Most of the festivities are over. Hitherto, we have been quite busy but have still maintained a somewhat relaxed demeanor. We have eaten at elegant restaurants and toured esteemed universities.
Today is the day we have all been warily awaiting. Today we moved into our dorms at Columbia where we will reside for the next 3 weeks. The campus is awe-inspiring. So far, I love it.
After we just nearly survived a trip with our most aggressive, reckless taxi driver yet, we made our way into the heart of the Columbia buildings. The sheer height of the buildings that surrounded us was enough to give Columbia its own unique atmosphere never mind their striking architectural style which I felt was a slightly more modern version of the best of the Harvard, Yale, and Penn campuses.
Whereas all of the campuses we have toured have serene, peaceful courtyards, the courtyard at Columbia feels like it is a whole new universe because it is tucked right in between the busy, bustling New York City streets. But before I was completely absorbed by the ambience of the campus, we made our way to John Jay hall to check in.
Columbia clearly takes their high school summer programs seriously because there were Columbia students marked by their Summer High School Program Shirts almost everywhere you looked. After I received my room key, many of them were more than happy, even anxious to answer my surfeit of questions : where to buy stamps, where to send out letters, how to use the gym, how to receive letters, what neighborhoods to avoid at night, how to receive my Columbia ID etc.
My dorm room was an unadorned but warm single room. So, while I will be unable to develop a close relationship with a roommate, I will have plenty of space to think and study with by myself. Although I was unable to catch my RA’s name for now, he seemed laid back and truly happy to be helping. He told me to be back in my room by 5:30 for orientation and the Columbia Cohort used the downtime to purchase essential supplies for our classes and Columbia sweatshirts.
I have only been here for a few hours but I am already bursting with excitement and anticipation for the coming weeks.