The Fire in My Dorm (A True Story)

“I’m not leaving this room” I say, as I recall the fire alarm that went off less than 3 hours previous. Turns out that one was an accident, and who knows why still.

“No it’s real! There’s an actual fire! I saw the smoke!” My roommate frantically exclaims.

I go over and wake up my suite mates by telling them it’s real this time, then I rush back over into my room, grab my laptop, push all of the school supplies out of my backpack, rip my phone charger out of the wall, put on some leggings, grab my jacket and head towards the door. I hear people screaming in the hallway I don’t know what they are saying. My roommate is saying she can’t find her keys & I tell her to leave them because it doesn’t matter at this point. I open the door and all I see is black smoke, I crouch over and bolt down the hallway. I don’t know where Marissa is. Once I made it outside I was watching the stairs and I heard her say my name from a few feet away. I go over to her and our friends and we start walking to our designated area of “safety” during a fire.

Not too long, but also what felt like an eternity later, we see fire trucks and we know it’s actually real. Everyone is shaking, some from being cold, others shaken up from what is happening at the moment. I text my mom and tell her there was a real fire this time, she doesn’t reply and I thank god every day for that. I know she wouldn’t have slept at all that night, I’m so glad she didn’t wake up from the updates I was sending her. I was perfectly fine, she didn’t need to be awake for it, but I still wanted to update her on what was happening.

After a little while, they tell us we can go to another building to get warm. We stay there until 3 or 4 in the morning and then they tell us we need to move to yet another building lounge, where we sit for another half an hour to 45 minutes, and get transferred back to our original building where they give us a room for what we can only hope is just the night. We had to sign a bunch of paperwork saying we were responsible for any damages and all that jazz, but they told us it would probably only be for one night and we would be able to go back the next day.

They kept my suite mates and I in the same room thankfully, we got keys and had to sign some papers saying we live there for now. They give us an itchy blanket and a flat pillow like in Orange is The New Black, and they send us into our rooms. I chose the bed away from the window, put my borrowed pillow and blanket on the bed and went into the living space. At this point it was 6 in the morning, we all fall asleep for a short while, though none of us could sleep very much, as we were worried about our belongings left in the room.

The other floors were allowed in the building again, so we felt very displaced, and quite homeless. We spend the day in silence trying to make ourselves laugh in any way possible. Eventually a couple police officers came and knocked on the door to ask us questions. My mom specifically remembers this because I was on FaceTime with her and out of nowhere said “I have to go, The police are here” and then hung up without letting her reply. After that was over with towards the end of the day we finally get an email saying we have to stay there permanently, and we are allowed back on Thursday to gather our items from our old room. We go to sleep that night worried about everything, wondering why it happened to us, and what even happened to start a fire. We have no information on if our belongings are damaged and what all we have to buy to replace.

Thursday comes around, thankfully my parents have jobs that allowed them to come help me move from the old dorm into the new dorm. I walk into the building that smells only of smoke, I am fully expecting everything to be ruined in my room since the fire was 2 doors away from me in the study room. I walk down the hallway on my floor and the floor was covered by plastic wrap, the walls were black and there were emergency lights hanging all throughout the hallway. The smell of smoke was very strong. When I walked into my room it was a lot better than I expected at first. My roommate was telling me how nothing of hers was damaged and I had hopes that none of mine was either. As I was packing up all of my room, I noticed a lot of things were missing, and that was when I was informed that anything with water damage was put in plastic bags in the bathroom.  That was when I found all of the items I hadn’t been able to find. A few pairs of shoes, a shoe rack, a couple blankets, some of my clothes, my duffle bag, a storage cart,  and a few other random things I had that I couldn’t find. About half of the things that were in the bathroom had to be thrown away.

Moving everything into the new dorm was an experience because I had no idea where to put anything anymore since I specifically got some of the items for the dorm I was in and the one I was being moved to was a lot different. I only had a couple months to live in that dorm so I honestly found things as I was moving out at the end of April that I realized I never unpacked. I couldn’t find anything I was ever looking for throughout those couple months so it was a struggle.

I have always had a fear my entire life of being in a fire or having my house have a fire, so going away to college and having a flood in the fall, and a fire in the winter was definitely unexpected and scary. I made it through it though and I can say now that I officially have been displaced from a fire. I like to say I’m a burn victim although it may be a little stretch from the truth, I was in a fire nonetheless.

