First years’ first days: The freshman ‘shock’ experience

The first semester away at college is tough. Whether your parents washed your dirty laundry your whole life or you were the most self-sufficient, I-know-my-social-security-number-and-how-to-use-jumper-cables kid in your high school class, there’s some adjusting to do after arriving in Oxford. Among the things our first-year writers found out: A box full of bright-pink tools isn’t the worst way to make friends. It can hurt to watch your parents drive away. No, Brick is not a movie theater. Store-bought tortillas do not taste as good as your grandmother’s. It’s easy to feel lonely on campus — but there are always...

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Homesick in Havighurst

On the drive from Columbus to Oxford, the morning sun peeked through the trees along Route 127. I looked over to my mom in the driver’s seat. This was not a typical first day of school. Yes, my parents would be dropping me off, but at the end of the day they would not be there to take me home. “You know, I don’t know what I’ll do without you this year,” I said. “You’ll be ok,” she said. “Remember, I’m only a call away.” There had been months of touring schools and filling out applications. There had been heartbreak over denials and financial-aid offers that came up short and celebration over the letters that read, “Congratulations, you’re in!” Now, it was move-in day. At 10:30 am, we arrived at Havighurst Hall and began unpacking my belongings. When everything was unpacked — my sweatshirts placed in drawers, my Keurig plugged into the outlet and my poster of The Beatles mounted on the wall — I started making up things to do to delay my parents’ departure. My mom caught on and played along. Finally, at 1:00 pm, we decided there was nothing left to do and agreed it was time for lunch. My dad drove us to Uptown Oxford. We sat at Kona Bistro, ate fish tacos and told stories about my childhood. After lunch we walked around campus...

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