Today marks the end of the first official day of “college,” however, since I moved into my dorm at 8:00 AM on Friday, it already feels like two whole days have passed. Like most major transitions, moving to college is an assortment of emotions, but I think that the full range has yet to impact me. Here’s an update on what the past two days have been like.
Move-in day was not as painful as it could’ve been. Since I’m in an all-class dorm AND I had the earliest slot, there were few problems (and fewer people) while moving my loads of belongings into the room. All in all, the things I brought on the plane added up to be more than I had anticipated and I only compounded the situation by making more and more purchases. Luckily, everything fit into the car (with the organization skills of my dad) and eventually into my room quite handily. Lugging it up to the fourth floor was made easier by the assistance of my siblings and mom; putting everything in its place was the hardest part by far. Getting everything back will be a tougher feat, but no need to worry. Yet.
After move-in, lunch, and a last-ditch Target run, I said my goodbyes to my family and continued to set up my room. Almost universally, students cite family (and friends) as the hardest things to leave behind. Of course it’s a struggle, but I know the time before our next meeting will fly by once classes start, so I’ve done a good job–thus far–of staying calm and focusing on adjusting myself to my new environment. I miss my parents and siblings, but I’m also comforted by the fact that everyone else feels the same.
The first night, we had a dorm/RA meeting, a group dinner, an Orientation Leader meeting, and a party on the quad with live entertainment (and by entertainment, I mean a DJ who facilitated strange ice-breaker games and a band who performed pretty well for a dissipating crowd). Once my roommate and I left, we grabbed pancakes at the Midnight Breakfast event held by our dorm and returned to our room to close out our first night at college.
This morning, we attended the university-wide convocation. The students who spoke were great, as was President David Skorton; in general, they made us feel like we were welcome, like we belonged, and like we’re in for the time of our lives. Afterwards, we had a separate convocation based on college (I attended the Arts and Sciences), then a briefing on what to expect as an A&S student. Dean Gretchen Ritter’s speech was my favorite of the day because it made me realize that each day, we’ll learn something surprising and amazing about Cornell alumni and even our peers. We then attended one more meeting focusing on advice from upperclassmen and admonitions against cheating, and later had another RA meeting and building event.
While I’ve only been here for two days, it already feels like much longer. By scheduling so much for us to do, Cornell has effectively taken our minds off the fact that we’re going through an extremely difficult transition, and instead has gotten us excited for the next four years of our academic and social lives. Meeting other freshmen can feel unsubstantial and transitory at times, but once we all settle into a routine, I think it’ll be easier to make lasting connections. For now, we’ll answer the same questions as our peers ask them and forget their answers (and names) almost immediately. Just two more free days, then classes begin. Will provide more updates soon!