Week 1 – Starting Fast

As of yesterday, I have now lived in New York City for a full week. And man, this first week entailed a lot. So here’s what happened my first week of college, from last Saturday to this one.

Saturday the 19th

All three of my roommates and I arrived for new student check-in within forty-five minutes of each other, and all before the official starting time. With the help of our parents, we thus descended upon the room and quickly did our best to make the empty studio apartment a home…or at least, a livable space. As the week progressed, my roommates and I made the place much more amicable than it had previously been.

Later in the day, after walking around the city and getting groceries with my parents, we all attended the first part of New Student Orientation (NSO) which was…honestly pretty uneventful. Things got much more interesting afterward.

Instead of fraternities and sororities, The King’s College has houses, each named after a significant person in history who possessed the traits and values the school wants its students to acquire. As such, there’s The House of Churchill, C.S. Lewis, Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Thatcher, etc. You live with those in your House at different locations throughout Manhattan (Brooklyn if you’re in Thatcher), and you remain together in House competitions (more on that later) and other events. I’m in The House of Ronald Reagan, and so I went along with my fellow housemates in accordance with what I just described.

The first Regan event was root beer and cigars. Now, for reasons I won’t get into now, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that the cigars part was a joke. It wasn’t.

I don’t drink soda, and when offered a cigar I pointed out that I have asthma (although I wouldn’t have taken one anyway, pointing to my asthma is a much more effective way to indicate that I won’t be smoking no matter what kinda pressure you or the group puts on me). As most people smoked their cigars, I stood and engaged in conversation with Pasha – my Russian roommate – and a few others who also chose not to smoke. After a while though, the smoke was a bit too much and I walked back to our apartment.

Later on, my mom, two of my brothers and our friends, Josiah and Jesse Barringer (who lived directly across the street from of us for twelve years before moving just outside NYC) came and saw my apartment. It was good to see all of them, and their just being them brought me joy, which manifested itself as laughter and a smile.

After Mrs. Barringer came and got her sons and my family left, I decompressed a little and then walked to their hotel for one last meal with my blood. Following this, my dad and I had a conversation as we walked back to my place where, after getting ready for bed and having a brief conversation with my roommates, I zonked out.

Sunday

The next morning, I woke, dressed, and Dylan – another roommate – and I went to Lower Manhattan Community Church with another Reagan. The service, and the worship, resembled a cross between Minnesota’s River Rock Church – where my family and I attended for a significant number of years – and Crown College – where I’d done my two years of PSEO (for those of you who don’t know what this is, just know that the state paid for its own to enroll in and take classes at a Minnesota college as a junior and senior in high school, provided the student gains acceptance).

The NSO continued at 1pm and went to about 4pm. Once again, this was fairly uneventful (though I did get a helpful and entertaining book by Nathan W. Pyle).

After all of this, my entire immediate family came to the apartment to say goodbye. Once they’d gone, I realized that I was truly on my own (somewhat). A minuscule smile slowly made its way onto my face (sorry fam).

Later in the evening, the House of Reagan went over to Brooklyn and feasted on pizza, before coming back via the Brooklyn bridge. I’m scared of heights that I can’t jump to (so basically anything significantly higher than a basketball rim), so that lengthy walk was…very uncomforting.

Soon after we got back, I ran Pasha and Daniel – another roommate – through one of my light workouts…apparently it was only a light workout for me (at least once we got to abs, my favorite part).

Once we finished up there, and I’d showered and gotten ready for bed, I crashed.

Monday

Monday morning we attended the Information Fair (where Daniel, a white guy, signed up for information on the school’s black and hispanic club…haha, made my morning) and then just chilled. The big event wasn’t until that afternoon.

