Walking into the massive structure of the Lowry Center on the first Saturday morning of the year, faced with a hundred or so upperclassmen focusing their attention on having me join their organization—it was one of the scarier parts of orientation week as a freshman. This huge track room housing the Student Involvement Fair was neatly lined with tables and posters advertising different acapella groups, clubs, or sports teams.
This is what college was supposed to be all about, right? New experiences, an abundance of new people…yet it was so intimidating going up to countless tables of literary publications and quickly scribbling my name down on an interest list. But even through the stress of it all, I was grateful to have many opportunities for this type of creative involvement, especially since Kenyon is known for its rigorous English program.
My email inbox became a war zone. Endless flow of useful and useless information would bombard my notifications at the most random points of the day in huge bursts. I constantly starred emails about class registration and all the meeting times and information in the upcoming weeks. Every evening for the first two weeks of the school year was spent frantically trying to find any given magazine’s building and room number on a campus I barely knew. Whether it was at 7 p.m. on the grass outside Peirce or at 10 p.m. in a lab in the science quad, I tirelessly put my ideas and creative mind on the chopping block in front of people who were virtually strangers to me.
It’s all about first impressions, I told myself. I wanted to maintain a cool appearance while staying true to myself and my passions. But it was hard to be so enthusiastic and committed to each meeting because it was one out of the other four I’d been to that week that had all blended together in my head. How could I differentiate between all of the groups?