You should congratulate me! I just graduated from NEXT, a.k.a. MBI’s extra-orientation-for-freshmen sessions. Because every freshman is away from home for the very first time and requires extra orientation, poor kiddos. On the plus side, curfew is now extinct. Which is strangely satisfying, even though I was exempt from day one because I’m oooold.
We were supposed to learn things and bond as freshmen, but I don’t think I learned any of the things they wanted me to learn. Call me old or cynical or what-have-you, but it made me realize some things about being a newbie that was not on any of the Discussion Questions that Honorary Abe asked. Here are my top three:
- Freshman are the most over-questioned, over-analyzed, and under-reached people on campus. Yes, it’s a sweeping generalization and is totally different for every school and every school tries very, very hard to reach their freshman, but 90% of the time it does not work. Because…
- Contrary to popular opinion, freshmen do not open and share deeply on command. Why is it that every school thinks they just need to ask a specific [set of] questions and the deepest parts of our hearts will come gushing out? And why are the questions the same and/or rehearsed and/or repeated ad nauseum? It’s like Mozart’s 12 Variations in question form. (For the record, people: it’s not innovation when all you did was had a run-in with a thesaurus)
- Going to college is rough. I don’t care if you’ve lived on your own for twenty years and have eight letters after your name already. We’re freshmen, and we’ve been dumped into a new place: new privacy, new rules, new traditions, new expectations. And we’re at MBI, so we get slammed in our collective face with “The New Shallow”, which is another blog post for another time. Let me just say it again: it’s rough, and it’s not always because “we’re away from home for the first time, poor dears.”
So, yes, I survived NEXT, and no, I’m not sure I learned anything new, and yes, I’m surviving just fine. I’ll write you later. Tonight I’m going to stay out late in honor of my newly-revoked curfew and ponder the mysteries of the universe. Or my universe as it is right now: the little world of MBI and co.
This freshman maybe misses you,