Thursday, September 7, 2017
Buona sera! I’ve been meaning to write this post for several days. Tomorrow will mark two weeks as a sophomore at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. Let me tell you… This week went a lot smoother than last week! So here’s the breakdown of my first week at American college.
I had never been so nervous going to classes! I felt like a freshman in high school all over again–unsure of which building to go to, intimidated by the upperclassmen, stressed about where to sit in the classroom.
This is how I felt all. week. long. My friends and I were asked many times “Are you freshmen?” It shouldn’t feel like an insult, but it does as a non-freshman. Perhaps we’re paranoid, but we think people stare at us. It makes sense for sophomores especially to, because they’ve never seen us before, and they know we aren’t freshmen.
In my classes, it seemed as though everyone knew each other. They’d say hi to one another, ask how last night was at Darby’s or whatever bar it was depending on the day, get in each other’s Snapchats. Meanwhile I sat in between strangers staring blankly at my planner or notebook.
Yes, the American college academic system differs greatly from the Italian college academic system. There are a lot more smaller assignments spread out over time. Using my syllabi for all five classes to color coordinate into my planner was a good two hours of stress/panic. The best strategy? TURN SOMETHING IN & HOPE YOU PASS.
Tackling the gym
It’s nerve racking dead lifting 25 pounds when the cute guy next to you dead lifts 4 times that. It’s also nerve racking trying to exercise surrounded by division I athletes. I plugged in my Taylor Swift and focused on my workout. Now I know I can survive going to the gym even during its busiest hours.
I have the smallest meal plan available at Marist; therefore, I get one swipe a week (one meal a week unless I get creative with tupperware). The dining hall is a great place to meet friends. Unfortunately, I miss out on that opportunity.
The plus side?
I find rides to the nearby grocery stores and cook my own food. That’s helped me eat healthy!
Take me back to Emma Willard?
Marist is strictly a bar school. You have to be 21 to get in. I don’t have a fake ID, so I haven’t experienced the bar scene. Although there’s a tinge of FOMO (fear of missing out), I’m hoping to find more people on campus who prefer to stay in.
I signed up for 10 clubs at the club fair on Friday afternoon. There were so many people squeezed into two tents. It was very overwhelming! We’ve had club meetings this week, and I’m starting to narrow down my choices. There’s simply not enough time for everything! Clubs will be a good way to meet new people and get more involved on campus.
I miss the freedom and independence Florence graciously provided me. There was never a need to conform to a student body like there subtly is here. Scrolling through Instagram pictures of current FFEs at La Ménagère, Piazza Repubblica, and Edoardo’s definitely makes me miss Florence and that incredible chapter of my life. But a new one’s starting here in Poughkeepsie, and that’s what needs to be the main focus.
Like I’ve told my friends and heard it from my friends and family time and time again, TRANSITIONS TAKE TIME. There’s no rush to make non-FFE friends or feel 100% every day. The long weekend away in Sherburne, NY with Colleen helped me re-channel my focus and confidence. So far, so good!
Keep up with me!
Here are some links to some of my schoolwork.
My WordPress blog I created for Digital Toolbox: uncaffeperme.wordpress.com/
Assignment due (& presentation) tomorrow for my Intro to Strategic Advertising class: 8amtuesdaysandfridays.blogspot.com/2017/09/pov-assignment-forever-21.html
xo ~ e.