A lot has happened in the last three days. Thanks to a map of the city that I picked up at the Apex six months ago, my comfy shoes, and a soundtrack featuring the Alabama Shakes, I have been able to get around the city quite nicely. I made it through move-in day with very little hassle, and have unpacked my room to make it as homey as possible. I even made friends. That was a big thing for me. Having some people to move around the city with (and make fun of the freshers) was a huge concern of mine. I like these girls, and they don’t seem to mind me, so I think the next year will be quite alright. We found the mall and picked up some basics and I got a new phone, now allowing me to feel safe when moving about the city.
The funny thing about the campus (and the city in general) is that you can spot the people that have never been here before. The lost confused look, the young faces, the ones that double fist beers to a house meeting about rules and irresponsibility….all of them have the earmarks of a fresher. I spent three days wandering the city before school started, so I feel like I have some sense of the city and how to get around, so I feel like an old pro already. I played tour guide to the girls I met, and I felt very accomplished when I got to my first meeting with the education department without getting lost.
Once I got to the meeting though, I felt like I had been swallowed by a whale. There are 180 people in the program, 150 are girls, and 100 of them are Asian. Everyone already seemed to know each other, and all the chatter around me made me feel a bit panicked. Then I sat through an hour an half lecture with so much info thrown at me that I am not even sure what was said. Thank God for the student handbook. Apparently I am already behind on reading that I didn’t even know had been assigned, and I am still not sure if I am even registered for classes yet. I have so many things that I still need to figure out, and only 5 days to settle them.
After the meeting though, I was able to be productive. I walked to main campus, signed up for insurance (which was only mildly frustrating…3 months to take effect? Why didn’t the international office tell me that?) and by tomorrow I should have a bank account (and hopefully a job of some sort. I’m not picky. Really, I am not). I have a host of meetings and appointments, and between all of the walking and the really bad cafeteria food, I am bushed. I think a small nap is in my future. Tonight is a post grad mixer, and as much as I hate that sort of thing, I am going to go, smile, and try to keep the sarcasm to a minimum. People here do not understand sarcasm.