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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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An evening aboard the Mystery Bus

There was an air of uncertainty hanging over the bus stop as I arrived outside of Shriver. This was the site from which the Miami Mystery Tour Bus would depart, but the amassed people, myself included, didn’t seem to know which of the various buses at the stop was ours. After asking around, I learned that the general consensus was that ours was the large charter bus at the back of the row. This was confirmed when a woman disembarked, waved us all over and checked our names off of a list one by one. The relief that we...

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It’s a small world

As I step out of my dorm, a sharp gust of wind slaps me across the face. September has certainly set in, as it’s bitterly cold. I glance at my phone, pulling up the weather app, and the screen informs me that it’s an abysmal 51 degrees in Oxford. Sighing, I get on my bike, scrunch down into my jacket and head off to class. After sitting through an absolutely riveting session of statistics, I’m back out in the crisp fall air. It’s warmed a little and I no longer shiver relentlessly as I pedal my bike back towards Collins hall. But despite the pleasant temperature change, I feel indescribably worse than I did on my way to class. I realize that I haven’t spoken to anyone all day. My hand subconsciously reaches for my phone, searching for validation in texts and snapchats that aren’t there, then return the device to my pocket. I trudge past groups of my fellow Miamians, talking like old friends, and a sharp pang of loneliness twists itself in my gut. Stopping at the edge of Cook Field, I scan the vast campus before me. In this one panorama, I can count more students than the entirety of my high school. Amidst this sea of strangers, I can’t help but feel isolated. Sure, I’ve gotten people’s phone numbers and made a few introductions over...

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