Sunday, August 5, 2012

Orientation Week and the Night before D-Day


Last Monday, the line for registration wrapped around the atrium and stretched down the stairs.  130 students waiting anxiously to check in; last name first, first name last. I listened as my new classmates shuffled forward. Smith, Dana. Check. Jones, James. Check. Here's your packet, fill this out, drop that off at security. Make sure you complete everything on this list today. There won't be other opportunities.

Finally, it was my turn at the broad folding table in front of the library. I opened my mouth to state my name, last name first, first name last, but the folks from admissions said it for me.  They recognized me from brief interactions 7 months ago! I guess the little brown wren stands out when surrounded by swans.

This past week has thoroughly erased any hesitations and doubt I've struggled with. I'm so excited for all the opportunities laid out like an academic smorgasbord. I'm really going to have to work on my gluttony and make some hard decisions. Next summer, do I organize a research project or take advantage of the extensive global health immersion programs my school offers? I want to do both!

During one of the 'get-to-know-us' lectures, the dean put up a grid of our ages, MCAT scores and GPAs. I'm the oldest, in the bottom third grade-wise and tied at the top for MCAT score. The class, with an average age of 22, is so young. There are only three other students in their thirties.

The week consisted of a series of social meet-and-greets.  The most common conversation pieces consisted of "Where are you from? Undergrad? What have you been doing since college?"

Everyone seems pleasant enough. They're all so tall! I only spotted one other vertically challenged student, a competitive gymnast.  I am grateful (sort-of) for my excess adipose tissue. The fat hides any wrinkles and I look younger than I am. No one guessed that I was at the apex of the age pyramid and the looks of disbelief when I confessed were gratifying in a superficial way.

I glanced through the pdfs for tomorrow's eight hours of lecture (!) and am already overwhelmed by what we're going to cover. It's going to be a doozy of a year.


  1. Good luck!!! Glad to know there's someone else going through the same thing I am :)

  2. How exciting! Good Luck to you. 18 more months and I will hopefully be there. Well not "there," but rather starting my leg of this journey.

    You know what I mean...

  3. Thanks! My excitement hasn't even worn off after the insane first 2 days... I've got so much work to do; it's a great reminder that I'm HERE though.

    Good luck yourself dolce vita.

    WTS- These next few months are going to go by so slowly, but suddenly you'll blink, turn around to look back at them and realize that you're 'here' too! It's going to be an awesome journey for all of us...