Well, I’m truly sorry for the lack of updates. I planned to write something long before today, but things have been hectic. Crazy. Insane. Pick whatever word you like best. Yes, I’m at university, and the pace has been non-stop so far. This is really the first chance I’ve had all week to really sit down and have a moment to myself. People are everywhere, and I don’t really have much opportunity to just have some “me time.”
That’s not to say that university life so far has been bad. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It’s been a blast! I’ve loved almost every minute of it. This week is Orientation Week, and that means that the frosh leaders have been going all out with activities and icebreakers and competitions – anything that can get us used to university life in general. So, with that said, let me try to summarize the week so far, and hopefully I won’t leave out too many details.
Let’s start with Sunday. I went to church as usual, and then came home and finished packing the few things that were left to pack. Then we headed up to Waterloo. After registering and stuff, we unloaded all my stuff into my new room – #0013. It’s a good thing I’m not superstitious, or else I might have some reservations about my room number. Upon entering my room, there was a woman standing there. She quickly reassured me that she wasn’t my roommate – instead, it was my roomie’s mother. My roommate’s name is Mike. He’s in Environmental Studies, and he’s pretty nice. I’m not entirely sure that I’ve completed my opinion of him, though. For the most part, I don’t see him much. As it turns out, one of his friends from high school is living right across the hallway – and it was just coincidental. So they hang out a lot, and sometimes Mike just goes off somewhere – I don’t even know where. But oh well. He’s nice enough, and he at least is trying to be nice to me, even though most times he comes back to the room when I’m already asleep. I don’t know. We just have different lifestyles, so it’s a bit difficult. I’m sure things will get better, though, as we get to know each other.
After the move-in process, St. Jerome’s – the residence I’m staying in – had a barbecue. Then we learned our “St. Jerome’s frosh dance.” Basically, every year, the freshmen have a specific dance to a specific song, and every time it plays, no matter where we are, we must dance to it. Our song is “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” and the dance is pretty stupid. However, at the same time, it’s a St. Jerome’s thing. Since everyone else is doing it too, I don’t feel so ridiculous. And of course, it helps us become a group. In fact, the whole atmosphere in the residence is pretty cool. Everyone seems to be getting along and starting to get to know people, and if you don’t know someone, you can just sort of go up to them and start a conversation. It’s not really awkward, because Orientation Week is all about getting to know everyone anyways.
On Monday, after brunch, we had tours of the Student Life Centre, and then also a little presentation about alcohol awareness. It wasn’t the most exciting time, but it was useful. The SLC is packed full of stuff, and it helps to have someone to point things out to you so that you don’t have to wander around aimlessly trying to find where things are – or even not know that something is there at all. Monday night was awesome, though. Everyone at St. Jerome’s got onto school buses and headed off to a bowling alley in Kitchener for “Cosmic Bowling.” It was great. I was in a lane with a bunch of people that, for the most part, I had barely met, and by about the second frame, everyone was giving high-fives for every bowl. One of the girls in the lane was pretty crazy. She got really hyper, and since I generally emulate the emotions of the people around me, I started getting hyper too. It’s like I feed off of other people’s energy or something. The whole night was great. We were all dancing and having a great time. Good stuff.
Tuesday was a little different. Up until that time, every activity had been put on by the residence, but now I headed off for some Arts activities. The first thing was a speech by the Dean of Arts. It was held in the Physical Activities Complex, pretty much the biggest room available, since it’s a giant gymnasium. They had a set of bleachers pulled out, plus probably about ten or fifteen rows of chairs set up in front of that. I’m not a very good estimator, but I’d have to say that there had to be over 700 or 800 people there. And that was just Arts students. After that, people split up into predetermined groups. They were named after Greek gods and other mythological creatures, since the next activity was called “The Olympics.” I was in Team Poseidon, and there were over 100 in the group. It was pretty crazy. First of all, we met in a lecture hall and went through and introduced ourselves quickly. Then we broke up into even smaller groups and played some games and stuff. We also came up with a team cheer and stuff like that. After that, it was time for the Olympics to begin.
