Unless you count orientation, I have just completed my first full week of college. Whoa. Round of applause for me. Really. A year ago today I was in the deepest funk of my entire life, and the idea of college didn’t even cross my mind. I was so focused on trying to stay alive, to make it through each day, that I never considered college to be a possibility for something in my future. But as the fanfare surrounding my egregious actions died down, I started to apply to colleges. I was lucky enough to be accepted into my number two school, Babson College in Babson Park, Massachsetts, a school well-known for its prowess in entrepreneurship. So now, here I am, typing this post from my bed, in the corner of my scorching hot quad room. Just after finishing a reading on how we, as humans, are not supposed to be conquerors of the land that God gave to us, but instead, are to be members of the land. Deep stuff for a business school, huh? Anyway, this first week has really given me an interesting perspective on what my future will be like, the different fields I might be entering into for an internship or a job, and just how much responsibility it takes to be a truly responsible adult, in everything from my work to things as simple as cleaning my sheets.
So… there are a lot of good things about college- like, who wouldn’t want to be able to eat French fries whenever the hell you want to (I don’t actually do that, thankfully)- but there are also some bad things, too. Here are some of the great- and the not so great- things that I’ve discovered in my first week of college.
Three Things I Like:
The Variety Of Activities
It’s rare that you find a place where literally every single person that you meet, no matter how stoned or stressed they may be, is exceedingly nice to you. But that happens to be the case here at Babson. Everybody goes out of their way to be kind and inclusive to one another (well, almost everyone- there is one kid in my math class…), no mean feat considering the cultural diversity of the student body here and the different backgrounds and interests each individual students have. I lucked into having three awesome roommates that are incredibly kind and accepting of me, despite how unbelievably boring and awkward I am. I’ve made a few good friends, too, who I’m surprised have taken a liking to me for the same reasons why I question why my roommates seem to like me. But that’s just the way that people are here- super-duper nice.
My high school was arguably one of the most socially diverse schools in the state of Illinois, owing to the fact that it had about 2,800 students. Babson only has about 2,200 students, but the number of activities that I can get involved in here is absolutely ridiculous. Like, there’s a club here that’s specifically dedicated to business in the Caribbean. Like, that is SUPER specific (and to be honest, sounds super cool). There’s a TV station, a radio station, and a newspaper. There are different clubs and organizations that can help you determine your career or further it. There are club sports and intermural sports. There’s really something for everyone here, and it’s a great opportunity to get involved in basically anything I choose.
My laptop. I can’t describe how much I enjoy this thing. To be able to customize everything to my whim, to be able to browse the Internet or type up a paper in whatever location I please, lying or sitting down… it is honestly super awesome. It is an Internet junkie/writer’s dream come true. And it has a TOUCH SCREEN! AH!!!!!
Three Things I Don’t Like:
The Party Atmosphere
Being Away From Home
For basically all of these things, I probably should have known better. Probably should have expected the emotions that came with these things. And to some extent, I did. But probably not as much as I should have.
First, with the partying- I am a goody two-shoes. I have never drank or smoked in my life, and frankly, don’t plan to. I’m perfectly ok with other people smoking and drinking, maybe even a bit more than they are supposed to. But when so many people seem so OBSESSED with drinking as much as they can without ending up in a hospital, with smoking as much as they can before they either end up in a coughing fit or with eyes so glazed they can’t see, is disgusting to me. You shouldn’t do what I do and stay in most nights to write blog posts, but the excessive drinking, smoking, partying… is just blah.
Not having gone to a traditional high school since October, the idea of actually having homework is pretty foreign to me, so maybe I’m blowing the whole homework thing out of proportion. But honestly, my high school was very diligent in preparing us for college prep, and I still think that the workload that I have already, in the first week, is fairly ridiculous. The things we have to read, take notes on, the ideas we have to generate… All while making a brand new friend group and joining tons of clubs? It’s a very difficult proposition, and finishing all the work on time, with the proper quality, is probably the hardest of all the expectations we have here.
I chose to be far away from my home back in Illinois. I knew that I was going to have to be out of my house, away from my family, my friends, my girlfriend, my video games, and so many other things. I knew that college was going to be a new adventure that would promise new people, and new things to try out, that would MAYBE come close to replacing, if temporarily, the people and the things I left home. But so far, as many things as there are to do here, as many kind people that there are here… they can’t yet compare to what I left behind back in the Midwest.
Three Things I Miss:
My dorm room is on the top floor of the only non-renovated freshman dorm on campus. It’s a quad that frequently has more than four people in it. It was 96 degrees yesterday, and has regularly been in the 80’s with some decent humidity. I love my fan dearly, as it has basically prevented me from becoming a human puddle over the last couple days. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t yearn for the constant cool of the air conditioning, back home or in other dorms. It’s definitely something I’ve taken for granted, being very well to do.
I think that I like the food offerings here at Babson more appealing than many others do- the variety is decent, and the foods that are offered are often very tasty. But others find the food to be disgusting- one of my friends has even flat out refused to eat at the dining hall, only going out to local restaurants or getting food from a separate location. Even though I do like a lot of the caf food, I don’t think anything can ever replace home cooking. A lot of the food here is mass produced, and it just doesn’t seem to have the… homey feeling. The feeling that the food was made lovingly and with a lot of effort. A part of me even misses my mom’s cooking, which, like mine, is subpar. But it’s just the feeling that goes along with a home cooked meal that makes the difference.
And finally, my dog. Picking up his poop or his barf can be a pain sometimes, but honestly, how can you not really, really miss this thing?