New to New Hampshire

(Anissa sort of couldn’t figure out how to make her own profile so we’re posting through here.  But yay for the last move-in post!)

Let’s start off with the fact that I had a two-step move in process. The way they orient you up here in Hanover, NH is by throwing you into the middle of the forest for 5 days to bond with some classmates  I moved into my room after that trip, it was a solid 85 degrees, I was all alone, I had no idea how to get to my dorm, and I hadn’t showered for 5 days.

Michelé would say that’s an exaggeration but honestly after like 3.5 days of walking through a forest it feels like you haven’t showered for 10 days. (That’s because she’s a perpetual exaggerator.  It was only 3 days)

I went camping at a Dartmouth owned cabin with a group of strangers who are now no longer strangers. That’s what happens when you spend 5 days with other people and no electronics, electricity, or any other form of entertainment besides nature. We danced and sang and it generally felt like summer camp. And then When my tripees and I (F-50 for life!) got back, it kind of hit me that it was actually college.I was just a little worried that it would stop feeling like camp.

I was very hilariously wrong. I moved my stuff into my room on that ridiculously hot day, and since I was an innocent ’18, took the long way . I happen to live at the farthest possible dorm, and had a very full hiking backpack and suitcase that I had to drag up a very steep hill. When I finally got to my building, French Hall in the River Cluster, it was pretty much deserted. I was worried that I wouldn’t make any friends besides the people on my trip but as I walked up the stairs to my third floor dorm room, this girl offered to help me.  It turns out that she’s a pretty nice person that’s always super friendly and social. I’m actually surprised that she wasn’t appalled by how much I smelled after I came back from my trip. But she got back a day before me, so she understood. It was quiet on campus during those first couple of days of Pre-Orientation. And it still felt like summer camp.

Dartmouth is not, in fact, summer camp. It happens to be an Ivy League school in Hanover, NH. The smallest one actually. We’ve only got about 4,000 undergrads and not too many grad students. New Hampshire is different from Wisconsin in that, like, there is no lake effect breeze. So it’s always hotter than I anticipate from the temperature.

After Pre-Orientation, my parents finally came with all of my stuff! After 7 days of having just clothes, I was so thankful. Plus, I mean, I was thankful that I could see my parents again after 2 weeks. That was cool too. I mean a little more than cool. They drove 14+ hours to come and bring me my stuff. My brother didn’t come because he had football, (at Valpo with Michelé!) but I’m 100% sure that he would’ve come if he could have. There weren’t movers, and the stairwell is small, but I didn’t have too much stuff. It was pretty relaxed for a move-in day since a lot of people had moved in before that due to Trips. Thankfully, nothing broke! It was fantastic!

Charlie, my roommate, is incredibly rad. We’ve got a two room double which is nice since we both have our own space. But it’s cool that I’ve got the perks of having a roommate too. My room is kind of tiny, but I love it anyway. We have an adopted roommate, and her name is Michaela. She actually lives in the basement, but everyone thinks we’re all roommates anyway.There are 7 girls and 14 boys on our floor. It’s a huge change to the all girls’ school thing. I’m digging it so far.

As of right now, my major is Neuroscience, my minor is Linguistics, and I’m on the pre-med track. I’m in Active Minds, which is a group thatadvocates for mental health awareness and de-stigmatization. I also want to get a ‘Women in Science’ internship. The last thing that I want to do is this thing called America Reads, which means I’d be an in-school tutor for little kids.

Three goals that I have for this year are:

To put all of my effort into all of my activities and classes.

To meet as many new people as I can and not be shy.

And to make a ton of good decisions and to live with no regrets.

When I first came here, I said I wasn’t sure exactly what I was most excited for, so I just said everything. After being here for quite a while, I’m still excited for everything. There are so many new classes, activities, and people, that I can’t pick any one thing to be excited about.  What I’m saying is that, so far, I’m loving it up here in the middle of nowhere at this little known Ivy League school.