 

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The 15 Things I Learned During My Freshman Year of College

As I reflect back on my freshmen year of college, I know I learned at least 15 things:

  1. How to shuffle cards
  2. I’m a grandma who plays cards every day
  3. I still hate the taste of alcohol
  4. I still hate math
  5. I underestimate myself
  6. I am capable of being on my own
  7. Bad things happen, how you handle the situation is what matters
  8. Your room flooding isn’t very fun to deal with, and it will cause you to do a lot of laundry
  9. Fires aren’t too much fun either, especially when it’s two doors away from you, and it’s so bad that you have to be relocated to another dorm building.
  10. I missed my dog a LOT while I was gone
  11. People aren’t always who they seem to be when you first meet them
  12. Lying is actually okay sometimes (just not too often)
  13. Marissa and Christine are my life savers
  14. I don’t want to live in Michigan after I graduate
  15. It sucks knowing you’re gonna be away for 4 months from the people you’ve spent the last 9 months with, and will spend the same amount of time with next year.

Shuffling cards came with time, multiple people tried to teach me, but I never understood. Finally one day I understood and ever since then I have practiced every day and gotten better each time.

I literally am a grandma after retirement, playing cards all day every day. It started with uno, turned into a deck of cards playing multiple games with that, and eventually turned into phase 10. It’s definitely not what normal college students do on a daily basis, but it’s what we do and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I still hate the taste of alcohol. That’s really all there is to say about that. I don’t like it, so I don’t drink it. I’m definitely not the typical college student, but I am perfectly happy staying in and watching Netflix or playing cards as opposed to going to a party.

I still hate math. However, I decided to take the 2 required math classes all in my freshmen year so that I could be done with them for the rest of my life, and therefore, I am completely done with math classes for the rest of my life, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I had to ask for help a lot, and I became better at doing so because of it, but at the end of the day I passed math and that is what matters.

I underestimate myself; I think I can do a lot less than what I actually can do. Regarding Exercise, school work, working, eating somewhat healthy, making decisions, etc. I can do anything I set my mind to, and if I have the right motivation and will to do something, I will make it happen. I had a goal to never gain the stereotypical “Freshman 15” and because I set my mind to it, it didn’t happen, and I actually ended up losing weight while being away at college. I didn’t think I would be able to juggle working and college at the same time, but a perfect opportunity came up for me to be a student photographer and I ended up getting the job. It wasn’t hard at all to deal with both school and work, and that is why for my sophomore year I will be taking 16 credit hours, as well as probably having 2 jobs.

I am capable of being on my own. Yes I had my mom come get me when things got hard a couple times, yes I almost dropped out within the first week of being at school, no I didn’t buy every single thing myself, but I was able to survive living away from my parents, and that to me is an accomplishment in itself and I am so proud of myself for it. I thought I would be never coming home, but I came home a few more times than anticipated, but it was a nice start for me to dip my toes in the water of being on my own completely.

Bad things happen, how you handle the situation is what matters. If that means your suitemate is threatening to punch you in the face, or you failed a math quiz, how you handle the situation is what matters. I didn’t get into a fist fight my suitemate, and I didn’t give up after failing that math quiz. I was civil with the suitemate (as much as I could be anyway) and I kept trying to do my best at math. I passed math, and I never have to see the suitemate again. My freshmen year definitely did not go as easy as I thought it would, but I made it through it and that is what matters.

Your room flooding isn’t very much fun to deal with. The boys across the hall don’t know how to work a sink and flooded the hallway which went into my room. Every towel and cardboard box was used to soak up the water, yet somehow there was still water all over the floor. That is one of the times I had my mom come get me because things were hard. I had a 101° fever and wasn’t able to sleep at all that night, then at 4am the room flooded. It wasn’t fun but I survived and realized that anything can happen, which motivated me to keep my room clean so things didn’t have the opportunity to get ruined.

Fires aren’t fun either. Especially when there’s an accidental drill 4 hours prior to the real one. It’s a pretty scary thing to open up your door and have to run out of the building while crouched over, and not breathing because there’s black smoke filling the entire hallway. Then getting outside and realizing how bad it actually was, and if you wouldn’t have gone to wake up your best friend in the connecting room, she could be on her way to the hospital. Thankfully, I had my priorities straight. Wake up Marissa, grab $1500 MacBook I got less than 2 months prior, and get the hell out of the building. That was a crazy couple days, but somehow I still managed to make it on the Deans List that semester, even though I was dealing with a fire and getting settled in a different dorm room for about a half a month in the middle of the semester. Just don’t ask me what I learned in class during that time because I honestly don’t remember.

