The past few days have been crammed with activities.
First, I moved into my dorm
And ever since then my days have been filled with orientation activities. For the most part these are the same activities that any new student at any institution would be involved in. Things like how to check you student email and what a library is. Most of them are mind numbingly dull and fairly useless. The truly important information was imparted to us via the Facebook group weeks ago when we were all freaking out.
I realized, as I half listened to yet another person tell me how to swipe into my dorm, is that orientation is not about getting to know the Smith program or how to access moodle. It is finding a way to reorient myself and who I am becoming.
I have to reorient my mindset from professional to student.
I have to reorient myself from introvert to extrovert and make new friends.
I need to find the direction that I want to go in as a social worker without losing who I am as a person.
Orientation is giving me time to build the connections that will allow me to succeed here, not because I know who the kitchen staff are (though now I can ask them to stop garnishing everything with strawberries!), but through the support systems I will need to maintain my sanity throughout the upcoming year.
And I must say, If I didn’t know that social work was the right field for me, I would be sure based only on the amazing people I have met so far. The sheer number of people with similar personality traits here is astounding. I have found my people.
I was worried that everyone would be super touchyfeely and talkaboutyouremotiony. Which there are a lot of. But I have managed to find a great group of sardonic, irreverent goofballs and it is wonderful. Not to say that they lack the necessary empathy to be in the field, but they express it in a manner similar to me. And that, my dear readers, is the best part of being here.
I have never had to be anyone other than myself. I don’t feel like I need to work to fit in. So many of the social challenges I have faced in new situations just don’t apply here. It has felt so natural to be here that it is worth it to go hear someone tell me the dining hall hours for the fourth time.
This doesn’t mean I am not home sick. I miss my life so much, but as one of my new friends put it. “I don’t know why people are stressing, this is like summer camp, but for adults” and that is kinda how it feels.
We will see what happens when classes start on monday, but for now I am happy. Actually happy. Which is worth any future stress.
Also, I bought a long board. it is awesome!!!