Listening to: Uptown Girl by Glee Cast!
Tonight is my second night in the dorm. It’s hot. Shall I say it again? I. Am. Hot. Like really hot. Like where the heck is the AC or the swimming pool or the bucket of ice cubes or anything at all hot. It’s only 71 though. Heaven help me if it gets any hotter. I will die.
Besides that though, it’s all been pretty good so far. We drove down on Thursday and it just didn’t seem real yet. We got to the town where school is around 4 and on the front window pane of the hotel was a sign that said Welcome ____ and then in the corner was a duck, one of the school’s mascots. These signs are everywhere. On everything. And I mean everything. I like it though. The town really cares about the school, it’s really involved in the school and although it kind of means you can’t make an enemy with anyone, I like it at the same time. It means that a lot of people–a whole town of people–cares abut me.
We went out to dinner the first night, and I experienced a little bit of culture shock. For those who don’t think that there is a difference in culture throughout the states in the USA–I strongly disagree. However, there is even more of a different between cultures in the south and the north, and where I’m going to school: It’s the south, or south enough for it to be counted as that. And I could see the differences right away. Most of these differences are because I’m in the south. Those are more the people differences, than the physical differences, but it was the physical differences that I noticed first.
Everything is more spread out. Like a lot more. There’s more trash on the ground. The town is one of lower income than my home city (which is home to the university professors! Can you say cash?), which leads to more run down homes and not as well up kept stores, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I am not looking down my nose at anyone or anything in this town. It was just a little bit of a shock to register the differences exist even though I’m not that far away from home.
I want to sleep, so I’m not going to go into a lot of detail. The first morning of campus was crazy. I got my key card, in which I look INSANELY blonde. Like super, duper blonde. I got fo’ free stuff: sunglasses and a water bottle. We went to the room (I didn’t carry a SINGLE thing up! :P) We moved in. I met Beka and her mom. We did a lot of unpacking and then we went to my appointment at the Urgent Care to discuss my continuing allergy shots. It was overwhelming but I really liked the nurse practitioner. She offered me two jobs–one as a assistant coach at the YMCA and on teaching private lessons. I’m probably just going to follow through on the second one though, seeing as competitiveness is not my thing, but it was a gesture that made me feel so welcome in this town, I almost cried.
Then we went back to unpacking and made a Wal-Mart run or 3. It was stressful but it’s over, and I feel better. I met up with the girls I met when I was here in March which was nice. There’s a girl from Guatemala across the hall from me in my suite, which I’m excited about. There’s a lot of people I want to get to know but I haven’t had the change to talk to yet.
Today was a lot of orientation stuff. I chatted with a lot of different people but I haven’t made any super goods friends yet. It’s hard to remember that it’s not as simple as snapping your fingers. I’m so used to having my friends right there with me, right there at any moment. I haven’t been alone in a social situation since Panama. It’s strange to be on my own to make impressions. In a lot of ways, it’s easier to connect when you have someone you’re comfortable with there with you.
I’m excited though. We went to a community picnic today and I got A TON of free stuff and I met at lot of people from the community, along with signed up for a lot of volunteer activities. I won’t be able to do them all–not with my sub lifeguarding job!–but I’m really excited to act on some of them. I’m going to do the LEO program, which is a leadership program, and I’m meeting with my adviser on Tuesday to discuss classes. I took the Spanish placement test today and it was not at all like I thought it was going to be, but I think it went okay. We’ll see.
There’s only one second year in our suite (and another girl named Meghan! Everyone here is named Meghan), which is strange. I think another girl might be moving in tomorrow when the returning students return but I don’t know. I kind of hope so since it would be nice to have more than one second year to help with advice and stuff when I want it.
The food is really good! It was strange this morning to have to shower and get dressed and go outside just to get to breakfast, but I’ll get used to it. I like the feel of Cottey. People seem really nice. We had some orientation stuff in which the second years taught us our school song and that was fun. I’m nervous for what’s to come. I want to have those friends right now, but it doesn’t work like that. It’ll come though, hopefully.
I just have to keep breathing.