NSOP Begins


As many of you may know, I'm an orientation leader this year.  I can't say one reason that I wanted to do so-- moving in early is nice, sharing my love for the school with new first years is going to be amazing, and meeting new people is always a plus.  Exactly a year ago today I moved into my dorm in Furnald and started my own NSOP experience.  I can't honestly say if it was good or bad.  I look back on it now fondly, but only because I'm in such a good place now.  That isn't to say that NSOP made me depressed, but it's a painful experience in many ways.  You spend all day moving in with your family and this sunday night is the first night most students spend in their new rooms with new people surrounding them.  You have no idea who is cool and who annoys you, and it worries you.  The anxiety all week-- the pressure to make friends-- is so difficult to deal with.  Worst part is you put the pressure on yourself.  I remember feeling guilty for needing some alone time or not wanting to go to the club down in Chelsea with people whom I had just met.  It's as if everyone moment you're not with people, they're making new and stronger connections with other people.  It's terrifying that first week, because you're constantly worried that you will end up without any friends for the rest of the year.

Luckily that isn't the case.  I spent this evening at the ice cream social for Barnard, Columbia, and SEAS first years, and all I could think about was how I felt a year ago.  Yeah, tonight I was making funny comments about the awkward men and women standing too far apart with their hands in their pockets trying to seem cool.  But while I was watching that I remembered where I was last year.  During the hour of the ice cream social I hung out with three different groups of people, and then spent the rest of the evening with a fourth.  Sometime I still see those people around campus and I'll say hi to a few of them.  I wish I could just tell all of the first years to wait a week.  Take the mental health time they need to adjust to having just moved to New York City, and don't worry so much about making friends.  It'll happen as long as you're nice and open to everyone you meet throughout ALL of your time in college and life.  

I take back what I said earlier, I know one definitive moment right now as to why I love being an OL.  At least for today, when I have yet to meet my own orientation group with whom I'll spend this week.  But as of today, I love being here for NSOP because it shows me how far I've come.  I've met so many new people this week who I really care about staying in touch with past NSOP.  I can look at the awkward couples and talk with two people whom I basically met on thursday (although briefly beforehand as well) about our own NSOP experiences.  I can see someone from Lit Hum last year who I never really talked to, but always thought was such a kind person, and reunite like we are old friends of sorts.  Meeting new people is a breeze now.  And even without my "besties" having moved in yet, I still feel like I won't be alone all week unless I want to be, because of all the new people I've already met.  And the absolute best part?  I don't feel guilty for staying in because I know I will always be able to find a kind face somewhere in the crowd.  

The Madysen who was at NSOP a year ago feel like a completely different person, in the best way possible.  

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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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