It didn’t start off all that exciting. Our first event was a kite-building contest. We had a box filled with strange materials, and we had to build a kite out of the stuff. The only problem was that only so many people could gather around to build it – and with 100 people in the group, that means that the majority of people were bored out of their mind. I sat down with a few other people and just talked the entire time. We mostly talked about how boring it was. And for the most part, Team Poseidon was not much of a team at all. We weren’t very enthusiastic. But then again, what can you expect from a kite-building contest? We didn’t even fly the kite right away. That comes later on in the week sometime. But anyways, the next event was better. Some of the leaders had set up a big maze out of metal poles and big tarps. The leaders of each team chose twenty people, and those were split up into five groups of four. These groups went in one at a time to find one of five stations inside the maze. There, they had to answer a question, and then they got an envelope, which they had to take back outside the maze. The rest of the people had the job of putting together the puzzle pieces inside the envelope. Now, that game was fun. I was one of the ones putting together the puzzle, and we ended up winning the game by putting it together first. It was awesome. That was about the time that people started getting pumped up. We actually won something! It was great. Things got better from that point on.
The next event was just plain stupid, and hilarious at the same time. We had chariot races. Basically, we had a box full of materials, and we had half an hour to make a chariot out of it that could carry a team leader around a little path to the finish line. The only thing was that the box was mainly filled with stuff like construction paper and bedsheets. There were points for winning the race, plus points for making the chariot look good, and also points for cheering. So, while some of the people worked on the chariot, the rest of us started coming up with cheers. They got pretty ridiculous. We deviated from the traditional cheers about Poseidon, and started saying things like, “What do we love? PIE! What kind of pie? APPLE PIE!” That went over well with the judges, who couldn’t stop laughing from the ridiculous stuff that we were cheering about. One of the teams did the same sort of thing, saying, “Who do we love? THE ATC!” (The ATC were the judges.) They then ran and surrounded them with a big hug. We did the same thing, only we said, “Who do we love? MODERN LANGUAGES!” We then ran and hugged the Modern Languages sign that was nearby. They loved it. All in all, we ended up not winning the chariot race, but we got first place for our cheers.
After supper on Tuesday night, the St. Jerome’s frosh leaders and dons set up “Rumble in the Jungle,” basically a little mini-carnival. They got a blow-up obstacle course, like those inflatable bouncing castles. There was also a game to feed a monkey, by throwing fake bananas through a small hole, plus a giant game of Twister. They had popcorn, cotton candy, pop, water, and other assoted candy, and at the end of the night, they had the frosh give all the dons pies in the faces. It was pretty funny. It wasn’t exactly the most fun, since there really wasn’t a whole ton to do, but it was still pretty good.
This morning was basically a day off for me. There were a few things going on with the Arts faculty, but it was just for international students. So I spent today walking around campus and getting to know my way around. I found where all my classes are, and I also bought a nice UW hoodie. I also spent about 45 minutes in line at the registrar’s office to settle something, only to find out that I was in the wrong line. I was frustrated – I knew that getting in the wrong line was something that I had the possibility of doing, and it ended up that I did just that. But it wasn’t labelled as to what it was exactly! It just said “General Inquiries,” so I assumed that it was about inquiries in general. Makes sense, right? I found out it was for general inquiries for OSAP. Great. Good thing that the line I was supposed to be in wasn’t very long. Anyways, other than that, today’s been pretty relaxed. I played another game of beach volleyball today with a whole bunch of people. It’s pretty fun because it’s not organized at all. We don’t keep score, and people just join in and leave randomly. But it’s all good. Other than that, tonight there’s something going on in the SLC with the Arts faculty. I’m really not sure what it’ll be like, but it might be fun. Maybe I’ll try to find that crazy girl again; I think she’s in Arts as well. But anyways, that’s all for now. University life rocks so far! Of course, I also haven’t had any classes yet; my opinion may change in the near future. But oh well. Right now it just seems like a temporary thing, like a camp or something. I suppose I’ll get settled soon. But I’ll stop talking. It’s supper-time, and there’s food to be eaten.