So this week is Student Orientation Week.
As an International Student, I had a 3-day “International Student Orientation” before the actual Freshmen Orientation. During this 3-day period, I met other international students from the Class of 2015 (apparently, we number around 75 people).
We were taken to the Garden of the Gods (shown below) and given a tour of the area. It was fun hiding in between cracks on the mountains, or inside small caves that littered the pathway. One of us got stuck in a cave, and we had to crawl inside to get him out! Note to self: when visiting, do NOT wear a big backpack…or crawl through spaces too small for you.
The ISO leaders – who I later on found out were juniors and seniors – also took us to Old Chicago, a deep-dish pizza place a few blocks off-campus. When I first got my slice of pizza, I was shocked: it literally looked like a slice of pie! It was so thick that I barely at two pieces. I do have to admit, the cheesy-ness of the pizza was lovely. There were so many of us holding our slices far away from our face, with strings of cheese clinging stubbornly to the pizza. Talk about a clichéd moment!
On our 2nd day, the ISO leaders took us to the CC Cabin, a 45 minute drive away from campus into the mountains. The cabin was gorgeous, a two-story woodwork with a basement, 6 bunk beds on the second floor, and a cozy living room with couches, cozy chairs and boardgames. We feasted on sandwiches, pasta and s’mores that night, and enjoyed seeing the stars in the sky. Too bad we couldn’t sleep outside on our sleeping bags, since it was too cold! …On the other hand, it DID rain through the night, so maybe that was a good thing. The highlight of the day was definitely the midnight walk through the woods. Axel kept us awake with his stories of outdoor experiences, and we tried tightrope walking on the obstacle course. Our fun was spoiled when we heard growling noises – I thought it was a bear or mountain lion (since they do live around the area). Thank god it was just James playing a prank on us poor souls!
On the 3rd day we woke up to a number of interactive games, like “Bang!”. I was sad to leave the Cabin, but I was excited to go back to campus…I missed my bed with it’s (kinda) comfy mattress! I’ll definitely miss the view from the CC Cabin balcony though!
When we got back to campus, we were treated to our first meal ever in CC’s very own Rastall’s Cafeteria. I enjoyed the macaroni & cheese, and the ice cream bar was awesome! We were brought to Walmart after, and we all came back to the bus carrying the same white, plastic laundry basket – funnily enough, we all used it to carry out stuff! I bought hangers, laundry detergent, and other school materials I wasn’t able to buy with my parents the week before.
Even if it was for only 3 days, I definitely think us international students bonded as a class. It’ll be nice to know that when class starts, there will be at least one person who’ll nod or say “hey, how’s it going?” when you pass them by around campus!