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.