Monday, September 21, 2015

College Journey #1: Orientation

So, for those of you curious, I'm currently attending Knox College.  It's a rather small college, with about 1500 people (if I'm not mistaken).  I want to talk about how it's been, personally, here on this blog (since I do do that, occasionally- veer off from discussing books) and I also wanted this to serve as a guide for anyone who is looking at Knox as a possible college for them.  I want these posts to be aimed at everyone, not just those who read this as a book blog, and so these will be a bit different from the normal fare here.

Hopefully this will help you out, and if you have any questions about the school or anything, please, please, please ask (in the comments below).  I will be posting these College Journey posts every week or so, but I haven't yet decided on the day.  At the end of each month I want to compile them all together, and I might even end up giving them a page all to themselves, we'll see.

Day One
So, orientation at Knox College is a many day process.  Which I'm not sure I like very much.  It starts today (or today as I'm writing this- Saturday, September 5th) and you begin by checking in.  Which is a bit crazy and not super organized.  You get your key, a giant binder (that I don't imagine I'll be using for much at all), and a nice notebook with the Knox logo on it.  I think I'll end up using this, even if it's not for class.  After check in you head to your dorm and set up.  You get about three hours, which doesn't sound like long enough, but it really is (as long as you get there when it starts, which was about 9 am).  My roommate, by the way, is awesome, and we both love the same types of books.

People help you get your stuff up to your room, and for a little bit it's rather packed.  I'm staying in a suite style dorm, but there are two other styles (I think.  I know there's at least traditional, and I think there's another type).  Setting up starts off really difficult, but becomes rather easy as you get the big stuff moved in.  I brought, as you may gather, so many books with me.  (I'll be posting a separate post about those in the coming days).

They don't feed you lunch, for whatever reason, so I ended up eating at the Gizmo (which is a restaurant on campus and not a proper cafeteria).  Then I had a meeting with the rest of y suite-mates and the RA.  There are quite a few of us, so it was too big to get to know everyone, though several have similar interests as me and we seemed to hit it off.

Then, of course, the hardest parts.  You get The Speech from the heads of the school and then have to say goodbye to your family.  I didn't cry, though it was a bit more difficult than I thought it would be. And then you're off to meet with your orientation group.  Which was a nice group, though it was a bit impersonal.  Our orientation leader, though, is the one we stick with through most of the time.  I have made some friends in that group, too.

After that we went to meet with our advisors.  Advisors are teachers at the school and they help you out with everything from figuring out classes to figuring out how to figure out your life.  There are about six students to an advisor (like I said, small school) and each group is really personalized.  My advisor is AWESOME.  Each advisor takes you out to dinner your first night (don't worry, the school pays, not them) and it can be either at their house or at a local restaurant (and there are some very good ones).  Mine also took us around town for a bit, showing us where to go and some local hotspots for our many needs.  I don't really know how to describe her in words, and I'm not going to try right now, but I think she could be a character in a book someday.

Then we got back in our Orientation groups and did something called PlayFair.  If you do go to Knox I'm not going to spoil it for you.  No, it's not roughhousing.  Yes, you will enjoy at least part of it.

And now it's night time.  And I'm actually exhausted and have to get up at eight tomorrow.  No, scratch that, seven tomorrow.  YAWN.  Well, I'll continue this post after the next day has passed.

For the record, they aren't all going to be this way, just this first week because I think it's important to know what the Orientation is like when deciding what school to go to.

Day Two
Much less crazy, and already feeling more like an actual college student.  Classes haven't started in any capacity but the amount of freedom we have is crazy.  High school is not something I miss, to say the least.  Also, the cafeteria food is AMAZING!  If you end up going to Knox and are worried about eating, don't be.  They take good care of you, and there are options for vegetarians, vegans, and those who can't eat gluten (and I'm sure there are options for people with other types of allergies and such, as well, these are just the ones I've noticed).

Today we got the Campus Security talk and the Responsibility talk.  We also played a game in our orientation groups where we "debated" controversial topics.  I say "debated" because we stood on one side of the room depending with whether we agreed or disagreed with the statement given.  Then, without really debating, rather, just giving our own thoughts and reasons and why we might have these thoughts and reasons, we talked about the topic.  The people leading the talk were all really shocked about how cordial we were being, and applauded us.  We also all came out of it thinking about all the different sides of an argument.

And, for the most part, we got a lot of free time.  Which means reading time.  Which means, what I'm going to do right now.  I'll add more to this post tomorrow.

Day Three- Five
Well, day three started of great.  By great I mean that the fire alarm went off at 4 am and so my roommate and I went outside (as one should do) and found that it was absolutely pouring.  Thunder and lightening.  The grand works!  So, yeah, day three started off great.

But it got better.  It was on this day that we were all able to meet with our advisors and pick out classes.  However, there's always the chance that the classes will become to full and that you'll get closed out of them.  Don't actually find that out until the day before classes, though.  Again, it was a day mostly full of orientation activities.

Which brings me to day four.  I don't know about anyone else, but the whole day I was pretty much biting my nails eager to see whether I got my classes or not.  And, thank God, I did.  I got all of them, even the one I expected to get closed out of.  So, if you're curious, I'm in Latin 101 (where there are only nine people taking it, a friend of mine being one of them, so very excited!), Intro to Lit (which my whole major hangs on, and another friend of mine is taking), and Cinematic Visions (which is a freshman preceptorial, meaning I had to take at least one of these and this one sounded very interesting).

Day five was an empty day.  I finally explored the mail room and the college book store (and bought a few things I really needed plus a really awesome notebook).  For people who did close-out of their classes, they had to wake up early, go to a lab across the school, and pick a new one.  Have I mentioned how glad I am that I got my classes?

This was also the day of pump-handle, one-community picnic, and club carousal.

Shall I start with the last and make my way forward?

Club carousal is pretty much what it sounds like, letting the clubs show off what they are and allowing people to sign up.  Not just freshman, either, but anyone.  I didn't really sign up for any, but I did pick up information.  Will probably submit to the literary magazines and stuff.

One-community picnic is a picnic for the whole school.  The food was okay, but there wasn't nearly enough places to sit.

Pump-handle is where everyone in the whole school shakes each others hands.  Maybe you'll like it, but I was dizzy and not a fan.  It's a tradition and I love the idea of it.  Since the school is small, it only takes about half an hour to an hour to complete, even though they set aside several hours for it.

So classes start tomorrow and I'm nervous, I'll admit.  I've only got Lit and Latin tomorrow, but it's still going to be a bit busy.  I don't have the textbooks for Latin, yet, though they should be coming sooner rather than later.

The next College Journey post will probably be about my first few weeks in classes.  See you guys later!

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*Reminder: I have a giveaway running right now.  Click here to be taken to the giveaway where you can win one of my favorite books.


  1. I remember going through all this a few years ago...I also went to a small liberal arts school. Hope you're enjoying your classes.

    1. I am enjoying them very much so far (though Latin is incredibly hard).


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