I am part of a program called Bonner, which is a leadership program that focuses on global perspective, social justice, and civic service. As a part of Bonner, I'm required to move in early and be part of the preorientation program.
Going on an overnight retreat is a part of the program. On Tuesday, all 12 of the 1st year Bonners along with 5 student Bonner leaders left Macalester to Camp Friendship, 1.5 hours north of Saint Paul. We managed to survive 4 hours of team building and ropes courses, bonding over the pain of physical work rather than accomplishment. :D I discovered my newly found talent of landing in hula hoops accurately after swinging on a rope swing during a game. (Too bad I can't make money off of that talent.) Overall, the retreat was very enjoyable and the view of the lake cannot be compared to anywhere else. The only down side is the camp food.
After a day of touring the Twin Cities yesterday, we finally managed to eat dinner at Cheng Heng, a local Cambodian restaurant. I feasted on vegetarian spring rolls, stir fry noodles with tofu, and steamed rice. Two large plates of food later, this is how my plate looked like.
With the end of dinner, our entire group of 1st year Bonners decided to hold a showing of Kung Fu Panda at the "Roommates'" room (the dorm room that's home to 2 Bonners). We brought food and pillows to enjoy the movie...but in reality, all of us ended up socializing more than watching the movie...
Today was Day 4, which marks the last day of Bonner Pre-Orientation. We spent the last hours meeting with Macalester's "VIPs" and learning about ethics and service. One of the highlights of the day was the visit to the history museum. We looked at the Hmong exhibit and learned about the 2nd largest Hmong population in the US.
At the end of today, I along with other 1st year Bonners were officiated initiated into the Bonner family, through the very "official" process of the Hogwarts-like sorting hat. I was sorted into the Avocado Shakes family (don't ask me about the name- I don't know) and became closer to other upperclassmen Bonners). Seeing everyone at the all-Bonner gathering made me feel very welcomed into the program. I can visualize myself being close friends to quite a few other Bonners.
Overall, I am enjoying my time at college. Tomorrow marks the 1st day of official Orientation, and I am currently spending the night at the Holiday Inn because my mom flew into Saint Paul today with 2 more suitcases for my dorm. (Side note: I managed to ride the public transit bus by myself to the hotel and I've been feeling a bit proud of myself)
Day 4: Done.
Time is flying by like crazy and I'm still in denial that I will be an official college student in less than 24 hours.
Actually, Orientation doesn't begin until this Thursday, but I became part of something called the Bonner program, which admits 12 first-years each year to the civic leadership program. During Monday (tomorrow!) to Wednesday, I will be doing everything you can imagine in the Bonner pre-orientation: moving in, touring the city, filling out student employment forms, going on the Bonner overnight retreat, eating out, and hopefully making some new friends!
I will be flying to the Twin Cities tomorrow by myself bringing 2 checked bags (the purple duffel and the open suitcase on the left in the photo) first. My mom will join me at Macalester on Thursday with another 2 bags (the 2 upright suitcases on the right) to help with moving in. She'll be staying at the nearby Holiday Inn for a few days and attend some of the seminars for parents during Orientation.
Although I can't deny being excited for a new chapter in my life, I get a tiny pang of sadness sometimes when I think about not being back home until December. I have been to 7 different schools and have adjusted perfectly to each of them, but I still often wonder if I can make Macalester my home and adjust to the new environment. Let me just try to list everything I am feeling: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, nervousness, anxiety, optimism, fear, hope, independence... ( <-- most likely in the order of importance)
I'm not exactly sure how my schedule will be this upcoming week, so if I do make updates, they might be a collection of photos or short posts.
I don't think I can be any more wrong when I thought that I could fit my life into 3 checked bags. Now that I really need to pick up the pace for college preparations, I have realized that I can barely fit my necessities in suitcases (I have already ordered other necessities online and shipped another 4-5 boxes to Macalester). In conclusion, my life cannot be packed into just 3 checked bags (It's more like 3 checked bags, 3-4 large Amazon boxes, and other shipments from Staples and Target).
The 3 checked bags and carry-on sit in the living room currently. One filled with bedding and towels, another with clothing and shoes, and another with room decorations and school supplies. Summer clothing, skincare, and my electronics are the only things that are left for me to pack now. My biggest concern is the weight of the luggage. I'm pretty sure one of them will be checked as an overweight bag at the airport :( I will post some pictures of my luggage soon!
In other news, I have received notice of my dorm room. My dorm is located on the 5th floor of Doty and I'm pretty sure they don't have an elevator. Move-in day is going to be very interesting. Anyway my dorm is a double and I will be sharing the room with my roommate Mia, who's from Oregon. I hope that both of us will get along well and maybe even become good friends.
After receiving a copy of Hope Against Hope, the school-wide summer reading book, in June, I have been procrastinating. The book is rather interesting; it discusses about the New Orleans School System post-Katrina. It follows a high school student, principal, and a new teacher at 3 different schools. Maybe it's because it's classified as a nonfiction book or maybe it's because I feel that I need to annotate the book, I just can't bring myself to read more than 50 pages in one sitting. Thankfully, I have begun to read about 30-40 pages each day so hopefully, I'll finish soon...*crosses fingers*
Aside from summer reading, I have received my first homework reading assignment. In my First Year Course (FYC), which is Civic Ideals and Higher Education in America (it's basically a class that talks about the educational system in America), my professor assigned a 25 page reading assignment about value-added colleges. It was a bit difficult to comprehend, but hopefully, I understood enough to participate in the class discussion.
I'm still in disbelief that I will be flying to Minnesota in 10 days.
college student. junior. international studies major. over-the-top foodie. travel and lifestyle student blogger?
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