Niss, Charlie, Michaela sept 2014

Charlie, Anissa, Michaela

Indiana(mal) Kingdom College Students Are a Different Species

Kaixo.

My name is Michelé—phonetically Mishelay—but people consider Mich much easier.

I only applied to two colleges, both which happened to be in Indiana, and now I’m really grateful I ended up at the one closer to home.  Stationed at Valparaiso University, a small, Lutheran, private school around the bottom of Lake Michigan, I consider myself just the right distance from home.  Although it once took us four hours to drive down, if done right, it can take as little as two and a half.  The undergrad population is about 4,000 which I really like.  Coming from a smaller high school it’s nice to keep that sense of community.  I’m majoring in Creative Writing and I know, I know-what am I even going to do with that?  Well, you are reading my blog aren’t you? 

Move in day for me was August 23rd—hot, humid, and horrible.  Thank God for moving crews because I was sweating enough without having to carry any of my stuff up to the third floor.  My mom and brother, Marshall, came with me, gracefully dealing with me being a little crabby as we unpacked (sorry mom).  When they left my brother gave me a nice hug.  Not just a hug, but a nice one.  Which is something special.  And neither my mom or I cried right away, also something special.

My roommate’s name is Sara and she’s from the Chicago area.  We met at orientation in June and it’s working out really well for us so far. She’s got a twin brother too, gets up early like me, and isn’t in to drinking.  Other than her, the only person I knew at Valpo was Anissa’s older brother.  I barely count him though.  She told him he had to say hi to me and he said, “Is she the black one?” Which I guess is a good guess considering… 

I’ve been settling in really well.  As Sabrina said in her post, it’s really easy to make friends.  This is especially true if you join things.  This semester I plan to be an active part of the Social Action Leadership Team (SALT) which is a club dedicated to serving others.  I also got myself a part-time job at Walt’s Place where we work with underprivileged Latino kids, helping to expose them to more English, feed them, have fun with them.  Sort of like a mentor program I get paid for.  While I’m a mentor for those kids, I also get to be a mentee.  I signed up to be partnered with a staff member of the University who can help me with my spiritual path because one of my goals for the year is to find my way closer to God.  The other things I’m hoping to accomplish are to not be a slacker (meaning less Netflix, more French) and be completely me all the time.  I’m outgoing and I need to not withdraw that when I think someone will judge me for it.

Move-in day is scary and exciting, kind of like the rest of college, but it gets less scary and more exciting.  I’ve been looking forward to SALT since my tour last year and I’m in Creative Writing i.e. my dream class.  Besides that, I’m a little embarrassed to say I’m excited about the boys.  We already told you we went to an all-girls school, which for some people isn’t a problem, but for some people (me) who lack social skills involving attractive males, not having to sit with them in class for four years has really made it much worse.  I’ve got my eye on one right now, who I’ll tell you about if you ask nicely.  My strategy right now is to try and act normal, which, you know, is really hard.

Normalcy, not exactly what college is for.

Michele and Sara Sept 2014

Me (right) and my roommate Sara

Georgia Fresh(man)

I decided to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. First off, it’s hella hot down here and I don’t know why I came down considering I’m allergic to the sun.

So anyways, the story starts like two days before my family and I were supposed to leave. I’m at Mayfair to get my allergy shots, I start the car and it sounds like metal grinding on metal. So I try to drive anyway and it was jerking and sputtering. I’m super embarrassed at this point because the car is making super loud sounds and people are watching me. So I pull back into a park, and turn off the car. After a while, I start the car back up and I think everything’s okay. I start driving, heading towards downtown to pick up my mom, and the car starts jerking again. I get super stressed out about it, like I’m sweating profusely because I don’t want the car to give out before I get to my mom. So, by the grace of God, I make it downtown in one piece. I pull over to let my mom drive, but the car won’t stop rolling backwards even after I turn it off. Turns out some part fell off the car and we had to send it to our family mechanic to fix by the next night (Thursday) so that we would leave by midnight and still be on schedule to get to Atlanta.

