By Caryl Yulo
I stepped out of the car and, before saying goodbye, I jokingly asked mam to come in with me (Was I really joking though?). I slept so soundly the night before but a sudden surge of nerves and anxiety made me question how I really felt about Orientation Day. I shook the thoughts out of my head, waved goodbye and walked towards the Main Building.
I was taken aback by the sheer size of the crowd. I weaved myself up the steps and noticed how many of them had already broken the ice with a person that was a stranger only moments before. I felt a tinge of envy. This day sucks, I think to myself (Mind you, I’m usually a very social person; I guess I was still in shock).
I walked down the steps to the first empty seat I saw. I sat down and prepared myself for an hour of awkward silence and mindless phone scrolling. Luckily enough, the girl on my right was willing to start the conversation. We got to talking about where we’re from, how frustratingly unfair the Geography papers were, what course we were going to do and how the rest of the pack were taking their sweet sweet time in finding seats. It was nice. For the first time I finally felt like myself: chatty, sarcastic and irresistibly charming. I guess the rest of the crowd were in similar conversations because the noise levels were increasing with every passing minute. It was a familiar cacophony, like lunch in school and morning assemblies.
Interference from the microphone cut through the commotion, putting it to a halt. We were given a very warm welcome by four (or was it five?) important figures of the university and for AHSS students. It was lovely; they sounded so excited, so full of energy for the next year. Jokes were made about our mathematic ability (go Humanities!), how my future spouse could well be in the same room as me, and the reality of pot-noodle dinners. Then the Students’ Union arrived and proceeded to throw condoms into the crowd to promote, in their words, “Health and Safety”.
The rest of the day was filled with laughter and eager conversations with complete strangers whose names I am desperately trying to remember before I see them again next week.
We were appointed a guide, then given a tour of the main building and its many many (seriously, it’s ridiculous) rooms. If this part of the day was a movie, it would be one of those scenes that are sped up and the voices are helium-fuelled. Everyone was giddy after the talks; sitting down for an hour does wonders to your energy levels. All of the volunteers we met along the way were so enthusiastic and lively. Fresher’s fever is what it was. It’s infectious and will result in overusing words such as “brilliant”, “amazing” and “unbelievable”. Our small group of lost souls bonded over lunch and an obligatory bathroom break (if you’re a girl, you know what I mean) and by the end of the day, I felt at ease.
I was wrong; this day most definitely did not suck.