Seeing everyone move on

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

By Sam DeReign

Well, I've been at Southeast Missouri State University a couple of days now and it's been a little different than being at my home. It just happened so suddenly. I mean, one day I'm sitting at my house watching TV. The next day, I'm living on the fifth floor of New Hall with a complete stranger and sharing a bathroom with three people.

And to make matters even worse, I had forgotten to pack socks.

After moving everything in and having my mom fold everything I own to delay her having to leave her son, I took a walking tour of the campus. I never realized that Southeast Missouri State University rested upon the Appalachian mountains and that everywhere I turned I would be walking on a steep incline.

Later on that night, I had to attend a floor meeting where everyone living on the fifth floor was to report to the lounge for a long speech about things that we shouldn't do but obviously will do in the near future if we haven't already.

Around 10 that evening I, along with other anxious freshman, made our way to our first college party. When entering the house, I felt like I had entered a low-budget rap video and was wondering what it would have looked like in slow motion.

When I arrived back in my room around 1 a.m., the need to take a shower was at a critical stage. The combination of continuous sweating from the morning's move and being in a house full of smoke with the occasional person who would bump into me with a cup of beer does not make for good personal hygiene.

I'm so used to having freedom to move my limbs about in a shower. In fact, you could do jumping jacks in my shower at home if you felt the desire to do so.

That's why I was upset to find that if one did feel so inclined to do jumping jacks in the shower on campus, your arms and legs would protrude through both sides of the wall, leaving you in excruciating pain.

The following day was nothing but a bunch of mandatory meetings full of university officials giving us welcoming speeches and even a test. As soon as that was over, freshmen began their search for social freedom.

I went to more parties in just that single evening than Oran has in an entire year. I didn't even feel right being there at first.

"This can't be right. This much social activity is unheard of by citizens from small towns," I kept telling myself.

So far, I've had a great time and I'm definitely getting a bit of culture shock even though I'm just half an hour away from home.

Of course, when you've seen nothing but cows in a field and farmers planting corn your whole life, culture shock comes quite easily.

sdereign@semissourian.com

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