So, of course, nothing in my life goes according to plan, and our mechanic doesn’t fix the car in time. Thursday comes and goes, and on Friday morning, my mom has to go to a car rental place to get another car. If you knew my dad like the Table does, you would know we can’t ride all the way to Georgia in a little mini-van. So after my mom has been at the rental place for an hour, we finally get a car that’s bigger than our actual car. We’re finally able to hit the road on Friday, August 8th at about 2pm. Way later than planned.

Going down to Atlanta was me, obviously, my parents, and Jaylen, my younger brother. The drive was about 13 hours, which my parents split, but I still stayed up about 10 hours of the entire way. We finally got to our hotel at 4 am on Saturday, August 9th. Mind you, I had to check in at 10 am, so the entire family is working with practically no sleep.

Move-In Day was an event. Like they had a ton of people moving in at one time. We had to walk to our check-in location, walk back to get the car out of the garage, pull up in front of the dorm, remove all my stuff from the car, take the car back,  walk back to the dorm, and finally take the stuff upstairs to my room. Be aware that its at least 95 degrees outside with no breeze whatsoever. But the good thing is, I’m staying in a dorm with air conditioning.

I’m currently staying in temporary housing with four other girls. At this point, it’s okay, but obviously not ideal. I live in LLC1, also known at the Living and Learning Center. Chi So Fly!! I stay on the second floor. The other freshman dorms, Manley, HH, and Abby don’t have AC. So when we do dorm call and stuff, one of our sayings is “LLC got AC! You mad!” The other girls’ names are Kyla (from New Jersey), Roxan (from Miami), Kristann (from Atlanta), and Talisha (from Detroit). Some people are irritating, but it comes with the territory. Our room is like a big open space, but you can’t have any privacy because there aren’t any dividers or anything.

I’ve met a lot of people here . Spelman College is relatively small, only about 2,200 undergraduates. There are about 540 girls in the freshman class. It’s a private, liberal arts college. Right now the best part of being a freshman is the camaraderie. Like each dorm has their own hand signs and calls and it’s fun, when in the middle of the night, the freshman dorms have dorm battles. So you run to each dorm and everyone does their dorm call.

I know you’re all wondering about the boys. The boys are literally always on campus, LURKING! Like sometimes it’s ridiculous. But the first weekend, every Spelman woman got matched up with a Morehouse brother. My Morehouse brother is literally the best person in the entire world. His name is Malakai . He’s from New Jersey. He plays the saxophone in the Morehouse band. He’s a biology major and he wants to be an emergency room doctor. He’s so sweet and nice. Like he brought me medicine when I got sick the first week of school. So hopefully our relationship lasts. I’ve also met a lot of girls. I can’t remember half of their names, but that’s okay. They’ll be alright.

This year my goals are to get a 4.0 because I want to get scholarships to pay my tuition. I also want to have a lot of fun. All the upperclassmen tell us that freshman year is the best year to experience Atlanta because once you start your major; you basically have no time to do anything.

I’m most excited to party. Like I went to my first party already. It was called Welcome to Atlanta V. It was at a club called the Enclave in downtown Atlanta. So they told us there was going to be a shuttle that would take us starting at 9 pm, but I look at my phone and its 9:55 and the shuttle still hasn’t come. So my roommates and I took this cab-like thing called the Lyft to get to the club. We get to the club and basically skip half the line, but we still have to wait in line for another hour before we can even get into the club. We finally get in and it’s dark and hot. They played a lot of good music though. The only thing I didn’t like was that they were smoking a lot of black and mild’s and I kept breathing it in. Also the drinks were super expensive. I didn’t drink any alcohol, but like water was $3, and I wasn’t trying to be about that life. Also it was hella hot. Like me and everyone else were literally dripping sweat, but I still had a good time. It’s gonna be great.

 

Kennedy (right) and her roommate Kyla

Kennedy (right) and her roommate Kyla