Orientation is not for the Socially Inept

Ok, so I finished my English class and everything and it didn’t turn out as bad as I thought.

Moving on.

A few days ago I had my freshman orientation, and let me tell you that there were so many other things I could’ve been doing instead of listening to suspiciously vague, yet somehow lengthy, presentations on what it means to be a Penn Stater. Honestly, I tried to pay attention, but it just wasn’t that interesting. At lunch on the second day, my mom asked me if I took my medicine (I have ADHD) because I seemed more distracted thaCranen usual. I had in fact taken my medicine that morning. I just wanted to watch the birds eat crumbs off the pavement, rather than go and sit for another two hours. During one of the presentations, I got bored and made a paper crane. I gave it to my orientation leader and he gave me a hug, which basically made my day.

 

 

And see that NSO guide in the background? On one of the pages, we were told to write an “I am” statement.  I’m extremlely proud of mine.IMG_4826

 

Despite my inattention, I did learn some important things at orientation. For instance, you are not allowed to mix flavors at the Creamery unless you are Bill Clinton (and even he had to ask if he could). Also, the incoming freshman class (my class) is the largest class the university has seen yet-we are over 8,000 strong (Good god that’s a lot of people). I was told that after a winning game, the crowd at Beaver Stadium is so rowdy that their collective movement registers on the Richter Scale. And, because of this, the Millennium Science Complex was built with shocks to absorb the tremors and protect the sensitive lab equipment within the building. I learned that 75% of the students will drink and the other 25% won’t.

But the worst part of orientation was having to interact with a bunch of stranger. I know that sounds like a typical introvert thing to say, but having a conversation with someone you don’t know is difficult, especially when it’s clear they don’t really want to talk to you. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to people, I just can’t find anyone with whom I can carry on an actual conversation that gets past the “So what’s your name? Are you from around here? California? That’s so far away! Why did you choose Penn State? You wanted a change? I got you… What are you majoring in? Engineering? that’s cool… Oh me? I’m majoring in Landscape Architecture…. No landscape architecture is not just designing people’s yards…” At this point, there’s an awkward silence where both of you are deciding whether or no it’s worth the energy to continue talking. The other person is about to find someone else to talk to when I have the need to ask some random, off-topic question like “do you have any pets?” or “what’s your favorite color?” You know, those typical ice-breaker questions we had to ask in elementary school. Being fairly nerdy, I can usually find a way to break that “fight or flight” silence by talking about Netflix and tumblr. I am not one of those fandom people that watches Doctor Who but usually if you start talking about sedentary activities, the nerds will follow (another hot conversation topic is eating).

Well, that’s about all I have to say. Wow, I wrote a lot of words.

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