Today was the first day of classes at Oxford College, which is more "college like" than orientation week (it's pretty much extended summer camp). This marks the transition from my role as a doe-eyed freshman walking around campus with my Peer Assistant Leader (PAL) - our version of an orientation leader - and a self-sufficient college student.
For so long, I've been waiting for my college orientation week. When I learned about ricepuritytest.com, I learned about the wild activities that could conspire at "O-Week". Every school is different, but the memories are the same.
From the day I was admitted in December 2017 until now, I have been actively taking part in the class group chat. Most of my friends resulted from those online interactions, though I've also enjoyed introducing myself to other classmates. Some of the people I thought I'd be close to I'm not, and others who I thought would be hard to bond with are some of my closest friends so far. Together, we've had movie nights, late-night add/drop/swap waiting sessions, and simply general chill time. I definitely cherish these moments, but I don't expect our bonds to last forever.
Now, after 6 days of busy schedules filled with campus tours, group dinners, info sessions, and college-specific traditions, I am ready for freedom. As the Coke Toast, Oxford Olympics, Convocation, and Candlelight Procession end one by one, I grow more afraid of the days ahead. What if my classes get too hard that I can't keep up? What if I lose friends? How can I narrow down the clubs I want to become involved in? Who am I? What am I doing here? Do I even belong?
Some of these questions are too hard to answer, others will come on their own time. As I continue along my life journey, aspects of my identity/personal qualities and my future goals will reveal themselves when they are meant to.
Now that the leash is off, I have to find my own way. Setting alarms, doing homework, waking up, taking showers, washing faces, brushing teeth, eating breakfast, walking to class, meeting with professors, pursuing opportunities. It is now I have finally realized that I am all alone. My parents are no longer here to help me when I fall, and I'm fending for myself in a strange world.
But I am not the only one who goes through this journey, and today I took the first step. I just have to keep going…and reach the 10,000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell suggests.