This week has been so full, I don’t even know where to start! The morning of the McCall trip, we had a morning workout, and I was in the ice bath until about 10:10, and hadn’t packed yet. I rushed over to my dorm, on the exact opposite side of campus and threw a few things in a bag, including a half-filled water bottle (a true blessing, considering IdaHaven’s sulfur-rich “fart water”), a few sweatshirts, and I grabbed my thin sleeping bag and slipped on some shoes. I made it on the bus by 10:30 and had a grand time speed dating on the bus. I really feel like it made me better at small talk, which has never been something I’ve been very good at or particularly enjoyed, especially on buses. Learning (and promptly forgetting) so many names and hometowns and majors and favorite foods made for a really quick drive to McCall. The next 24 hours were spent, admittedly, mostly with people I was already acquainted with, although I did meet a few new people, and got to know everyone I already knew much better. We ate lots of vegetarian food, listened to some good advice, swam in the lake, slept in a tree house (which sounds awesome, but it turns out that once you’re asleep, it stops being awesome and is really just cold), had some fun on the ropes course, around the campfire, and watching X-Men on the LONG bus ride home.
Back on campus, I went to the club fair, where I learned that the environmental club knows how to make their own laundry soap. I am going to stock up on that as soon as my current store-bought supply runs out, which will probably be soon, if the mountain of laundry in my room is any indication. I also picked up some good information about the Outdoor Program and intramural sports.
Thursday was the first day of school, but I don’t have any Thursday classes, so I spent it grocery shopping, cleaning my room, and hanging out with the people on my floor in the fishbowl. Hayman Third North is a very well bonded floor, and we went to the Campus Ministries block party together, which was a really good time. I felt like I was soaking in the essence of summer, standing outside in the grass, sipping lemonade in friendly clusters of conversation with a backdrop of string lights, volleyball, dance music, and the last rays of warm sunset shooting through a cool and hazy dark blue sky. I was back in my room after the party, when my roommate came in to tell me that a bunch of kids from our floor were looking for ghosts in Blatchley. So, naturally, we got ourselves over there as fast as we could. We had a good time scaring each other, but we didn’t run into any ghosts....this time.
I woke up early for my 8 a.m. calculus class today. I then proceeded to my First Year Seminar. At lunch, I was inaugurated as a lifetime player of the sandwich punching game: you can punch any other players’ sandwich as long as it’s already been touched, but is not currently being touched, or is not touching a napkin, and was not paid for in cash. If you punch a PB&J at dinner, or any other sandwich at any time that does not qualify for punching, you owe the sandwich owner a meal.
I rounded off my academic schedule for the day with World Civ, and, finally, Chemistry. Or, as I called it in high school, Chemisery. I really want to love and understand chemistry, so I titled my notebook with a “t” rather than an “e,” with the hope that starting on a positive note will help. Then I went to practice, ate dinner, went back to Hayman, took a shower, got locked out of my room, and then went to the rave in the Quad. I got there in time to get a free bag, hat, shirt, glow sticks, and shutter shades. Within 15 minutes, my legs and shirt were glowing with glowstick juice. It took a while to warm up to the dubstep. I didn’t know how to dance to it at all. I still don’t, actually, but the strobe lights were very forgiving, making up for even the most awkward and rhythmless of dancers. Although, it was hard to pay attention to dancing amidst the smoke, lasers, and bright colors everywhere, pulsing to the electric, deafening music. I’ve never taken any hallucinogenic drugs, but I feel like I gained a better understanding of what their influence must be like tonight. I left around 9:30, because there is a cross country meet tomorrow. I shouted our goodnights to my teammates, because everything sounds a brick wall away after being so close to the speakers. Now I’m sitting in my room, covered in red and orange colored powder. I’m almost too tired to shower, but I am pretty sure that I’m still fluorescent in the dark. Having just reflected on the past 5 or 6 days, I’ve realized I haven’t really been here all that long, but I feel so at home, I’ve met so many awesome people, and I’ve had so many great experiences already. As much as I’m enjoying every moment, I can’t wait for what’s in store for me in the next four years.
Claire is a freshman pre-engineering major from Sandy, Oregon.