I missed my dog a lot while I was gone. She’s my best friend. I hated being away from her, yet somehow I agreed to go live back at school next year. I don’t know how I’m going to get through it again, but I know I will somehow make it.

People aren’t always who they seem to be. You meet someone and they seem great at first and then you realize so many things you didn’t notice before and they turn out to be a really shitty person. I’m not going to throw anyone under the bus here, but I will say that one person I met within the first couple days of being on campus, and halfway through the winter semester she turned out to be completely different and for my own sanity I had to get out of that toxicity, and thankfully I was able to.

Lying is okay sometimes. Especially when it’s to the shitty people who don’t deserve your energy. Lying is okay when it makes you happy, doesn’t do harm & if it isn’t constant. I’m not sitting here saying I lied all the time while being away at college, but if the situation needed a lie to get me through it, I learned that it was okay to tell a small lie… sorry mom!

Marissa and Christine are my life savers. Marissa stopped me from dropping out after not even being gone a week into school. Classes hadn’t even started yet but I wanted more than anything to leave, and Marissa stopped me from feeling that way. I will forever be grateful for her. Christine is someone I never thought I would be friends with, but somehow is the person I go to for almost everything now. Unfortunately, her roommate skewed my opinion on her before I ever got the chance to make any decisions myself, but doing that backfired on her, and now she isn’t in my life anymore, but Christine is and now Marissa, Christine & I are living together next year and I am super excited about it!

I don’t want to live in Michigan after I graduate. I’ve known it for a while, but being in college made me realize just how badly I don’t want to stay here. It started off as me wanting to live in California, changed to Florida, then it became a most realistic North or South Carolina. Down south, but not too far. I don’t know if I will stick with it, but I really hope I don’t settle on living in Michigan. It is beautiful and all don’t get me wrong, but I’m too comfortable here and I need to be put in uncomfortable situations to continue growing in life. Maybe one day I will want to move back to MI, but I don’t see that happening right now.

It sucks being away from people for 4 months after living with them for 8 months. Christine has basically lived with us for the past 3 months; and we all have to go back home for the 4 month summer we have. It’s gonna suck, but I know FaceTime is easily accessible for us all, and we won’t forget about each other. Knowing I get to live with them for my entire sophomore year is getting me through the summer. As of when I am typing this there is about 60 days left of summer before we are reunited and those 60 days are going to go by so slow but so fast at the same time.

College is weird. You meet amazing people, but you have to weed out the bad people first. That takes a while and it’s gonna make you cry a few times. Things are hard, but you will get though them. Live each day like it’s the last, but for me that involves playing cards every day. It’s what makes me happy, and I’m gonna continue doing just that. I don’t know how the rest of the years will go, but I know how this one went, and I wouldn’t wish the bad parts on my worst enemy. The bad things I’ve gone through are enough to last a couple lifetimes. It’s all part of the bigger plan to make me grow as a person. I know that. I have faith in the bigger plan. I know I’ve grown as a person because of this step in my life and I know I’ve learned a lot of lessons I never thought I would have to learn. Hopefully my sophomore year doesn’t have too many lessons though. I think I had enough this year.

First Week of college

After my first night on campus, getting only 4 hours of sleep, I was extremely ready to go back home. There were 4 scheduled days of orientation; the first day of it was move in day, so we were on to Day 2. Breakfast was at 8:00 in the morning and it was not good food at all. We did other boring things throughout the day; the entire day I was on the verge of tears because of how much I hated being on campus.

The third day, breakfast once again was at 8:00 in the morning. I don’t know who came up with that schedule, but I didn’t appreciate it.Once again, breakfast wasn’t good food. We also did very boring things that day as well, so Olivia and I slipped out part of the way through the day. I still called my mom crying about how much I hated it, and I was convinced that it was actually the campus and I didn’t feel like I belonged there. I was crying about how I made the wrong decision to go to EMU and I didn’t want to go anymore. I was begging my mom to bail me out. I tried telling her I would never ask her for anything ever again, I told her I would take her on a vacation to anywhere in the world she wanted to go to, if she would just get me out of college.She obviously didn’t go for it.

