I wish I could tell you that my first night at Columbia was amazing. It was... new to say the least. It was really awkward for me, mainly because I have no idea what I'm doing trying to socialize. I noticed that people from different countries are so much friendlier that people from the US. Why, I'm not sure. I know that maybe I need to become more personable.
Last night, I slept. It wasn't the kind of sleep I wanted. I haven't gotten used to the city that never sleeps. From the cars racing by and the people below, I was frequently waken up during the night. I must get used to this or I won't even make it in college. Adjusting is key!
I had my first experience in the dining hall today, which I want to point out is an experience in itself. The food actually was better than I expected. I expected nasty food, but it was yummy. Well for now it is. In the morning we had everything from bacon to eggs to bagels to cereal. For lunch we had hamburgers and french fries. For dinner we had sweet and sour pork, fried rice, and chow mein. The dining hall made me feel more comfortable. It was almost like being at high school in the lunch room.
"John Jay Dining Hall"
Our ILC cohort each is in different floors or suites within our own respective buildings, yet we still group together at meals or during free time. I'm glad I'm not here alone. It feels good to be able to come together as a group and explore and tell each other how we feel and what we experienced. Most people will come up to us to talk or even sit and dine with us. It's really interesting meeting new people who are in their own groups too, like ours. Most students come are grouped together, like they all planned to come here together. We attended a carnival together that was kind of like an orientation party. They had jousting, frisbee, snow cones, soccer, and many more cool activities. Irene and I decided it would be cool to joust each other. I'm pretty sure she won, but it was still fun!
"The winner takes all"
Class went by smoothly. We met our professor Dr. Z. and our TA. Dr. Z. right off the bat is very helpful and friendly. When I had trouble deciding my research topic (yes wehad to pick the topic the first day of class) she was more than willing to help and give her opinions based on what I was interested in. On the second half of the class where we met in the library we learned how to use the library resources to our advantage. If I didn't already mention it, at the end of these three weeks we have a 20 page research paper due based on presidential powers. Our class consists of us four Californians and the other 8 are from New York. Strange... very strange.
Will and I explored the gym today. Usually I'm not the kind of person to go to the gym, but this gym is definitely one you want to be in. The swimming pool is indoors and easy accessible along with many treadmills or other fitness machines and courts to play different sports.
More and more I can see myself being at Columbia. I'm giving myself some time to get used to this whole experience. When I'm not on oovoo with my family, I sometimes get home sick. Then I think about how proud I'm making them and what this experience is doing for me as well as the students in the district that I'm bringing back all of my stories to. This is what college is like. This is what the real world is like. This is what being treated like an adult is like. This is life.