The Vermont Cynic

2016 Orientation from the first-year perspective


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College campus visits are surreal, intimidating and daunting.

Are you making a mistake, or are you looking at the very place you’ll befriend the Freshman 15?

Visiting nine campuses in one week required a lot of paper.

I wanted to write down every detail of my first impressions; did I like the surrounding area? Was the tour guide interesting? Was the student body too big or too small?

When I got to UVM, the lists stopped, and I just felt. All previous lists became null.

This was the place I was meant to be.

Since I arrived the day before Orientation started, I decided to explore downtown.

I quickly discovered a gem: Zabby & Elf’s Stone Soup, where I got jasmine rice, tofu stew and vegan apple crisp for dessert.

As a vegetarian and half-assed/aspiring vegan, I was pretty much in heaven.

It even made it to my snap-story, accompanied by a fabulous Burlington geofilter.

I spent the rest of the day wandering aimlessly up and down Church Street, eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (which I had a total of five times in three days), and indulging myself in purchases from The Crystal Cottage.

The next morning, I caught the farmer’s market, since Honors College orientation didn’t begin until 3 p.m..

Immediately, I treated myself to a variety of delicious maple sugar goodies, and vibrant flowers.

There was even live pottery-spinning! I felt on top of the world immersed in so much local talent, art, produce and love – all within walking distance from my college.

The beginning of orientation was, of course, nerve-wracking – but those jitters are a rite of passage for any first-year, and they soon dissipated when I began realizing just how friendly, open and supportive UVM’s community is.

All of the awkward introductions, confusing directions and begging people not to categorize me with Kentucky stereotypes (since that’s where I’m hailing from), led to a trifecta: Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, a pink-orange Lake Champlain sunset and blossoming friendships.

My first night in a dorm was roommate-less – which was a blessing only counterintuitively. I was scared as hell trying to sleep in some random, dark room.

Thanks to that experience, I am now excited to share a bedroom with someone for the first time in my life (roomies = protection from ghosts).

My second day of orientation began with Breugger’s Bagels, and segued into get-to- know-you” activities and info sessions.

One of the mandatory meetings was held in a classroom overlooking the greenhouse, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the views I’ll be having for the next four years.

I was even more fascinated with the fact that I could buy my own plants via the greenhouse. Before knowing this, packing for college was probably going to be a struggle of choosing between packing my five plants or…basic necessities.

The last day of orientation left me equipped with a carefully cultivated schedule starting at 9:40am, a CatCard featuring me in my sweaty, smiling, first-year glory, and newfound joy in knowing that Ben & Jerry’s would be included in my meal plan.

Not bad, UVM, not bad.

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2016 Orientation from the first-year perspective