Finally, on the fourth day, which was Monday, they let us sleep in until 10:00! This day sounded very boring, but we didn’t want to be stuck in our room all day, so we went to orientation once again and it turned out to be a little bit fun. Also on this day, one of my suitemates, Marissa, texted me and said that we should hang out and actually meet each other. We finally met, after 4 days of sharing a bathroom and never meeting. Olivia and I were going to get ice from the basement, so we casually went over through the bathroom and asked if either of them wanted to join us. Marissa took the offer, and Gabby stayed back because she had homework already (even though classes weren’t starting for another 2 days) I thought it was strange, too.

Once we got back to our rooms, we were going to play cards, so Marissa and Gabby joined us for that as well. Gabby ended up trying to teach us to play euchre, and it didn’t go very well. She left eventually to go do her homework again, so Marissa, Olivia and I played Uno by ourselves. It was a pretty fun night and  it was the first night I didn’t completely want to leave. We also ended up feeling like we were starving around 11:30pm , so we ordered pizza and had it delivered because we had a 40% off coupon to last us through the entire year. That night turned out to be a lot of fun and it was kind of a turning point to my experience in college.

I hit another little bump in the road when my classes started,  specifically my math class. I was very overwhelmed with it all, mainly because the professor said how everything should be review and it was all completely new to me. He gave us a lot of homework on the first day and I wasn’t expecting it, so I got even more overwhelmed because I  didn’t have the book to do the homework. Thankfully somebody let me take pictures of her book so I was able to do the homework.

Through the rest of the week, one thing stayed the same. Marissa, Gabby, Olivia, and I all played cards every single night. We all shared stories about our lives and things we’ve been through, and it was very therapeutic to be that comfortable with people we had just met earlier that week. Little did I know that I would become even more close with Marissa…

Move in Day

On Thursday, September 1st, I packed up the car with most of my belongings I would be taking to college with me. It was a real-life game of Tetris, but we managed to fit it all in one car, aside from my clothes and a couple shoe racks. It also started raining during that time, so I didn’t enjoy it very much. Not that packing is ever fun, but it was actually exciting until it started raining.

 Friday morning, I woke up way too early for my liking, which was probably at 7am. I took my last hot shower at home, then packed up the rest of the little things that I was forgetting. I went downstairs and ate my breakfast, though I wasn’t actually that hungry because I was so nervous. I also had to make time to say goodbye to my dog, and it was probably the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever done because she thought we were just leaving for another vacation, but little did she know I wouldn’t be coming back for a while. Once I was done crying over that, I got in the car — a bit later than I had originally wanted to — and we drove to Eastern. The entire drive I was half-joking with my mom that we missed the turn to go back home so I didn’t have to leave, but she never turned around.

 Once we got to the campus, it was packed with people and it made me want to leave more than ever. I just wanted to go back home and sleep longer and never leave home again. There were people handing out candy, so I tried to make myself happy by saying that they could do that all the time and I would like it there, but I wasn’t convincing anyone, not even myself.

 My mom & I unpacked a few things from the car and went to go check in and get my keys. I went in the building, and I had no idea what to do because it was my first time ever being in the building. There was a table with two people and they asked me what room I would be in, so I said 111 and they directed me to go into the room that was across from them, so I did. In the meantime, my mom had to just stand in the hallway because she wasn’t allowed to go past a certain point. I went into the room, they asked me again what room I would be in, I told them again, they gave me a paper and told me to go to the next table, so I did. Those people also asked me what room, so I repeated myself for the 3rd time, and they directed me to another table. At this point I was so annoyed with the process that I wanted to leave even more than I had before. Finally, after 5 tables, I got my key and I signed the paper saying I was committed for the entire year.

 My mom and I walked up to my room with a backpack each, and I found the room perfectly fine, but I couldn’t get the door open. Silly me, I was trying to open it like a normal door. But no, apparently you have to turn the key and then just push open the door, never turning the handle like you would think. Anyway, once I was actually in the room, we started filling out the damage paper so I don’t get charged for anything at the end of the year. Turns out, there was a lot wrong with the room. From cracks in the ceiling, to a chunk of wood missing from one of the dressers, and a 3-inch dent in the wall, I wrote down every little thing I could find wrong with the room.

 I wanted my side of the room arranged differently than they had it set up, so I tried doing it on my own and I couldn’t get the dresser to move; we thought maybe it was bolted to the floor. I was immediately more overwhelmed because it was just another thing going wrong, and it hadn’t even reached 10:00 in the morning. Thankfully some student helpers came and moved the furniture for me, and they talked to me and calmed me down a little bit.

