The bad thing about not packing the night before you leave is that you have to do it the next morning. I learned that the hard way this morning. Since we had stayed at the Omni hotel for three nights, the contents of my suitcase had slowly migrated across the floor, spreading itself in a layer of clothes, bags, and electronic equipment. Brandon and I had decided to wake up at 9 AM to pack before we were supposed to meet for breakfast at 10:30, but barely had time to neatly stack everything inside. But things worked out fine, and we were on time meeting the rest of our cohort downstairs.
After a quick breakfast, we took a cab to the University of Chicago, which we would call our home for the next three weeks. I was a little nervous about meeting my roommate, but decided that even if I didn't like him, I would do my best to get to know him. Soon, we checked in at the dorms, which had a pleasant modern feel to them, and went to our respective rooms.
|This is my home for the next few weeks!|
I got lost for a while, but finally managed to find my room, and fumbled for the ID card that I had received. After several awkward attempts to open the door, it opened suddenly, revealing a middle-aged man. For a moment, I wondered if the summer program was open to all ages, until I walked into the room and saw another guy about my age. It turns out that the man who opened the door was my roommate's uncle. My roommate, a guy called Alexander Menegas, was actually all the way from London! After a few introductions, I left the room to go meet up with the rest of my cohort.
We all met downstairs, and decided to go to the bookstore to by some UChicago gear. I decided on a maroon hoodie emblazoned with the UChicago emblem. Then, we had to go to orientation.
|Orientation begins; the RAs are sitting on the tabletop.|
Orientation was held in a chemistry lecture hall; it almost felt like we were in college for real, since there were so many parents dropping their kids off. Alana decided that this was where she would part ways with us. We all hugged, and she left for a nearby hotel, where she'll be staying for the remainder of the month.
We were surrounded by summer session students, so we took the opportunity to meet a few of them. There were several international students from China, as it turns out, as well as students from all over the country. We talked about the courses we were taking, and stuff we were interested in until the orientation began.
Basically, the orientation covered basic rules and important stuff. We also got to meet our RAs, who took us on a tour of the campus in our residential groups. Unfortunately, I was separated from Brandon, Tamika, and Aisha, but this gave me an opportunity to meet even more new people. I talked to Shen, an international student from Beijing, China, for most of the tour. It's actually pretty fun to meet new people. You get interesting perspectives of life, especially if the person is from another country.
After the tour, we met with our residential group to formally meet everyone and have a few icebreakers. My group seemed to be made up of pretty nice people, since no one seemed to have any automatic weapons pointed at me. Our RA was a college student named Tristan. She made us introduce ourselves in turn, as well as state our favorite food (boba milk tea), thing to do (play piano), and something we had done over the summer so far (nothing at all). She seemed friendly enough. Finally, we ended the session by combining with another residential group to play a game called "I Love My Neighbor." If you don't know what it is, look it up. It's pretty fun, even though it might seem silly.
Following a short break after meeting our residential group, we ate at the dining hall. The food was decent, but my opinion might change after eating the same thing for a week or two.
|A common area with two TVs; the foosball table mentioned is on the left.|
The rest of the evening was mostly just relaxing. Brandon, Alexander (Alex for short) and I played an epic game of foosball which involved a mindblowing, backspin trickshot goal scored by yours truly. I'm settling in nicely, and I'm meeting all sorts of new people. It almost feels like we're freshman entering the University of Chicago, which isn't bad. I can't wait for class to start!