I could not have imagined a better way to spend the first week of my last year of Carnegie Mellon: alongside my residents in Stever House, as they navigate their first week of college.
I had spent the week prior to the start of classes, living with my residents, getting to know them and convincing myself that I could totally handle being the responsible RA that I was expected to embody. We spent the entire week, going through orientation, learning about Carnegie Mellon and challenging the first year class to get to know more about themselves. Luckily, my floor is full of an eclectic mix of AMAZING people. During the first day of RA training, Helen Wang, a Housefellow of a first-year house, stated that every person has something inherently awesome about them---and as I sat through my first floor meeting, nothing could more accurately describe the group of women beyond me.
Of course, orientation has it's peaks and valleys. Saying goodbye to Mom, Dad and Rufus the dog, is always challenging. However, meeting super cool people who you instantly connect with, makes each moment feel like a firecracker waiting to go off. The peak of my orientation experience definitely has to be House Wars! Each first year house goes out to "The Cut" to defend their honor in a battle to the death. But in reality, all the houses dress up in their house color, embodying their house theme of that year, and playing silly games like transporting water from one bucket to another with a sponge and bat-spin relay races. This year, Stever House's theme was Toy Story, hence the attempt at a Slink Dog costume with another RA in Stever.
Overall, after a long week of orientation, it was nice to start classes and get back into the daily grind of life at Carnegie Mellon. Club meetings, classes and back to work at the Office of Admission. Although I could not be further away from my freshman residents than I am now, as a senior, Year 4, Week 1 doesn't feel all too different from Year 1, Week 1. Yes, I now know how to find Porter 100 and I already have friends who I can call up to each lunch with. However, the anxiety of where my life will take me in the next couple of years, feels all the same. Who knew? Three years later and I would end up reliving aspects freshman year all over again.