“Hey, bro, where are u going?” a campus construction worker asked me when he saw me with two big suitcases wondering my way through campus. “I’m going to Miller Hall, do you know where it is?” “Of course if you go through the Academic Quad, and cross the street, the building on your right side is Miller Hall!” That one starts my countless conversations with people on this campus.
Frankly, orientations was tiring. Now that all the orientation programs end on this night, 5 Sept, I finally got a chance to write down some feelings during the very first days of my college life. There are so many stories, where should I start? Umm, Ok I’ll start with this one. I was supposed to have a roommate. But the day I move in, there was no one here! Well maybe he did another pre-orientation, I thought. But days have gone by and he is still not here. I contacted him on Facebook but he didn’t reply. I told basically everyone I met on campus about my disappearing roommate. They all said that it’s cool for me to have the room by myself (they call it an “Dingle”). But I’m a little bit down. I imagine my dorm to be the first of many homes I found on campus with me and my roommate have a great first year. Now I have to live with the reality. I thought to myself: this could be a good thing. I can invite my friends to my dorm because I have more space, I can spend more time in the floor common area to meet more people, and when I want to study my dorm will be quiet enough. So, my first search of new home did not make me lose hope, I went on to the second journey.
During Global Orientation, we were separate into groups. I was in a group with a good mix of people from all over the world. One night, there is an event hold by our group leader in which we told our life stories. I was touched by how everybody went through their ups and downs and come to this campus. Some of them have to leave their beloved brothers and sisters in hometown. Some lives in a remarried family. Some have witnessed bad things happened to their friend. I was also astonished by their openness to “strangers”. Some of these stories should be secret with only their family and best friends. But they shared it at that night and it really makes me feel like home. Even thought is only four days, I believe we can be friends in the next four years.
And then, I continued my quest for homes. Because I applied for a Advising Class, I already have several classmates in the first day of my orientation week. After a long session of orientation group meeting, we introduced ourselves to each other. One girl said: “If you guys wanna go for breakfast together just send texts or snapchats, and we’ll go together.” Not only in our class, when I stop by and say hi to my sophomore neighbours in Miller Hall, they said: “If you ever need anything just knock on our door and we can help you!” Just these simple word gave me a sense of belonging on campus. We are all strangers before we come, but the way Tufts students want to connect with each other really make this campus home.
As I look forward to my college life, I see new homes everywhere. They maybe my basketball club mates, orchestra fellows, classmates, boyfriend/girlfriend, or even just someone I had dinner with in Carmichael Dining Hall. The places dose not matter, what makes a house home is who lives in it! And don’t be afraid Jumbos, you will find new homes!