There’s a hitch securely attached to the car, and we make sure to get there as early as possible. We’re second in line, and ready for move-in. I arrive at my dorm's entryway after what seems like a lifetime of waiting, literally "pahking the cah in Hahvahd Yahd" (a.k.a. parking the car in Harvard Yard), and… it’s all a blur.
The first week of college consists of a lot of back-to-back-to-back meetings, informational sessions, socials, and relying on GPS to get to each and every location. I mean, since I got to Harvard, I have walked an average of nine miles a day. You bet I am glad I packed that extra pair of tennis shoes.
This initial week, I have felt a varying spectrum of emotions. I’ll give you a peek into the mind of a teenage girl, who just relocated herself across the country and has absolutely no idea what to expect:
The first couple of days, I was ambivalent. I felt nervous, excited, and everything in between; my feelings were everywhere. What if I don’t make any friends? What if I didn’t get into any of the classes I wanted? What if college completely diverges from my expectations? I was so used to knowing exactly what to do. You could say that I was overthinking it a smidge. However, I was also in awe, realizing just how many academic options are available for me to explore and how many extraordinary people I would be able to meet.
After my initial feelings of uncertainty passed, they were replaced with anticipation, relief, and gratefulness. In no time, I had figured out which courses I wanted to take, and I even got into my first-choice seminar, along with 11 other students (I am especially ecstatic about this one). To make new friends, I sat by a new person at every one of those plentiful meetings and informational sessions I mentioned.
It is amazing how intrigued people are by an (ever so slight) Minnesota accent. “Hi, my name is Do Yeon, and I am from northwest Minnesota.” “Wait, say Minnesota again. Minnesoooota?!” Although I worried they never would, the common surface level questions such as, “Where are you from?” and “What are you concentrating in?” soon began to dig a bit deeper.
I have actually had to rewrite this article many times, because as I continue to spend more time here, my experience morphs and shifts. Now, things have settled, in a way, and I am definitely getting acclimated to my new life: early morning coffee runs with my friends, strolls down to the river, and repeatedly forgetting my keys in my dorm room.
Of course, this schedule will change as soon as shopping week for courses begin. You’ll find me running all over campus, trying to get to class on time. Even so, I am a part of Harvard's 4th class of ‘23, and it is such a privilege to be able to call this place my home for the next four years.