Every year, The King’s College has The Great Race, in which Houses compete against each other to gain points towards The House Cup (that, however, is a story for another day). Each House is split into three teams: strategy, running, and sprint. The strategy team works with clues, given at the start and then those gained throughout the race, to determine which places the running team needs to run to in order to get the next clues. All the clues eventually lead to the final destination. The running team runs (and takes the subway) through and to various places throughout the city as deemed by the strategy team (who communicates to the running team leader via phone), getting clues and, as the strategy team works on where to go next, performing different tasks at that spot (at the first location, five people on the running team had to run to five different hot dog stands, purchase a hot dog, come back and eat the entire thing in front of an officiator). This continues until the strategy team discloses the final destination (don’t worry, I’ll explain that in a little bit). While all this is happening, the sprint team is running practically non-stop to pre-assigned places throughout the city, where they take a picture. Doing this substracts time from the House’s overall time (and to show you the importance, Reagan’s sprint team took off an hour in the first forty minutes of the race). The sprint team continues to do this until the strategy team tells them to go to the final destination.

The final destination is where all the clues lead to, and serves as the race’s finish line. For your House to be marked as finished, however, all three teams (including strategy), have to be at the final destination. I forget where the destination was, but it took a couple subway stops and a lot of running to get there from where we’d been. It was worth it though.

The House of Reagan obliterated the competition, beating second place by over an hour and ending Bonhoeffer’s two year reign.

To give you an idea of the time this race takes, second and third place finished in just under four hours (and remember, that’s with sprint teams taking time away), and it took around another hour for the rest of the teams to get there.

My roomates and I were split up amongst Reagan’s teams. Dylan and I were on running, Daniel on sprint, and Pasha on strategy. Everyone had fun on their respective team, and I was actually glad I’d run eight miles (take that asthma) with the running team.

Later that night, we celebrated the victory with Shake Shack amidst The House of Queen Elizabeth I (Reagan’s sister House). And, as usual, soon after I was back in the apartment, I (worked out and then) went to bed.

Tuesday

On Tuesday morning, Pasha and I went and (after walking past the place and back) played basketball with other people from The King’s College alongside the Hudson River. It was hot as a sauna, so shirts came off rather quickly and we only played four games, but it was a good four games. And being tired from the prior day’s race, everyone was fine with it.

That evening was convocation. Dressed in suits (dresses for the ladies), we all went to Trinity church, sat through (essentially) a mini church service, and then signed the school’s honor code.

Later that night I went out with some people and just walked around, got food, and just chilled. I left a little early to get a late night workout in, and then just chilled in the apartment before going to bed.

Wednesday-Friday

Only a few significant things happened between Wednesday and Friday. And, to be honest, I need to get to some homework so I’m gonna roll through it.

  • After helping set up for their practice and watching for a bit, I jumped on the drum set for Refuge, which lead to me joining their group and performing with them on Thursday night.
  • School started. No complaints though, that’s (partially) what I’m here for. For the most part it’s all been boring, just going over each classes syllabus and a few (lengthy) assignments. Though Dr. Anthony Bradley is already my favorite professor.
  • Friday night, we had a Thatcher initiation thing. I’m not even going to begin to describe that though, ’cause, while it was definitely helpful for the women of Thatcher, it was three hours I’m never getting back…I’m a bit disgruntled about that (though more so because, once again, Reagan was smoking cigars than anything else…smoke and asthma never have, and never will get along).

Saturday

That leads us to today. I woke up late, then hustled over to Hudson River Greenway to ball with other King’s people, balled for a few hours, came back to the apartment, ate, and wrote this post. That’s it.

My key takeaway from this week? Time management, and sleep (I know, it’s kinda weird that I got that out of what you just read but hey, I’m weird). In school, in this city, and in life in general, there’s always going to be things biding for your time and energy, and if you don’t manage your time properly, and get proper rest, you’re going to be trampled underfoot.

Now I seriously need to get on my homework. Until next week.

– JP

P.S. – I know this post was (really) long, but most of them won’t be this way…least I’m not planning on it. This first week though, there was just a lot of things to cover. So take a breather (you just read a lot) and subscribe to get news, updates, and notifications for The New Adult.

 

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