5 Things That Hit You In The Feels When You're Thrown Into College Orientation

5 Things That Hit You In The Feels When You're Thrown Into College Orientation

This step before moving in can hit you like a ton of bricks (or textbooks).

Keleri
Keleri
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This past week, I went to my college orientation, also known as SummerStart at my school. SummerStart is a two-day event with both orientation and registration occurring over the course of it. Here are some of the things that gave me all of the feels while I was attending.

1. Seeing your campus for the first time.

Even though I live in Washington, I had never been able to make it up to campus before. Actually seeing it for the first time made me really emotional. Especially in the case of Western, which is known for being a beautiful campus. The smoke did ruin some of it, but it was lovely to see it for myself!

2. Moving into a dorm room overnight.

For my orientation, we got to stay in the dorm rooms overnight, and this was another moment that was fueling my emotions. Even though we weren't really moving in, having room keys and a random roommate felt like the first taste of actual college life.

3. Registering for classes.

For me, registering for classes was both a very stressful and very rewarding experience. They warned us we might not be able to get spots in the classes we wanted due to all of the upperclassmen having registered. There were only so many spots that they opened up for us. So, of course, this meant lots of planning was needed before we actually went to register, but the planning was worth it! I was able to get into all of the classes I wanted, and that was really exciting!

4. Your college ID card.

I'm not sure if every school does this, but Western chooses to do the ID cards for new students at orientation. Receiving that card was really just overwhelming. Of course, just like in high school, the picture probably isn't the most flattering, but it's not the picture that counts. Receiving that card is like a huge announcement of "Hey! I'm a real college student now!" I'm not going to say I cried upon receiving my ID card, but I definitely got a little misty-eyed.

5. Leaving the campus again.

Probably one of the most emotional moments for me was when I tried leaving the campus again. After having spent a whirlwind 24 hours there, I was extremely satisfied with my college choice and I wasn't ready to leave! I spent a good couple of hours just wandering around campus with a map, looking for my classrooms and just getting familiar with the buildings. When I finally did get in my car to head home, a wave of sadness crashed over me. I was ready for college to start right then.

These emotions were definitely a roller coaster to handle while I was at orientation, but at the end of it all, I can say that I am definitely counting down the days to moving in!

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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I Learned So Much In My First College Semester, Including That No College Experience Is The Same

I could write a book from everything I've learned in the past six months.

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I just have to point out that in true college fashion, this semester in review, if you will, is coming to you a grand month into the new semester. If that isn't the epitome of college, I'm not sure what is.

The first and perhaps the most important thing that the beginning of college has taught me is that you have to let go of expectations. There are a million different stories and opinions coming at you your senior year of high school about what college is like and what you should do once you get there. But the truth is, everyone is different. There is no quintessential college experience because no college lifestyle is superior to any other one.

There are some people who go to every single school spirit/ sporting event that the school has to offer and there are others (like me) who are content with attending a couple games a season and enjoying their Saturday afternoons not melting into the stands of McLane stadium during Waco's stupidly hot fall.

But the point is, you do you. And honestly, it might take you a while to figure out what kind of life you want to have in college. Maybe it requires a few all-nighters and poor choices before you decide the things you like, the crowd you want to run in, and what you want to make of your college years.

And speaking of running in crowds, I present to you: friends. They're probably one of the most challenging parts of college. Now your first semester is really designed to get you socializing and making new friends, but you're making them in a way that you never did when you were younger. College requires you to reach out, to push yourself, and to get out of your comfort zone. And having friends doesn't mean you'll spend 24/7 with them. In college, everyone has different priorities which mean you may only get to hang out with certain friends once or twice a week. That doesn't make those friendships invalid, it's just a sign that you're growing up and having less time and more responsibility.

I've always known that being a good friend is important, but college has taught me that it's one of the most important roles you can play in someone's life. College is a time when you're moving away from home, turning a leaf, and trying things out for yourself. It can be lonely, confusing, exhausting, exhilarating. The one thing everyone needs is a friend. People will try to tell you that college is about dating or finding your person or ring by spring but really it's about friends, so do your best to be a good one.

Now there's also the cliche advice about not taking 8 a.m. classes, eating pizza every day in the dining hall, or partying on a Thursday night when you have class in the morning, but all of that stuff seems rather obvious.

If there was one thing I could go back and tell myself about the beginning it would be to relax and let the kinks work themselves out. Nothing is going to be the way you expected and that's ok. Have fun, work hard, and be kind, that's really all you need to know.

Love,

Lilly

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