 We started unpacking all of my things and my roommate Olivia showed up also. There was 8 people in a 12×12 foot room, which wasn’t the most fun, but we managed. Around noon, we decided to go to the picnic lunch the university was providing. It wasn’t very good, but I also wasn’t expecting it to be. After that, we had to go catch a bus to take us to the football field for orientation. That was going to be the last time I could see my family, so we all said goodbye. My mom gave me a hug and I lost it. I started regretting my decision to live on campus yet again, and I just wanted her to take me home, but she wouldn’t.

 Orientation was boring, and both Olivia and I just wanted to get back to our room so we could arrange our belongings. Once we found out that the busses ran every half an hour, we got out of that football stadium quickly. The bus we ended up catching probably wasn’t our safest idea; there were about 40 people trying to fit onto a bus with maybe 15 seats on it. About 15 people were standing, 2 of those people being Olivia and me. Every time the bus turned a corner we would slide around, and the bus driver slammed on the breaks a few too many times. Overall, not the best experience.

 Olivia & I both ended up taking showers as soon as we got back because it was so hot out that day, and we arranged a few things, but I just ended up Facetiming my mom, crying about how I didn’t want to be there anymore.

My first night, I probably got 4 hours of sleep, and I wanted to cry as soon as I woke up. All in all, move in day was not my favorite day. My immediate feeling was that I didn’t like it and I wanted to go back home. I thought I would never like it and I just wanted to sleep in my own bed. I basically hated the college that I was going to be stuck at for 8 months.

 

Choosing My Roommate and Room

At the beginning of June, I was finally able to go into the portal to choose my roommate. If you have read the other posts I’ve written, you know that I already figured out who my roommate is going to be. All I had to do that day was go in and type Olivia’s name. Since we were on FaceTime, we did it at the same time, and then we had to accept each other’s request. It was a very short process, so I didn’t do a post about it on its own.

              Today, however, is a bigger and more exciting day. Today I get to choose the exact room where I will live for 8 months! I started skyping Olivia around 10:30 in the morning because we were both so excited. Our assigned time and date to be able to do everything said July 18, 2016 at 12:00 P.M. I logged into the portal at 11:54 and it was the longest 6 minutes of my life. We were counting down the seconds until it reached 12:00, and once it was exactly 12:00 we refreshed the page. It still said we weren’t able to do anything, so I probably refreshed the page 10 times within 30 seconds, and finally I got in!
              The first step is to choose the hall that I want to be in, and that was the easiest part. The next thing I had to do was choose the floor I wanted to be on. It confused me a bit because the ground floor is Male-only, and I assumed that meant the “first floor” but the “first” floor is actually the second floor on the building. So there’s a ground floor, first floor, second, third, and fourth floor. Olivia and I had previously decided that we wanted to be on the first floor, which is technically the second floor to us. I chose that and then it gave me the options of the rooms that were open. I had to choose one that said Female, and 2/2 beds available, beause I already chose Olivia as my roommate. So we were going through the options and the way we were choosing the room was by what numbers jumped out at us. Not too close to the stairs because we don’t know how loud it can be, and finally, since the rooms are suites (two rooms that connect through a bathroom), we wanted to be on the shower-side of the bathroom, not the toilet side. The room that fit our requirements was room 111. Convenient, I know. It should be pretty easy to remember, I think!
              After I selected that, I had to choose my meal plan. There are three options and I have been thinking about them for 2 months, trying to figure out which one is best for me. I selected the one I had ultimately decided would be the best, and if I decide that it isn’t perfect, I can always change it for my 2nd semester of the year.
              As I said, I was on skype with Olivia and after we both got through the process, we were so excited. Olivia had found a while ago how to address something so it will get to our mailbox on campus, so we both wrote that down and sent the picture to our moms.
              It’s very real now, having a new address that will be mine for 8 months. I chose the room that I will be living in for 8 months of my life! I’m not even 18 yet, though I will be in 12 days, and I chose a room that has an address for people to send me mail! All I have to do now is buy everything else I will need in my room. Move-in day is September 2nd, so I still have a while, thankfully.

