First Time on Campus

28 Aug

Being on campus for the first day of school can be overwhelming. Trying to get to your class while also trying not to get run over by someone on a bicycle can be chaotic. I went to a small high school where traffic to get to the next class was not a problem, so coming to the U of A campus was a big change. I had not anticipated the number of people I would have to watch out for on bicycles and skateboards. Even just crossing the street was a challenge, but in time I learned it just took a little patience.

My first time on campus was like no other, I felt lonely and most importantly lost. I had found a Campus Map online which helped me navigate routes to my classes, the only problem was that the map didn’t provide shortcuts! My first class of the day was chemistry in the Science Engineering Library. I looked at my map as I got off the bus onto 6th street garage and saw that the building was on Highland Avenue. Looking at the map I decided to walk through 6th street and turn at Highland Avenue until I reached the Science Engineering Library. This got me to the right place, but was a mistake! I took a longer route that had me sweating and fighting through a crowd of what felt like millions of people on the sidewalks. I was eagerly walking to chemistry, I could feel the breeze of people rushing past me on bicycles. After fast walking/bumping through some people, I finally came across the Science Engineering Library! Then, I felt my stomach drop and realized that my first college class was upon me. As I walked into the classroom, I looked for the first open table I could find and tried to breathe like a normal person (keep in mind that I was practically running to class and awfully nervous). Even though I barely made it to class, I felt grateful for that map. Without it, I would not have made it to my classes at all.

As lunchtime approached, I faced another challenge: finding a place to sit. I couldn’t find an open table. Anywhere. I searched and searched until I finally found an open spot. I didn’t expect that eating alone would be so awkward for me. That was truly the first time I had ever sat down to eat a meal alone in public which was a strange experience for me. I felt like I had no one to talk to about how my day was going so far, so I just ended up calling my mom to fill the silence – which was totally okay!

After my first day, I found new ways to get to my classes that were not so congested with people. For example, to get to chemistry I started walking through Highland Commons instead of going on a straight line from 6th street to Highland Avenue. If you ever feel lost, don’t be afraid to ask for directions! People on campus are very friendly and you won’t be the first or last person to ask. I also found that eating alone would actually not be so bad -lunch time is your time, so own it! Make the most out of your lunch to either catch up on social media or watch some Netflix. So no matter how hard your first day of school turned out to be, just remember it gets better!




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