Monday, June 1, 2015


I won't bore you with details about my undoubtedly gourmet "Pour hot water in and wait three minutes before eating" noodle bowl dinner before I left for the orientation, or how I scarfed it down so fast that I could feel it drop down into my stomach. I won't bother telling you how close of a call my arrival was or how I probably should have left the house a bit earlier since traffic was bad. I most definitely won't mention the way my palm started to get the teeniest bit sweaty when our Global Positioning System technological device decided that it wanted to make my arrival time a little less and less timely as it loaded our location on the freeway. Heck, I won't even touch on the horrifying images I conjured up in my brain of a paper representation of my scholarship being dramatically ripped from my hands at the thought of arriving late.

Is it more awkward that I'm not in the photo or that I wish I was?
No, I will merely go straight into how lovely my time was at the orientation. My mom and I found our way to the multi-purpose room after signing in and we took our rightful places as heirs to the standard, middle-school, hybrid wood and plastic bench. After a bit of keen observation, I discovered that I had not received the memo to wear a Hawaiian shirt, and for the first time in my life, felt out of place in my jean jacket and navy shirt as opposed to a loud floral print Hawaiian shirt. The first ten minutes of the meeting were a bit of a blur. I remember the chaperones introducing themselves in front of all the parents and students, explaining where they were from, what colleges they (and their respective cohort) would visit, and how long they had been chaperoning for.

Everyone then split off into their own separate cohorts; the exclusivity increasing by the second. Ms. Thrift passed out our "soft" itineraries and we discussed things like discretion in wardrobe choices when packing and living situations. Ms. Adrianne Ramsey, Ivy League Connections alumni, joined us for a bit and briefly shared her past experience at Columbia. We also solidified our own "meet-and greet" date to take place this upcoming Thursday.

After around half an hour, we collectively funneled ourselves back into the multi-purpose room for Don's last little talk on loaner items. It was informative and helpful, and I definitely plan on being one of the first to email back a checklist of things I would like to borrow as soon as he gives us more information. During his talk, I even made a little list on my phone of less obvious things to pack or buy for the trip on this great app called "Keep." And then, just like that, orientation was done. The meeting went by so much faster than I had expected, and I was disappointed and relieved at the same time. This was the last time I would see all the Ivy League Connection participants altogether (to my knowledge anyway), with all the cohorts apart from mine, and I still hadn't learned most people's names. But I got to go home early, which was nice, and not before a quick stop at a close-by Krispy Kreme to get a dozen donuts, of course.

Similar to the process and preparation after an initiation into a fellowship or a fraternity - for lack of a better example - the orientation served mostly as a concise, instructional meeting that silently reassured us all that we had finally got in. "But you got in a long time ago," you say. "You were always a part of the Ivy League Connection" you say. "There wasn't very much reassuring left to do anyways" you say. Yes, while this is all true, there's a difference between talking about going to New York to take a class at Columbia and actually taking the darn class. I mean, it took quite a while for the implications to become more and more real to me. And now, after attending the orientation, I realize that the results and implications of being a part of the ILC don't get any more tangible than the discussion of logistics and packing (aside from actually being on the plane or in New York). Honestly. Because in this interim period before venturing into the big scary world of independence and exploration, right on the cusp of freedom, there's nothing like a good soapbox on soap boxes (or robes, fans, ethernet cables, and the like) to keep you sober.

1 comment:

  1. YOU feel awkward? I'm the Hercules teacher and I didn't get the memo either! But they did let me in their picture, and I repaid them by making them act so goofy!