Moving day has finally arrived! I was excited to start my day this morning because I knew that later I would be meeting my new community, my new peers, and my soon-to-be close friends. Needless to say, I could not wait to check out of the hotel, which we would later do around 11:30. But before that, we had our last group breakfast with Mr. Miranda at Cosi. I ordered my very first squagel (square bagel)…it’s not as exciting as it sounds…but it was good! After breakfast we headed back to the hotel to finish re-packing and then we made our way to the Freshman Quadrangle after checkout.
We walked down to the quad and checked in fairly quickly. I’m glad we arrived early because as it got later there was a flood of new students, many more than were there when we first arrived. At check-in, we were given our ID’s, maps, important guidelines and regulations, and our keys to the dorm buildings and our individual rooms. I reached my room, room 302 in the NY Alumni building. I hadn’t even thought to ask if Brian and I had been given the same room, so when we reached the third floor and stopped at the same door we had a pretty good laugh. We began unpacking in our surprisingly spacious dorm immediately. For some reason I get a feeling of satisfaction when I unpack something completely and settle into a certain space. I definitely felt that way when I finished unloading my suitcase today. I’ve personalized my desk, my wardrobe is filled with my clothes and other miscellaneous items, and my bed is made. It nice to feel like this dorm is a familiar place that I can return to at the end of the day and reflect or work.
After we unpacked (and had a rather frustrating bout with the school’s wifi) we met back with Mr. Miranda and Julia for lunch. Today we experienced our first real philly cheesesteaks. Thanks to our tour guide from yesterday I was able to order like a local. When you order a philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia all you’re supposed to ask for is the kind of cheese and say whether or not you want onions. For example, today I ordered as follows: “I’d like an American with,” (“American” being the cheese and “with” meaning I wanted onions). It is certainly interesting. After lunch we took the subway and trolley back to campus.
We were to be led to the dining hall at 5:00 and then attend an orientation. We got back to campus around 4:00 so we had some down time. Brian and I decided to try logging into the wifi again…to no avail… We wound up wasting the entire hour trying to connect, but only getting frustrated. Brian and I headed down to the quad to wait for our group and we decided to socialize with a couple of our peers who are also on our floor. We introduced ourselves to Fred Kwon and Abeek (who’s last name I have unfortunately forgotten for the moment). Fred is from Alabama, but was born in Korea and has his citizenship in Canada. Abeek is from London, attends a single-sex school, and participates in a lot of sports at school, one of which is squash. Both of them are enrolled in Penn’s Biomed Program. We ate dinner together and got to know more about each other. The four of us have become fast friends and I look forward to spending more time with them in the next month.
The rest of the night was essentially spent in orientation and having a floor meeting. In orientation they went over basic expectations and rules, as well as places and people we could go to for assistance with anything. We also met to go over floor rules and expectations later in our floor meeting. I really like Carlos, our RC (resident counselor). He seems pretty laid back but expressed a lot of concern about our safety and was thorough in making sure we understood the rules. We also introduced ourselves to the rest of our floormates in the meeting. There are thirteen of us total (including Carlos) so we are considering calling ourselves the Baker’s Dozen, but I think the culinary class already claimed that name. We’re still thinking. I look forward to getting to know the rest of the people on my floor.
It is only my first day as an official student at Penn and I am already loving it. My dorm is great, I’m meeting new people, and I cannot wait to start my class tomorrow morning. I know it is going to be a great month.