Not my sexual orientation, my college orientation.
As I’ve said before, I’m going to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (a.k.a. Virginia Tech) in the fall. It’s been the school I’ve wanted to go to since freshman year. It’s big, it’s beautiful, it has the best food system in the state, and it’s famous for its academics and research facilities.
Obviously when I got my acceptance letter I was pretty psyched (which is a pun because I’m a psych(ology) major). I was really excited for the freshman orientation too, getting to know the campus and meet and make new friends.
I thought new student orientation would be fantastic, and get me even more pumped for school in less than a month. But it actually did the opposite.
First of all, I almost threw up on the 4 hour drive there because I get incredibly car sick, so I know that going home and back is gonna be a bitch for the next 4-5 years.
Second, the people were way too preppy. So I have these 2 cousins that I love and adore more than anyone. We’re almost exactly alike personality wise, and we generally have the same tastes in life. For some reason, they don’t like Tech. They never have. They told me that it looked kind of off to them, and that “there’s a certain type of people that go there…” I never understood what they meant, but after orientation, I knew. And I should’ve listened to them.
A sort of mob-mentality was happening all day. There was a lot of cheering, a lot of screaming, a LOT of jumping and clapping and dancing. It was just extremely loud in general. And lord knows I hate loud. Also, for some reason there’s this foolish feud between Tech and the University of Virginia. Everyone at Tech hates UVA for reasons unknown to me, even though the UVA kids couldn’t care less. Even on the Facebook page for my class, 90% of it is UVA bashing, and it’s all very petty and immature and makes everyone seem like assholes. They continuously bring up uvarejects.com, but I acknowledge it as just a joke and believe that we shouldn’t let the action of a few individuals bring us to hate the school as a whole.
In essence, 50% of the day was used doing loud things, 40% bashing UVA, 5% playing games, and 5% actually learning about academics and the school.
Third, there’s such a big focus on sports. Tech is famous for their football (I think). A lot of the day was used to talk about the sports and teams and whatnot. This was of no interest to me, since I have no interest in sports. I’ve never seen a game on TV, never went to a football game in high school, never anything. Going to a school where the sports teams are so famous may not be favorable for my social life. Tech even just opened a new gym, which is a 10 minute walk from the other gym. So now they have 2 gyms. Instead of, you know, putting air conditioning in the dorms so I don’t melt to death every day, hell, let’s have another gym. One is never enough.
Fourth. I was excited because I knew that there were a lot of friendly and preppy people going there (my friends had very good experiences making friends during their orientations). So the entire time, I forced a smile and a handful of pep and put myself out there, to no avail. The other kids looked at me strangely and apathetically no matter how hard I tried to talk to people (and it was very hard and uncomfortable for me) and I still felt like the lonely little loser sitting in a corner during recess with no friends in elementary school. Even worse, I ate dinner by myself that night at a 2 person table. I put my backpack on the other chair and listened to my iPod with a book out so I didn’t look completely lame. I felt humiliated, and completely alone.
Fifth. I knew the campus would be big, but I didn’t know it would be really friggin humongously ginormous. It takes me 20 minutes just to walk from my dorm to my first class on Mondays. I don’t even know where any of the other buildings my classes are. It’s great that they separated the campus by sections (dorm area, food area, general classes area, etc) but it’s still too massive for me. I think I’ll have to leave an hour early every day just to make sure I get to my classes on time. And Tech has this thing called the math emporium. I have to go off campus on my own time to take my math class online, and there are tutors available. This is my worst nightmare. Math is my absolute worst subject, and knowing that I don’t have a professor and that I have to do most of the learning by myself makes me want to throw up.
Sixth. I have no friends going there. I met 2 girls online from the Tech Facebook page, but I don’t really know-know them. I’m terrified that I’ll have to relive the horror of eating by myself all the time. Being an optimistic little trooper, I brought my new card game with me, thinking that I’d make new friends during the day with my chipper attitude and we’d be able to play in the dorms at night. Well, I had no friends. I didn’t even have a roommate because the girl that was supposed to stay with me decided to stay with her parents at the hotel near campus. I should’ve done that with my parents, but nope. I thought I would have friends to stay with. Instead, I was terrified because the hallway was so loud with a mix of voices and laughing and music and partying. There was knocking on the doors and banging and god knows what they were doing. All I know is that it is not a good idea putting boys and girls in the same building unsupervised. I brushed my teeth and called my boyfriend, and he had to stay on the phone talking and cooing me until I fell asleep because I was too scared to be alone. (I instructed him to hang up after 30 minutes of me not replying.) It didn’t help that I forgot my nightlight.
I know it’s not good to make such big judgments about my school after having been there for only a day and a half. This post was pretty much just me letting off some steam. I know I’ll learn where everything is in time. I know I’m a good student. I know I’ll make friends eventually. It’s just absolutely, horrifyingly, paralyzingly terrifying going in blind. The entire time I wished I had just listened to my mom and went to the school near home. I wouldn’t have to worry about the scary dorms, I’d have a big group of my friends still with me (including my boyfriend), I’d have to deal with a smaller campus, and I wouldn’t cost my family endless money on dorms and food.
I’m just terrified. I’m sure everyone feels this way, and I really want to be optimistic about it but I’m just really, really, really scared.