Friday, August 26, 2011

Packing for College: II and Orientation!

So here's the compact version of what eventually happened with my packing.

It's Wednesday at like 2 o'clock, I'm leaving in 4 hours, and I still haven't even thought about packing. Then my sister intervenes. Whereas I can be a laid-back procrastinator, my sister is almost exactly the  opposite. So she takes me to Staples and Marshall's, get's me packed an ready to go... all in about an hour's time. And as it turned out, there was a lot of stuff that I actually needed to buy... sheets, towels, laundry basket, notebooks and the like. So thank God for older sisters, right?

Now I'm sitting here with some down time during the 2nd day of orientation, and so far I've not had a thing to complain about (except the whistles). The orientation leaders are easy to talk to and FULL of energy, the awkward icebreakers have been doing just that; breaking ice, and I find that a lot of the other kids in the class of 2015 have been friendly and also very easy to talk to, albeit tired (at least I was). Also, I got to meet Tarah for the first time in person yesterday! So I'd say the year is already off to a great start, and I'm looking forward to the rest of orientation weekend followed by my first SMC classes on Monday!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

French! and Self-Awareness.

First, I'd like to start off this post by saying I FINALLY GOT INTO FRENCH.

You may wonder why I'm so excited, and here's why. When I registered for classes, I was in Poland, and my dad filled out the form with me over Skype. My firstfirstfirst of all first choice classes that I wanted to get into was French 101. My dad asked me if I wanted to put down a few alternatives, in case I didn't get into French. I told him that was dumb, I'd probably get in cause we were doing the form early enough and I didn't think it would fill up that fast. But, I humored him and said he could put down Spanish (so that I could continue with it), German if I didn't get into Spanish, and maybe as a last choice, Chinese.

I got Chinese.

Long story short, I've been pushing to get into French for a long-A time, and I finally got in and I'm freaking psyched.

Second, it's Sunday night, 3 days til departure day to Saint Mike's, and I still haven't started packing (not even bought the special college bed sheets). I thought this might be appropriate to mention seeing as my last post was about packing and I haven't yet followed it up. Don't worry, it's coming soon (I know the world is absolutely DYING to know what I'll be putting in my suitcase ;p).

Third, I'm going to talk a little bit about Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, the Saint Michael's College class of 2015 summer reading assignment. I started the book a few days ago and for some reason, these past few days I have felt more aware of my vegetarianism than I have at any other point in my life. It's probably just because I've been reading this book and so my mind is kind of focused on the topic of eating/not eating meat, or it's just a funny coincidence. But for example, last night I was at dinner with my dad, grandparents and my grandparents' friends, and the only thing on the menu that was vegetarian was the salad. I'm not complaining (I choose to not eat meat, whatever), but it was kind of a bummer to wait for my salad to come out with the entrees while everyone else at the table ate their appetizers, soups, etc. (and drank their beers! which I miss having lived in Europe for a year). I'm steering heavily away from my point.

My point is that for the last few days, I've felt like this; like everyone else was eating while I was waiting for my salad (this sounds a lot more self-pitiful than I want it to, just stick with me for a second). But it's not like my life hasn't been like this for the past few years, since I made the choice to be vegetarian. So while I was sitting at dinner last night, I reflected on why I choose to alienate myself and not participate in the consumption of fish taco appetizers while everyone else at the table does.

It's who I am. More importantly, it's who I've chosen to be. And this, to me, would seem an important thing to keep in mind when beginning a new chapter in life; college, for example. It's important to know who you are and who you want to be later in life, and to be aware that the choices you make today will affect the person you are tomorrow. Some years ago, I chose to be vegetarian for whatever reason, and it has become a part of the person I am today (but for the record, I'm not a preachy one, just sayin'). And I am aware that the choices I make during college will lead me to be the Ben Rosbrook I want to be after graduation.

So with that being said I promise to bring more on my packing process in my next post! Also, check out this post by Tarah and this post by Sarah about their reactions to the reading assignment!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Packing for College: I

So there's just about a week left until move-in day and orientation at SMC! That being said, I feel very unprepared.

See, I have been in America for just over 3 weeks now (since my return from a year abroad in Poland), and most of that time has been devoted to visiting with friends I haven't seen in a while, unpacking all my stuff from the move (did I mention that my family moved to a new house while I was gone?) AND from my exchange, adjusting to a new town and re-adjusting to America. So since so much unpacking and other nonsense has been going on, RE-packing for college has been kinda low on my to-do list.

And since I'm in the topic of packing for college, am I the only one who thinks that advertising for back-to-school directed at college students is kind of excessive? My sister has explained to me that the beds in college are shaped differently than "normal" beds, so, whatever, I have to buy sheets, but whattup with all the other junk?

In my opinion, it's just a bunch of stuff to be bought, and I don't think I need it. So, my goal for the next few days of VERY last-minute school shopping is to avoid school shopping... as much as possible (cause I guess you really do need to buy new sheets).

Wish me luck; we'll see how this goes!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Why I chose SMC.

Woo-hoo! First blog post!

So I figured that a good way to kick off this blog would be to write a post about why I chose SMC in the first place. Fellow c/o 2015 classmate and international student Tarah Strethwatanakul recently did a post on the subject in which I was lucky enough to be featured, but I thought I would do one on my own blog as well (although you should read her post here, in which 2 other c/o 2015 students are featured, and read the rest of her blog too because she's fantastic!)

Anyway, I've known about SMC basically my entire life because my dad's an alum. When I was a kid I used to travel with him to Burlington to visit old college friends and to go on ski trips so many times that it began to feel like a home away from home. I used to tell him that when I grew up to be a "college kid", I was going to attend SMC.

However, by my senior year of high school, I had basically changed my mind. I had tried a little bit of everything in high school; sports, theater, music, travel, ballet (not kidding), and I still had NO idea what I wanted to do or what I wanted in a college. So, I told myself and everyone else that I was going to attend a big university with lots to do, so I could come home from my epic exchange in Poland and do something great with my life... I was very, very lost.

So I basically applied everywhere (including SMC, to humor my dad), closed my eyes, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. When acceptance letters started coming in, Saint Mike's was the first and the prettiest one I got. I know it's a pretty minor detail, but it felt nice to get a college acceptance letter in a purple envelope with a gold seal. I was really, really happy when I got my acceptance to SMC, and as the others came in, I just didn't get the same feeling. When people started asking me where I was going to college, I told them it was between SMC and the University of Rochester, I just wasn't sure yet and I wanted to visit campuses before I made my final decision... but the rest is history.

When I came to SMC (I had been here before, by the way), it just felt right. I remembered how much I loved the location, the campus was beautiful, the professors were fantastic, and I realized how much I actually preferred the small-school setting as opposed to a larger university. Besides, being in Vermont offers a lot of outdoors activities and other things (Ben and Jerry's factory) that other states just don't have, or at least they don't have them in the same way. Vermont, Burlington/Colchester, and Saint Michael's College are all fantastic places to be, and there's no other place I'd rather spend my next four years of college!