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Alice Yang
Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star.
Alice Yang is a student at Columbia University. She can be reached at gy2151@ Columbia.edu.
This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.



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.

Alice Yang is a student at Columbia University.
She can be reached at gy2151@ Columbia.edu.

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   Last Update:  September 27, 2007