I’ve been hearing about going to college my whole life – talk about freaking out my senior year in high school, everybody was freaking out. Will there be really hard classes and tons of homework? I hate trying to fit in when I don’t know anybody. I’ve been told this is what I’m supposed to do since elementary school. Really? And then, it is the end of August. I am so not ready for this.
Embry-Riddle is near my home and my dad works there. Ugggg! Guess where I am going… Everybody knows its rep as nerd school central. You know, pilots, engineers, science geeks and pocket protectors. Students all so laser-focused that they have already decided what they are doing after they graduate. Professors and Resident Assistants all uptight and straight-laced. Fun dies here, right?
Guess what? It is not like that at all! The people I have met know how to let loose and have fun. They are smart, funny, and interesting. Yes, you have to study, but it is not all cooped up in a dorm room and staring at a computer. It is way more Lit than I thought.
Orientation week eased all us nervous freshman into the process. O-Week was cool. No upperclassmen! This made the first few days of settling in, wandering around, meeting new people and finding the best places to eat much less scary. With the O-Team, everything felt like a judgment-free zone. Everybody started making friends right away.
O-Week evening events helped me meet even more people as everyone has to know each other. It started feeling like home, meeting people in your dorm–Doolittle Upper Shaft Rules!–and leaving your door open and playing music to let everyone know to come by and visit. All of a sudden, you have the chance to learn about so many different cultures and customs because everyone at Riddle is from somewhere else.
O-week was like summer camp–a familiar and fun place for any kid away from home for the first time. The week kept going–O-team meetings, pep rallies, information sessions and campus tours. At night, they had all sorts of fun stuff for us to do. We created memories with the people we had met that day. I made awesome friendships.
When O-Week is over and the upperclassmen start arriving, Embry-Riddle still worked hard to keep us entertained and occupied. The activities fair had so many different clubs and organizations. I signed up for SCUBA club, Touch N’ Go Productions, and P.R.I.D.E. Then Rush Week lets you check out Greek life. There are Thursday movie nights, intramural sports teams (I signed up for volleyball), comedy shows, pool parties, cookouts, paint rave, speakers series, and astronomy open houses. The Eagles men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams have games at night. These are all great ways to mingle and get to know new people. Do I have to go to class?
Speaking of… classes are so different in college, everyone is much more engaged and the professors have a passion for what they are teaching that you never see in high school. My major is communications because I’ve always loved English and Psych, but I also might major in Meteorology. Homework is a lot less stressful than I expected, though studying for tests is way more important. However, you can study with a group of friends–which is so different from high school – and keep each other focused and help with questions.
Enough of that. I’m off to the Kennedy Space Center with friends this weekend. I was at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios last week with a freshman friend I know from Portland, and nighttime on the beach with a full moon and new friends is… well, it’s all way more Lit than I thought.