Student Experience Blog

Thoughts from a Freshman

By Madai Montes

Exactly twenty seven days until school starts; yes, I have been keeping track. What more is there to do this summer besides worry, ask questions, and bother my counselors over and over again and worry some more? I feel sorry for them; I must have rung more than three of them over one hundred times this summer. It’s just that I want to make sure everything is perfect, mimicking how a chef fusses over every little detail before he sends out his delectable main entrée, or a photo editor double checks over and over again to make sure there is no flaw showing on the model he photoshops - everything has to be perfect.

The contents of the main school website (i.e., majors, minors, dining, and housing) have helped me push through the majority of my worries this summer. In turn, the website became one of my closest friends. I have been running calculations all summer long just to make sure every one of my dorm and school supplies are accounted for. I even bought myself a cash book! Who uses those nowadays? What is this worry that is gulping up my entire summer you may ask? It’s College. Strangely, that stress you feel when you fill out dozens of forms, send out hundreds of requests and take so many tests simply to be accepted into college - it doesn’t seem to go away.

Sadly there is so much more to do than bother my counselors all summer long. You are advised about what you have to do in order to make it into college by your teachers, and your counselors advise you on what you do once you’re accepted and blah blah blah. But once you’ve graduated you have an entire summer to ponder on what you are supposed to do next. I was excited. I fully expected a summer where I would just relax, reminisce about my high school years and go out and catch the new summer blockbuster. Well, at least I’ve had the chance to reminisce. Besides that, my summer has consisted of chores, not to mention sending over my whole entire life in paperwork to the school, registering for classes, applying for housing, reading my summer assignments and getting ahold of all of my roommates (I have two of ‘em). This experience is different; it’s like entering into a whole new world.

Have you ever been new to something, like a certain event involving camp, or school, or a different country? I’ve been there before: I was given a list of what was needed and was told that I would survive just fine with everything on that list. Right, because bug spray and other toiletries are enough to survive in a camp out in the middle of nowhere. I’ve been new many times, especially to week-long camps where no one knows each other. There are, of course, all the regulars who are comfortable with each other and “chat” for hours about camp stuff while the rest of the participants, who are new, awkwardly stand there, too scared to move. One never knows what to expect. Every place is different and strange in its own unique way. There is no list that can tell you all of that.

So I read everything I can about the place before leaving, and usually, I type up my own list. Let me tell you, it’s always much more helpful than the lists one is provided. The more you know, the more you Kohls, lol. But, of course, experience trumphs a list anytime. That’s why I’m having trouble this summer trying to figure out what I need to buy. This is all the list says:

Essential Items

  • Linens (blankets, standard length twin size sheets, pillow, towels)
  • Alarm Clock
  • Wastebasket
  • Room decorations (posters, plants, etc.)
  • Recycle bin
  • Clothing for 4 seasons - though not all at once. Residents often switch out their clothing when they travel home at Fall Break, Winter Break and Spring Break

Personal Items

  • Bathroom Essentials
  • Laundry Supplies
  • Desk and School Supplies
  • Hangers
  • Power strips with surge protectors

Suggested Items

  • Fan
  • Computer (high speed Ethernet and win wireless available)
  • Kitchenware
  • Camera
  • Phone*

And that’s it! I have come up with at least more than 20 items than what is written on this list! Here is what my list looks like:

  • iPod
  • Fluffy pillow
  • Mini fridge
  • Laptop
  • Month stash of chocolate
  • F.R.I.E.N.D.S Complete Season
  • Headphones

Maybe the list they provide is correct, though. Maybe that is all I need. How would I know? I’ve never been a college freshman before.