Sunday, August 24, 2014

Orientation Week

I knew from the start of it that orientation week was going to be utter-stupidity. A week filled with forced activities, ice-breakers and overly-peppy peers who can't "wait to start college". I'd never been one for group activities or very school-oriented events. Little did I know when I moved in Wednesday that Friday and Saturday night would consist of being in my room by 6p.m, going to sleep at 4 almost every night this week, and that I'd sit in my room crying for what seemed like hours. Including right now as I type this post. I'm not crying because of homesickness, or because I miss Bradley (which I do, but I'm at a peace of mind in that aspect of my moving away) or my friends back home, I'm upset because people seem to have found some friends. They have met their roommate(s) and some good people to go out to meals with or hell - even parties! (and we've been here for 4 days...). They walk across campus and they wave to each other. "HEY Walter!!" here and "Sup man! come to my dorm for a movie later?" there?. Meanwhile, my days have consisted of smoking on the quad, sitting in the library or sitting alone at dinner (props to me for sleeping in till 3 every day, skipping both breakfast and lunch) in hopes that someone will come up to me and strike up a conversation. I've tried talking to people, but they aren't very receptive and if they are theres this ever-looming awkwardness in between us that didn't happen when I saw them with someone else. I sit in my dorm reading Buzzfeed articles off of my phone as I hear a crowd walk past my door to the common room. It is past midnight and from their slurred conversation and unnecessary cacophonies that they are drunk. They are having such a good time. It'll get better is all I've heard. Yes, I'm sure it will, but orientation week is not even over and people are having fun, sinking their feet into the ground. Whereas I'm not. It's not jealousy or spite that I feel. It's contempt for myself...for being so reserved, amateur and un-open to the festivities that are freshman orientation. I fear that it will take me a while to develop connections with people and my nights will consist of they have for the past week.

However, there has been some highlights to this week, despite all that in-my-head depressiveness; On my ride to Blue Water Baltimore for our volunteer project on Friday, I sat next to this guy in my second orientation group (who also happens to be in my Screenwriting and Adaptations class) named Michael. I didn't have intentions on talking to him (a probable factor of why I'm not making any "friends" [or people to hang-out with...] this week) because frankly, he's a pretty intimidating looking guy: six-foot-something lacrosse player and considering my past encounters with lacrosse players, I didn't want to set myself up for an awkward situation. Anyways, so I didn't have any intentions on talking to him, so I put my headphones in my phone and started picking something to play when he strikes up a conversation. I don't remember exactly what he had said, but it took me by surprise. We spent the entire half hour bus ride to Blue Water talking about where we came from, our siblings, our relationships with them, his season (minimally), hardships his people faced in Cuba, rafts and the dead culture, I told him about Mexican hardships crossing the border, ethnic foods and other things pertaining the subjects. We didn't talk after that and on the ride back I knocked-out. I did lift my head when I heard him say to the guy in the seat next to us The Catcher in the Rye was one of his favorite books (which was kind of creepy considering I was semi-asleep) and chimed in said that TCitR was my favorite book (it was also people funny because Bradley had snapped me earlier saying he felt like I have this entire week).

Today I made my way to the Athenaeum to sit in the library to wallow in my sadness...and read Watership Down. I ran into my neighbor Michaela (Mikayla?) and Walter, the international student from Hong Kong who's in my orientation group, and asked if they knew why everything was closed. We ended up talking for a little bit and going into Towson because we all had some errands to run. My gold Doc Marten loafers gave me awful blisters, causing me to walk barefoot the rest of the hour or two we were in town (including the mall). I bought my cigarette roller in a cool record store we found! I got lost on my way to Walgreens. I found my way to Walgreens. We walked back to school and the entire walk back with Michaela (Walter was left behind because he caught up with some *upperclassmen* friends....AGAIN 4th day!!!???) was very awkward filled with small-talk (mostly from me) and short answers (from her). As soon as I could I split and took off to my room and she didn't even seem phased and thats how it has been.

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