All too quickly, the summer has ended.
This might puzzle you. After all, it is August 17. There are at least two more weeks of summer left.
But for those of us in higher education, fall is resoundingly here. Freshmen and new students report for orientation tomorrow, with classes beginning on Monday. Oh for the good old days, when the fall semester started after Labor Day!
Griping aside, there is a buzz on campus today as last-minute preparations take place. Tents and chairs in place? Check. Giveaway t-shirts in stock? Check. Perfect weather ordered? Well … keep your fingers crossed.
It’s always a thrill to welcome the incoming class, to watch this exciting new chapter unfold with so many possibilities. Who will be the campus leaders? Who will dazzle us on the playing field? What gifts will this class bring to this community of learning?
By the way, orientation is wayyy different nowadays. (I am probably showing my age by saying “nowadays.”) Everything is done online. You just show up for the festivities.
If you’re an old-timer like me, you might remember your first day something like this.
You arrive on campus and have no idea where to go. A cheerful upperclassman directs you to the gym.
The gym is at least 125 degrees because, after all, these are the dog days of summer. You stand in line to register for a course. Finally it is your turn. An unsmiling administrator hands you a course slip. You suddenly realize, uh oh, there’s a conflict. You’ve made a mistake. Unsmiling Administrator is motioning to the student behind you. You back away slowly.
Ugh. You’ve scheduled Sosh and Econ for the same time block. You glance furtively around the gym. No one else seems to be having an issue. Students are happily exiting the gym with their well-timed course schedules.
You stand in line, again. This time to drop/add. You drop Sosh and add Ballroom Dancing. It’s the only course that is left.
Off to the bookstore you go. There are lines snaking around the store. You search the shelves for dozens of required textbooks. Almost finished, you manage to drop your arm load of books. All over the floor. Which you wish you could drop through. You feel many eyes boring into you. Someone nearby snickers.
Cute guy standing in line offers to help you collect your books. He asks you where you live, what your major is, what your sign is. Turns out he’s taking Ballroom Dancing, too. Things start looking up.
Welcome, Class of 2015. Enjoy every minute. The next four years will be amazing.