Wednesday, August 27, 2014

PSU FastStart Mentor Program Orientation

Today's post is all about getting all my stuff from Cali to PA, as well as my first day on campus as a student. I once again apologize for my lack of pictures. If you haven't realized already, highly stressful situations prevent me from photographing. 
On Thursday, my mom, dad, and I flew into Pittsburgh to move me off to college. I packed two boxes and five suitcases along with  a backpack. Shortly after we landed, we made our rounds to pick up dorm stuff from Target and Bed Bath & Beyond. After buying everything, we stopped in for a quick dinner at Boston Market before zooming away to State College. As we were driving, thoughts were spinning in my head. I thought it was crazy that I was going to be stuck there for three whole months. After a little over two hours of driving, we checked into our hotel for the night.
The next morning, I had to attend this orientation day for a mentor program I signed up for. I was certainly not looking forward to knowing absolutely no one.  The program, called FastStart, started at  8:15 A.M. The catch is that I wanted to pick up my room key before so I could claim my bed, but they didn't open until 8 A.M. I brought one round of bags up and briefly met my roommate, who I am certain had been in the room just two minutes before me. I was dying to have the bed that wasn't right next to the door, so my heart sank when I saw her. I asked her which bed she wanted, and she said she wanted the one I did not want. I wanted to shout from the rooftops! So, after getting too caught up in my celebrations, I practically sprinted across campus not really knowing where I was going. I turned the corner and saw two buses waiting. Not knowing if I should hop on or find where to check in, I walked past them praying they wouldn't leave without me. Luckily, I was able to check in with tons of time to spare. We then proceeded to drive about forty-five minutes to a camp.
As soon as we arrived, we had a challenge waiting for us. Every single one of us had to line up in the order of our birthdays without talking in just three minutes. If someone was out of order, he or she had to do pushups. Luckily, I passed the test.
Next, we were counted off into four groups. With our new group leader, we walked into the woods to do some team building activities. The first activity entailed everyone walking around a circle of stumps. The object of the so-called game was to circle around to your original stump without falling off. If you fell off, you had to start all the away over. Believe me it's a lot harder than it seems. Some stumps were slanted, small, slippery, or there were even some that had a huge distance between them. There was no way you could walk all the way around without getting help from your neighbors. Indeed, I walked all the way around without falling off in true beast mode fashion.
We also did some balance and rope swing activities that were pretty easy for me, but not so easy for some other people. Of course, we had to all try to help the stragglers. Really, that's what all the exercises were about. Exercises like these always show how much humans are willing to help each other, even with all the bad in the world, and also how much can be accomplished by working together as a team. It was a good reminder of the good nature of the students I am going to be surrounded by for the next five years.
Moving on, a mashed potato bar where you could adorn your potatoes with chili, broccoli, chicken, cheese, bacon, and even sour cream was on the menu for lunch. For dessert, we had some ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies. All the food was so unexpectedly delicious!
Later, we did some other group activities, including a game like Telephone. Instead of whispering a word, you go down the line one by one to act something out. It was hilarious because you could see how the idea got so skewed.
After we were handed out a goody bag complete with items like a free t-shirt and water bottle, we drove back to the alumni center to mingle with our prospective faculty mentors. I went around and had enough time to talk to about eight people before I had to write down my top three. Today I'll attend a welcome dinner where I get to see who my match is.
At 5:45 when we ended, I walked downtown to dinner to meet my parents at Allen Street Grill. They had been shopping all day to get the rest of the stuff for my dorm. We then got some rest for a crazy move in day the next morning.
Despite my nerves, I am glad I went to the orientation because I was able to meet some of my fellow students. There's definitely more to come of my time so far at college. I have planned posts about my dorm room, welcome week activities, and my first few days of classes. I'm doing well so far. Fingers crossed it stays that way!
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