Tales of a Senior: Settling In
It’s weird how when you’re away from your campus for so long and you finally roll into familiar stomping grounds, you feel like you never left. It seems like a dumb and cliché thing to say, but there’s something about being dropped from one familiar place (home) to another familiar place (school) that erases what little shock value might want to rear its ugly head.
Maybe it’s because I wanted to come back to school more badly than ever before, but I’m not having a hard time tucking summer into closets and chests. I’m still a little shell-shocked, though. I think it might have something to do with knowing that this is my last year here. I made this place my home more than real home, and not being here just sounds…wrong.
My school isn’t very nice to its upperclassmen, so I moved in on Saturday – which is a bitch when you live on the third floor with NO elevator – and started classes this Monday. I think maybe it’s to try and limit our Welcome Week to Welcome Weekend.
Like I told you guys last time, I’m playing the catch-up game, so I’ve got twenty credits this semester… and 16 next semester? Not sure how that one’s gonna work, what with my school only giving 4-credit courses, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. That’s five classes. Still, it’s nowhere near as bad as it sounds. There’s an ass-crack of dawn class (really, it’s only 8:30, but if the sun is still in the east it’s too early for me) that only has six people in it, a general psychology class STOCKED with freshmen (more on that later), an acting class that I can already see is going to be my chill-class, a colonial American Literature class with a professor who loves to hear himself talk, and an advanced poetry class that I still haven’t taken and I’m a little worried about.
But I know I don’t have to tell any of you that school is a FRACTION of your school experience. Classes are great, sure, but as I walk to them and look around, I can’t help but think to myself: what the hell is with all the freshmen? I don’t know about you guys, and I’ve heard that this is a problem on other campuses from a few other friends, but our freshmen class here is enormous. Mind you, I’m not opposed to the freshmeat. I’ve made friends with a few and will probably enlist them in uh, “favors” in the future. But our college usually averages around 1200 students. The incoming freshmen class is just around 430 kids. I don’t know what ol’ WAC was thinking, but when you have to turn dorm common areas into triples, something is seriously wrong.
On top of that, there is an enormous construction project on our campus. Because of this, we have no theater (which not only sucks for our drama majors, but means that my graduation will be ON A LARGE LAWN. Hello, no heels!), and no real dining hall. I mean, we have a sort-of-kind-of dining “pavillion,” but the fact that the floor shakes like there are T-Rexes running around when there are a lot of people inside makes me nervous. There is also a huge construction black hole where our cafeteria used to be.
I do love my school. But its general ignorance towards the way that its students (especially its upperclassmen) feel is kind of grating on my nerves. It’s odd, because it’s such a small campus/school/town, and I came here because it was the only place that made me feel like an individual. And while we still have an amazing teaching staff, I feel less like Olua The Senior and more like another appendage on the student body. I don’t want to say ten years from now that my senior year kind of sucked, but I feel like that might be what I’m gearing up for. I mean, even the café is gone. How can I be optimistic about my senior year without caffeine?!
Pessimism aside, I am glad to be back. I’ll let you know when that goes away. I suspect it will be when I run out of coffee.