Saturday, August 27, 2011

First Day

Today I moved into my dorm. It took three suitcases and a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond to do so, but it was done, and it was done well. I moved in first so I think I got prime bed placement. I haven't told my roommates this, but even if I did I don't think they'd argue with me because we're still in the "first impression" phase of friendship where we feel we MUST be polite and courteous all the time.

One of my roommates is from California, the other is from Ohio. I like them, especially Mr. Ohio for supplying the microwave and fridge. He claims to have a variety of "addictions" to things like Twitter, coffee, his iPad, and other things that he says will become clear in the near future.

This is what my corner looks like.

Yes, it looks kind of messy, but I have other things to worry about other than the neatness of my corner.

This evening we had dinner and we discuss our meal plans. I have Meal Plan 3, which I was pretty excited about until I learned that it was the worst meal plan that provides me with 10 meals a week.

That means I can eat twice a day, on weekdays. And on weekends, I fast.

My classmates were appalled.

"Meal plan 3? You'll have to... eat your roommates."

I am told I can upgrade to 21 meals a week (3 meals a day, which is normal) for $300, so I am going to call my parents and tell them how much I love them and how great college is and, oh, by the way... food.

After dinner we went to a presentation put on by some of the upperclassmen of Sarah Lawrence College. It was unorthodox, high energy, and tremendously supportive of the idea of "being different." The whole place was going wild as one of the students danced around in his tight plaid pants and a bedazzled tank top that said "Likes Boys".

I clapped softly, wondering if I applied to the right school for me. I looked around and saw that a lot people were dressed like they were blind, which in this environment is more of a compliment than an insult. "The crazier the better" seems to be the school's unspoken dress code.

I am afraid I am not going to fit in at this school of misfits. I don't think I'm weird enough, and to be totally honest I have no desire to be as eccentric as some of the people I'm seeing as I walk through the campus. And I'm afraid that by the end of the school year, just being around this much "creative chaos" will change me into something completely different.

And maybe that's what the school is going for.

I have made some friends that I can stand, though, and they all live in Westlands, the same building as me. So at least I have a refuge. But I know eventually I am going to have to go outside and make some friends. I go back my favorite Jack Kerouac quote:

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles..."

I agree, so maybe I am in the right school. Still, I am scared.

There is thunder and lighting outside my window. Hurricane Irene is coming, so tomorrow we're supposed to stay in our dorms all day. I'll use this time to reflect, straighten out my room, and flip through my course catalogue. I need to pick my classes for the semester, and I have a lot of choices. Hopefully it will help me take my mind off my fears.

In that same presentation with the dancing man in plaid pants, another woman put on a slide show that talked about kids who go to summer camp and send letters back that say "I hate it. Everyone is horrible." But then the next letter says "One person is ok." And the next letter says "I love everyone. I don't want to go home."

Hopefully this will be the case with me. Hopefully the school won't change me too much, but strengthen my sense of identity.

I'll keep you posted.

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