What’s up guys, how are you doing?
I bet you’re doing swell. You are, in fact, about to read my first official post as an actual Butler Bulldog and if that doesn’t excite you, you’re lying. I don’t want to bore you with extra information on what, exactly, Butler University (BU…get it? I even have a BU rape whistle) (that’s not a lie) is all about, so I won’t. Not yet, anyway. You’ll learn in time, young grasshoppers.
Instead, I’m going to jump right in and introduce myself. So hello, I’m Carissa, and I’m majoring in English Writing and eventually minoring in something. I’m nineteen, and Butler was my first choice school. My roommate’s name is Maria (pronounced “Mariah”), who is seventeen until February, double majoring in International Studies and French, and basically makes me feel like an elder even though she’s the one that acts like it. And by that I mean that she makes me try new food, she forces me to be social, she drags me around to places I’d have normally avoided simply because I’m lazy as heck. She’s like my surrogate mother while her older sister, who lives a half hour away, claims herself as my surrogate sister (no one is really sure how this entire dynamic really works out). Either way, I’m really enjoying my surrogate family.
Welcome Week is obviously designed to welcome the incoming freshmen class (us), and any college you decide to attend will essentially have some form of early orientation for you newcomers. That’s something to expect. It’s not always necessarily a full week long, but you know, you just go with it. My Welcome Week began on Saturday, August 23rd, with move-in from 8AM to 2PM. I’d just like to point out that the room I share with Maria is on the third floor of Ross Hall (our co-ed freshman dorm), and the temperature in Indianapolis was high eighties with ridiculous humidity, making it feel like high nineties, and basically our room was a sauna and we had to unpack and lift one bed onto the other and do all kinds of physical work that also included climbing way too many stairs, and I can assure you that it sucks. But at the same time, you’re way too excited that this is even happening, and you don’t even care.
At one point I just stood in the middle of the room and thought to myself, how could I, a recent high school graduate whose last summer just flew by feeling the same as all the others, be standing in my own dorm room at the college I fell in love with a roommate I get along with and nearly all of my bedroom-at-home’s contents scattered on the floor around me? How could I be over four hundred miles away from home with no intentions of going back until late November? How is this me right now?
And everyone’s different, so when you get to that point that I was at, you’re either going to A) let all of these things pump you up even more, or B) let them sink into your gut like the dread and despair that they are and torture you for the rest of the day as you realize there is no going back now.
Hopefully, you know, you choose option A like me. I sense it’d be a lot less awful.
Welcome Week is designed to be fun, but it can also be a drag, unfortunately. I mean, you have to say goodbye to your parents/guardians/siblings/boyfriend/girlfriend/friends/whoever brought you, and then there are some lectures you have to sit through, and this thing called the Convocation Ceremony. Actually, it might not be called that everywhere, but if you have to sit through a little ceremony where all the deans and presidents and other important people are introduced to you and people give speeches, that’s probably your version of the Convocation Ceremony. And there are other boring things you sit through too, but there are also so many awesome fun things too.
There are ice-breaker events, which aren’t as awful as they sound, I promise. That’s coming from arguably the least social person on the planet. There are parties, concerts, other forms of entertainment, and the greatest part is that it’s all meant for solely the oncoming freshman class. You. Like, there are no upperclassmen to intimidate you. No one that already knows what they’re doing, which leaves you and a bunch of other people your age who feel nervous and shy and confused and lonely just like you. Anything you’re feeling, everyone else is feeling too. Think about it. You’re not the only new freshman. As soon as I realized that, I became three hundred percent more comfortable.
Let me explain to you a thing. I have this issue where, when any amount of attention is turned on me from more than one person, I become apparently so self-conscious that not only does my face become the most horrifyingly bright shade of red ever, my neck and chest begin to splotch up with that redness as well, and I look like a Class A Dufus.
That doesn’t happen anymore.
The entire new class was gathered into groups according to the First Year Seminar they’re taking, and my group is made up of about eighteen of us (I’ll give more information on Butler later, but it’s a pretty small school if you were wondering). This is about the size of most of my classes in high school, so I felt at the same time completely in my area of expertise and totally out of my league, because college. Little ol’ me. I don’t know, I’m still not sure that we coexist. Either way, when called on by my SOG (Student Orientation Guide, an upperclassman offering their time to help with our orientation), I recited my name, my major, where I’m from, and a fun fact about myself with no hesitation. And when I was finished, no red. None.
Want to know why? Because in college — at least at Butler for sure — no one judges you. Okay? Did you hear that? No one judges you. No one looks at you like you’re crazy when you announce what you’re interested in. No one gawks at you like you’ve sprouted a second nose if you ask a question or participate in a discussion. Like, they respect you. They know they’re different, they know you’re different, they know everyone is different. If your high school was anything like mine, then you’ll know how unheard of everything I just said is. How strange it is. But it’s true; at college, you’re on your own, you have to accept responsibility, and this matures you. You become understanding and open-minded and kind and generous and caring and accepting, and it’s such a beautiful thing to witness and be a part of. That has been my favorite thing so far.
Apart from Maria, I’ve already made friends, and it’s only the third full day I’ve been here. I mean, there’s kids whose names I know, and then there are kids whom I know, kids who I eat lunch with and walk with and am already friends with and excuse me but is that weird or is it just me? It’s only my third day.
But welcome to college.
I’m writing this blog to hopefully assure you that the things you worry about and the things you feel are not things that solely you feel. There are more people like you. I’m like you. I worry, I get sad, I get nervous, I’m antisocial, I fear I’m not good enough, I doubt, I question, I’m skeptic, I’m scared, and I’m excited. I have so many hopes and wishes for my experience here, and I’ll share all of them with you as well as what really goes on here. I’ll tell you about everything, because I wish something like this existed for me when I was in the process of deciding where I wanted to spend the next four-six years of my life and how I would even survive them on my own. So leave me questions or comments or suggestions, and I will most definitely be at your service. You’ll probably get to hear from Maria at some point as well, and let me tell you, she is a gem. You’ll love her.
Until then, sleep well and dream big.