The bottom line of college orientation is that it’s a paradox: feeling simultaneously deeply comforted and entirely thrown off your axis, spinning rapidly towards the unknown. Or at least, that’s what orientation was like for me.
This paradox manifested itself at the very beginning of the journey from Ohio to New York. After posting my obligatory, “Leaving for college. Thanks for the memories everybody!” Facebook status, I packed all of my earthly belongings into the family car. That’s when I realized that all of my earthly belongings fit into the family car. While the reality of this totally satisfied the fatalist in me (look how easy it would be for me to escape with so little materialistic baggage to weigh me down once the zombie apocalypse hits — yippee!) it also left me reeling. It only underscored the fact that the home I was leaving, the home I had grown up in and considered my own, really wasn’t mine any more. Everything that grounded me to my house was stuffed into the car, ready to be shipped off to what is essentially a linoleum-floored, whitewashed box. Statements I had made with confidence ever since I clicked submit on my electronic application quickly turned to questions: This is what I want? I’m excited? I’m ready to be on my own? Keep reading »