disappear.

Coming from a school of about 700, this is pretty insane. It's just my class on campus so far, and we're huge, at least by my standards.

Lots of ice breakers, but what do you expect? People from all over the country - and you forget that pretty fast. Everyone seems normal and nice, then you remember they're from California and Texas, shouldn't they be different, somehow? Where are the accents? I guess kids are just kids everywhere.

Food's good. Tufts has a daily newspaper; that's cool. And a lot of maps. And groups. Speaking of which, we got to see "Black Out" perform (step group, very cool), and some other great acts during a nighttime celebration - it felt a bit like summer camp, only more mature, professional, and awesome.

Dorm room's pretty much what one expects. It's nice, apparently we have a fairly large room compared to others. No one lives next door as far as we can tell. Yay, more bathroom for us.

Recycling and trash is outside the room: very convenient. And the recycling! Nice school - paper, plastic, glass, even compost at the lunch rooms.

Other things that tell me this is a good fit? They gave us "This I Believe" to read over the summer - for fun. It was awesome. When we arrived, the president of the college told us we have to be active citizens: his only request that we vote at every election. And everyone is so freaking friendly. This is awesome.

For those reading who aren't in college yet, you'll love it. For those reading who are in college, but not this one, I'm sorry. And for those long since out of college, enjoy through us, the Class of 2014.

This was Day 1.

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