Anyway. Freshman orientation was about three things. Getting to know your roommates, adjusting to life together, and figuring out why the frak you decided on [private college name redacted] when [state college name redacted] was cheaper and had much better entertainment opportunities.
Ah, the roommates. My first two years of college were the only time I shall ever live with five, yes FIVE, other women in one room. TheBoy went to Georgia Tech and can’t fathom how six of us would be crammed into a single living space. I believe Tech rooms top out at two. TWO. Probably with a bathroom, or at least a sink. We, on the other hand, had to go down the hall for running water. For an only child like myself, homicide was a very viable option during freshman orientation weekend.
[Side story: While I was washing my hands in the bathroom that first weekend, I saw a tableaux outside that made me tear up. Asian mom, Caucasian dad, daughter. Mom hugs daughter. Dad pulls out wallet to hand daughter some money. Everyone’s sad. It’s the exact same scene I had played out with my parents a few hours prior. SADSADSAD.]
Keep in mind that most upperclassman don’t even really arrive until Monday, so the throngs around you are just freshmen. The lines in the cafeteria are just freshmen. But since most of us came up in small private or home schools, there are still more people than we have ever experienced in academia. To be fair, athletes always got to move in a week early—something about pre-season—so they were there, too. Plus they got all the best bunks. What a gyp.
That first weekend was so hot, so traumatic (I almost didn’t get a bed because the idiot admissions office thought I would live off-campus seeing as my parents lived a SCANT 56 miles away), and such a weekendus horribilis that I still can’t speak of it. Even knowing that it started me towards valedictorianship, a graduate degree, and a career in public service isn’t enough to wish I could do it over.