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

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