I had no idea what to expect when I stepped onto campus, bags in tow, early Thursday morning. Check-in was hectic but fun–new faces flashed by at a record pace as I ran around campus and dragged all my stuff up to my room. Somehow I managed to squeeze the six suitcases and eight boxes worth of stuff into my room, and, surprisingly, the room actually looked organized.
That evening, Meghan Harte, Director of Rollins Explorations, quoted from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
That was the moment my new life at Rollins College really hit me. I was starting a new adventure, and although I, unlike Alice, do care where I end up, I had no idea where I wanted that to be.
We next met with our RCC Classes, in my case, Justice: Good and Evil. I met the best peer mentors ever, learned a little more about what orientation would be like, and then moved to the Knowles Memorial Chapel for the Candlewish ceremony. I hope I will be able to let my own light shine at Rollins in the years to come.
Friday morning seemed to start much too early. We met our RCC professors for the first time that morning; for me, that is the incredible duo, Dr. Newman and Dr. Papay. We all traveled to Convocation together, where we were officially matriculated into the Class of 2014.
After lunch, we moved on to separate optional sessions. Both the Study Abroad and Pre-Law informational sessions allowed me to analyze what I would like to do in the future, and they changed my mind about my path after graduation.
That night, we had two hours of Sex Signals discussion. Rollins brought in a national traveling improv group that made the two hours fly by hilariously. The following two hours looked at Safety on Campus and, though not so exciting, were highly informative. Afterwards, we got free ice cream and then taken back to Dave’s Down Under to watch our peers get hypnotized.
Saturday morning involved meeting our RCC class at 7:45 a.m. to begin SPARC Day, a day of community service for all first-years. My class visited The Mayflower, a nursing home where we had the opportunity to talk and eat lunch with the residents for many hours, learning about their life experiences. Looking back on it, the experience was what I expected and more. It was informative, exciting, surprising, but mostly humbling. I met military officers, ex-CIA officials, teachers and many others. Each individual changed lives and truly enriched the world.
Sunday morning began a bit later. I joined my RCC class for a discussion over the summer reading book, “No Impact Man.” Our discussion quickly turned into a roaring debate about the issues present in the novel and how those issues can be solved. Our conversation expanded to outside of the classroom as well, following us back to our dormitories, giving us a taste of our future college life.
Overall, I am exhausted and nervous, but still absolutely thrilled to be at Rollins. I have met many amazing people, participated in awesome events, and learned a lot about campus and myself. Hopefully, by the end of my time here at Rollins, I will not only have countless great memories to look back on and an excellent education, but I will also be able to tell the Cheshire Cat exactly where I want to go and how I am going to get there.