Orientation nostalgia

Kerry Lester

Walking with a friend on campus last weekend, I saw packs of freshmen in the midst of Orientation: playing ultimate Frisbee on Mendel field, experiencing the culinary delights of the Pit and chanting familiar cheers.

In a blink, memories of my own beginnings at Villanova came rushing back, reminding me of how scared I was to begin a new chapter of my life. Of course, I refused to admit it at the time – few do. Coming from Chicago, I was brought to a rude awakening while packed inside an elevator with several Staten Island mothers. I never imagined being laughed at for my flat pronunciation of vowels or for what I called soda.

In my first few college days, I sat down in mostly the wrong classrooms, went through a drop-add frenzy and was utterly confused with the multi-purpose Wildcard. Cash to chip, points, meal plan anyone?

Four years later, I find myself in a state of Nova-euphoria. I can’t wait for the basketball games, the snow days or Novafest. That excitement comes with a touch of sadness, however, because it is my last chance to take in all college has to offer.

It is not the big events, though, but the little ones that I feel will one day give me the best memories.

Living off campus for the first time, I find myself missing the cinderblock walls a little bit. I have some pride in the fact that I am still living with members of my freshman hall. And my first roommate and I, who secretly cried ourselves to sleep the first nights, are now great friends.

For me, life at Villanova is similar to what I’ve experienced while teaching swimming lessons. Treading water, while the most fundamentally basic skill, is also the most difficult one to master. Learning to keep afloat requires just the right amount of exertion. Kick too fast and your legs tire out too quickly. Move too slow and you start to go under.

Villanova has been the perfect setting to teach me the right pace. Freshmen, I have no doubt it will be yours, too.