Fast Track Orientation

Fast Track Orientation is Eastern Michigan University’s version of Freshmen Orientation, and they have it all in one day in the spring so that in the fall, it saves more time. It starts around 10am and ends around 4pm. Since I only live 20 minutes away from EMU, I left my house around 9:15 to get there early and check in. I was going with my mom & dad so they could learn where I was going to be living in the fall. When we got there, I checked in, then we found a seat and for about an hour, they had students and parents all in the same room and talking about general things. After that, they separated the students from the parents, divided us into groups, and we had to go meet with advisors. My tour guide was talking about something being on our papers that listed our majors, but I had no idea where she was talking about so I asked somebody next to me. She didn’t know either, so we helped each other out and turns out she put down the same major as me.

Unfortunately, EMU doesn’t have anything for physical therapy, so somebody a while back had told me to put down occupational therapy because it was close enough to get the general idea. When we went into the room with the advisors, we sat down and straight away I told the advisor that I didn’t want to actually major in occupational therapy, I wanted physical therapy. I don’t think she really knew what to do with that information, so she kind of just ignored what I said and moved on. At the table where we were, it was the advisor, the girl I asked the question about the major, (I found out later her name is Lydia) and me. Basically all the advisor had us do was write down about six classes that we wanted to take, which we could then choose from when we would register later in the day. After we were done meeting with the advisor, we got a voucher for lunch and were told to go get lunch, then go back up to where we were so we could listen to a presentation while we ate. I was so excited to have a break to eat lunch, but then they tell me I can’t even enjoy lunch without listening to them talk about things?? I ended up going with Lydia and we got lunch at the same place, then went back up to the presentation and ate while they talked about things I already knew.

Finally when they were done, it was time to go sign up for classes so we all walked to the library and went to a computer lab; my tour guide showed us how to sign up for classes then let us do it. I was originally planning on taking an English class, a math class, a science class and a psychology class, but when I was talking with the advisor, she told me not to take a science class yet. My new plan was to take an English class, a math class, psychology and children’s literature, however when I got on and started looking at the classes, most of the psychology classes were 80-100 people (with the exception of maybe four, which had only 20-40 people). I don’t work well with a lot of people in one class, so I figured I would try to wait until I could get into one of the 20-40 people classes. So once again, I had to change my plans. I figured I would take an English, math, children’s literature, and a feminist studies class. I signed up for my English class and matched it up so that I could have it with Lydia. One class signed up for (finally!), so I went on to my math class and get that one registered. Next I tried to get the feminist studies class that my future roommate Olivia had already signed up for, but it was full. Another class had one spot left so I was all set to sign up, but then realized it would create a conflict with one of the other classes, so I decided to forego that class. I signed up for the children’s literature class and then chose one of my alternatives that I had planned on taking in the winter semester: nonverbal communication. So finally, after some adjustments to my original plan, I had my schedule of 12 credit hours! On Mondays and Wednesdays I would have math from 11:00am to 12:15pm, and children’s literature from 3:30pm to 4:45pm. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I would have my English class from 2:00pm to 3:15pm, and my nonverbal communication class from 3:30pm to 4:45pm. No classes on Fridays, and I was definitely not going to sign up for any class that started before 10am.

After we had registered for our classes, we went back to the place we ate lunch and got our pictures taken for our ID cards, then had to listen to yet another presentation about a bunch of stuff I already knew. After that was done we finally got to go back to the room where we thought our parents would be, but they weren’t; there were a lot of students, including me, looking hopelessly lost wondering where our parents were. Turns out they were in a lecture as well, so once they got released, we all went to go to the Resource Fair which was supposed to go until 4:30, and then we wanted to take a “dorm room only” tour, which was supposed to start at 4:30 and go until 5:00. However, they apparently had changed the plans, and around 3:50 they were making announcements that the dorm only tour would be leaving in 5 minutes. We quickly made the decision to go on the tour and then we would come back afterward and see everything at the resource fair. Luckily the dorm I wanted to see was the first one, so we left right after that one and quickly made our way back to the resource fair. Once we got there, though, we noticed that almost everything was packed up and most of the representatives had left. It had only been a maximum of 20 minutes that we had been gone, so there should have still been 15 more minutes of the resource fair. We ended up talking to a few people that were still there, but a lot of my mom’s questions still didn’t get answered.

By the time we were in the car on our way home, I was exhausted mentally and physically. They gave us so much information, expected us to do everything all in one day (which I wasn’t expecting), the advisor had not listened to me, and my plan with classes was thrown off. I was so done with the day and wanted to just stop everything and throw away all the plans I had about going to EMU and living on campus. It sounds dramatic, I know, but it’s what I was ready to do. Whenever I get thrown off by things and they become more challenging, I usually want to give up. I never actually give up, but I definitely get a good cry out of it and then realize I’m a baby and need to get over whatever the issue is, so I pick myself up, fix my makeup, and tackle the issue like it didn’t even phase me.

