This past week has witnessed some of the
most radical changes in my life. Iím in Manhattan, attending
college orientation sessions, making new friends, and oh,
surviving in a dorm without air conditioning.
I bet Houston is still in the heady
throngs of summer hair-curling bliss, but for New York,
autumn is on its way. Hence, no AC, no problem; an open
window and fan will do.
So from where I left off last time, we
arrived on campus to witness hundreds of people shuttling
massive cardboard carts on wheels in and around school. We
popped the trunk, unloaded everything from laptop to lamp,
and wheeled all the baggage into my glorious 94 square feet
dorm. Oh, it was really something.
After religiously wiping down all the
furniture with alcohol and unloading my junk, I can proudly
say Iíve manage to squeeze a walking space between the bed
and the desk.
But hey, so itís small. So itís cramped.
But all that matters is itís all mine.
The next few days I frantically rushed
from one orientation session to the next, all of them
three-hour affairs geared towards introducing the Ďmany
useful and wonderful resources found at Columbia.í We had
many firsts, eating at John Jay Dining hall, going downtown
by subway, and sitting in the lush grass blissfully absent
of Texas fire ants.
And friend-making was surprisingly easy.
Since everyone here is on the same new boat, we all just
naturally bonded. The introducing consisted of the same back
and forth questions. Hi, Whatís your name? Where are you
from? What hall are you in?
By the end of the week, after hundreds of
introductions, I and a group of people whose names I
actually remember started hanging out. Each night, we would
go to Starbucks, sit in the grass or on the steps in front
of the library just talking. Iíve met some amazingly diverse
people here, international students from Turkey, Singapore,
Korea, South Africa, and Americans ranging from Orange
County to the Bronx.
Staying out late, trading music and
sharing experiences, the whole while New York City roaring
past our campus gates.
At night in my dorm, peace and an open
window with Amsterdam Avenue below.
Ah, the metallic serenity of screeching
stops and car honks; it wouldnít be New York without it.