Our First Week

7 Aug

Now, first off let me say that we all know the nerve-racking and butterfly tingly feeling we get in our stomachs when we are about to start off our first day. The first day and week of anything is always scary from preschool, to kindergarten, middle school, high school, college, and a job, but the goal is to get through it with the most positive attitude possible. There have been many milestones to overcome from preschool to high school, and everything in between. We have had our great firsts and our bad firsts, but we should never fail to learn from each experience. I must admit the move to college is a HUGE chapter in your life. You are taking a BIG STEP into adulthood. Having said that, I wish you all the best of luck in college and hope you will take advantage of as many opportunities you can!

My first week at the U of A was honestly a blur. I attended everything, from historically black Greek events and workshops, Black Student Union and African Student Association events, to my academic workshops, to Dorm Hall events, applying for jobs/training, unpacking, etc. but most of all I remember my first week consisted of trying to figure out where all of my classes were located. It was a STRUGGLE. But that’s because, I’m not going to lie to you, but I know I could have been a lot more prepared. Coming from Africa (I literally flew in FOUR days prior to moving in), I was culturally shocked by Arizona and my new “home” so I definitely could summarize my my first day, week and month as trying to get the drift of things and how they worked here at the University of Arizona.

My first week of school was the worst. Before coming to the U of A, I never thought I would get homesick. I had traveled before for weeks at a time without seeing my parents and I had never had any issues. I assumed coming to the U of A I would be just fine. After a week of Bear Down Camp, I was not having it. I was homesick beyond belief and I was ready to drop out of school and move back home. The second week of school was much different for me, though! I got my first job at Forever 21 and joined a student group at the Newman Center. Each day became a little easier. After three weeks or so, I loved being on campus. If you are feeling homesick, know you are never alone. I thought I was the only one missing my family and friends from my hometown. Once I started talking to other people in my dorm, I found out that a lot of others felt how I felt. Don’t be embarrassed if you are homesick – it is common!

My first experience in college was attending New Start, which is a summer program that started just a few weeks after I graduated high school (so it’s very similar to BDSB). It was super chill because we were all new students who wanted to make friends, hang out, and have fun! Of course there were classes and all. But as an incoming freshman, I didn’t feel that they were the priority. There were so many cool events planned and from there I made a group of friends that I could hang out with. This was perfect because I did not know many people coming to the U of A. When I started in the fall, I already had a bunch of friends that I could hang out with during my free time. This definitely made my transition into college much smoother.

Hundreds of students swarming the grass of the mall like ants, the Arizona sun beating onto my sweaty forehead, and a warm Arizona breeze across my face as I searched for my English 101 class at 9 o’clock in the morning – this is what stands out to me as I think back to  my first day of college at the University of Arizona. Searching for classes was the least of my concerns compared to the my first experience in a college lecture with enough seats to fit the graduating class of my high school. It was a huge transition but an amazing experience. Classes weren’t as bad as I thought they would be, the campus wasn’t as confusing as I assumed, and students were more friendly than I expected. I met so many people on the first day of school that I am so happy to call my close friends now. If there is any advice I would give to incoming freshmen, it would be to come prepared to learn, have fun, and Bear Down!!!!

Lupita De Los Santos:
The first thing I remember doing in college was playing with the Pride of Arizona, the University of Arizona’s own marching band. As a band geek, I thought my music days were over and the only way I could keep playing my saxophone was if I decided to minor in music. Well, the Pride proved me wrong. After playing with them at a session, I was hooked on joining the band. The week before school started, I hopped on a train at 4am from Yuma to Tucson all by myself and, for a whole week, I lived and breathed music 24/7.  The work was tiring and exhausting day in and day out. But once the week was over, I could not believe that I had survived band camp. When the first football game of the season came around, we blew the crowd away and it made them cheer even louder for our team to win. College if full of first and each experience can take you somewhere new and unexpected, so don’t be afraid to jump in!

Brenda Zarate:
My first week at the UA was a big blur as well. All I can remember was the amount of people swarming around the school like ants. There were so many people on my way to class, it was overwhelming. I didn’t help that I was lost trying to find my way to class. The only thing that did make that week better were the friends that I came across on my way to class. Doing New Start was probably one of the best decisions I ever made. It made me feel a little less scared and overwhelmed those few days of school.

Vanessa Galarza:
My first experience here on campus was move in day! Yayyy! As I arrived here, I was not too happy that I had decided to bring over my entire house with me. I was excited to see that all of the residence hall staff were ready to help me move in. I went to check in and as soon as I found my dorm, all my things were there waiting for me! I could not believe that they were so friendly and excited to have me. Through out the year, they stayed as friendly and helpful as that first day!

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