That’s what I ended up doing, and it helped me be able to do more research about occupational therapy versus physical therapy. Turns out, it’s basically the same thing except physical therapy is to try and relieve pain, while occupational therapy is helping somebody with everyday tasks like brushing their teeth, or doing the dishes. I then realized that occupational therapy is what I actually wanted to do, not physical therapy, but I thought it was the same thing. EMU doesn’t have anything for physical therapy, but they do have an occupational therapy program, which requires a master’s degree; physical therapy, starting in 2017, requires a doctorate degree. My new plan is to attend EMU for the entire time I’m in college, and go into the occupational therapy program. It’s less schooling, therefore saving me money in the long run. So while that day was mentally exhausting, it opened my eyes to what occupational therapy is, and I changed my major before I even started college classes. I can tell that this college journey is not going to be easy, and things like this are going to happen a lot. Nothing may happen like I thought it would, but I think I’m ready for the crazy ride.

Changing my plans.

After hearing multiple comments from multiple people about how I should/need to live on campus, it made me realize that I actually do want to live on campus, but I don’t want to go in blind and not know who my roommate is. So, I told myself that if I found a roommate, I would live on campus and be okay with the living cost.

A couple days after I signed up for Fast Track, something made me ask my friend Olivia where she was going to college. After she said EMU, I asked if she was commuting or living on campus, and she said commuting. I expressed my thoughts about how I didn’t want to go in blind but wanted to live on campus, and surprisingly she said she felt the exact same way, but her mom told her that she wasn’t sure if Olivia was ready to live on her own yet. With both of us wanting to live on campus but not go in blind, we started to think about what it would be like if we were roommates, though we both knew we couldn’t get too excited because she still had to talk to her mom about it. The day after that, she talked to her mom and surprisingly her mom said it was okay because she would be rooming with me and it’s only 20 minutes away. We were so excited, but then the next obstacle came into the picture when Olivia looked to see if her Financial Aid scholarship from Eastern would cover the room & board and it said it wouldn’t. This was on a Sunday, so she sent off an email asking about it and figured she would hear back on Monday. Monday came along and she texted me and said that all someone had to do was switch the living situation that she had previously selected, and it would be covered. So finally, we could get excited because we both now have a roommate secured and are able to live on campus.

We were so excited to start the process of filling out the housing application and making this real that as soon as we both got home from school Tuesday, we hopped onto FaceTime and started filling out the housing application at the same time. After about 5 minutes into that process we hit another road block because we are both under 18. We couldn’t continue until we printed a 3-page contract that our parent had to sign and then we could either turn it in by going to EMU and handing it to them, or we could scan it and email it to somebody as a PDF. Luckily we both have printers that have a scan feature, so we were able to do that option. However, the person didn’t email us back giving us the go ahead until after 5:00, and by that point our sessions had timed out and the page wouldn’t refresh for either of us, so we had to wait yet again. Wednesday came along, and right after school we hopped on FaceTime again and filled out the rest, which included a nonrefundable prepayment of $100. Finally all of this becomes real and we’re officially in the system to live on campus. Choosing the room and residence hall we want doesn’t open until June, so we now have to wait again a couple months to continue this process.

The reason for this blog.

Since I am going away to college (even though it’s only 20 minutes away from my home town), I figured it would be cool for my family — and me — to have something that captures my College Life. My own writing, my own thoughts and of course my own journey. The ups and the downs, the stress and the fun times will all be captured, and everybody can know what’s going on while I’m in college…just in case I don’t have the time (or I forget) to call or text them to say I’m still alive.

Over spring break I fully committed to Eastern Michigan University for college in the fall of 2016. All I had to do was sign in and activate my account, then sign up for Fast Track Orientation. I chose to go to Fast Track on Saturday, April 9, 2016. Nothing seems real yet, so it really just feels like I’m going for another college tour or something. My plans as of this point are to commute to EMU so I can continue to live at home, and also have a job. I don’t see the point of living on campus if it’s only 20 minutes away because the cost of housing isn’t cheap. Although I think it would be fun to live on campus, I can’t justify spending the money to live 20 minutes away from my house.