September 2016 was my first day of college. I was excited. All summer long I had been listening to friends and family about how great college was going to be, and all the interesting people I would meet. I couldn’t wait to start this new beginning and I looked forward to the unknown and uncertainty that the next four years held for me. Everything about it filled me with excitement rather than the anxiety- filled feeling I was used to.
The day started off with the usual pretty pointless orientation. I started to get a little nervous walking in to the large theatre but seeing it filled with mutual expressions of uncertainty and questions, I felt reassured and any nerves that had begun to creep in, dissipated immediately. Literally everyone student was in the exact same position as I was. The campus was so big, and trying to find my way around I felt like I was lost in a city, never seeing the same face twice. It was impossible to make friends that day, thousands of new comers making it impossible to find someone studying the same thing as you. And keeping to a tight schedule whilst being swallowed by the eager endless crowds of first years made it impossible to talk to anyone long enough to call them an acquaintance. As the day wore on those once distant nerves began to crawl back in again feeling like at this stage it would be impossible to make any friends if this what college was.
It was at yet another tedious talk about college life that I actually made an acquaintance. It was about three or four hours in to the day and at that point the only sort of connection I had made was with a mature Chinese student who had been trying to talk to me all through the morning orientation- the only problem being she only spoke Chinese. So that was fun. Anyway, back to my acquaintance. Everyone I had tried to make conversation with so far (despite the talkative Chinese woman) gave off a very icy vibe and any attempt at small talk was quickly shut down. After becoming aware of the two- seat space precept, I made sure to leave that much of a gap when I sat down in that tiered theatre. No one to the right of me, and to the left, a smile. Wait, was I sure, I double took his greeting after becoming accustom to an icy facade.
“Hi”, was the word that began the small talk that restored my hope that not everyone here hated each other. It didn’t last long however after soon realising he was in the wrong lecture, and had to endure 100 icy stares as he tried to sneak out. By pure chance I ran in to two girls outside the lecture hall who were in my course. Next up were student card photos, so I was relieved to have the moral support. I mean I can’t be the only one who hates it – passports, drivers licenses, student card photos- anyone else?
I sat in front of the dangerously close camera until the woman sitting behind it told me it was time. “Do I smile?” That’s what everyone else was doing- Baa I’ll be a sheep. Smile and… *click*, praying it turned out okay. Seeing it for the first time and praying I don’t look that way in real life. “Great I look stoned” (I was not nor have never been stoned although at that moment, it couldn’t have hurt.)
And then it was over. Another pointless lecture later, my first day had finished just like that. Although I had met two girls from my course already, (and they were so nice) I just didn’t “fit in” with them. Any sort of excitement had faded and I was left with nerves for the next day which should have faded by the first. “What if I wouldn’t fit in with anyone?” “What if I wouldn’t fit in at all?” Thinking about my unwelcome first day on my way home, I felt alone.