Excitement was in the air as my family and I got off the highway and began to drive the backroads into Oberlin. The nature that surrounded the outskirts of the campus was beautiful, I loved the density of the trees and the cool temperate air. I couldn’t wait to get to my dorm and move all of the things that cluttered my dad’s truck into my new home for the school year. Armed with my school ID I swiped into Barrows Hall and we began to move every item from the truck to my third-floor room. Meeting my roommate, who was also my teammate on the football team, was a great experience and we talked about all the big plans we had for the upcoming season. His family greeted me with hugs and we jumped right into a conversation about how amazing Oberlin is and what a great opportunity it is to attend such a prestigious school. I felt very comfortable with him and his family and I couldn’t be happier with the situation. After his family left, I remember my mother and I set up my bed together as realization began to set in that today really was the day that I move into my college dorm. After finally completing exciting trip after exciting trip up the stairs with my items, my family and I decided to walk into town.
As we walked I remember thinking how big everything was. I did not know the exact locations of everything yet, so it was slightly disorienting, but I still felt at home. My family and I sat on the swinging benches in Tappan Square and rocked back and forth. There was a calm happiness about the situation. After fifteen minutes of sitting and small conversation, we got up and headed over to the bookstore. I remember buying a lanyard while my Dad proudly bought an “Oberlin Dad” t-shirt. I wore that lanyard the majority of my first semester of college. Eventually, I realized it wasn’t necessary to wear it and moved it to the front pocket in my bookbag. I’m pretty sure every first-year goes through that lanyard experience.
After walking back over to my dorm my family and I said our tearful goodbyes. I was entering into a whole new stage in my life where I would be living without them and it was dawning on all of us. It was definitely difficult for the first couple of weeks to adjust to living without my parents. The same day I moved into my dorm we had football practice at night time. The practice was designed to gauge the talent level of the incoming freshmen. I dominated most of the practice but failed to capitalize on some aspects. This only motivated me to push even harder, which eventually led me to become the only freshman starter on the football team.
Once practice was over the football staff passed out sub sandwiches to us and I took my sandwich back to my dorm to eat. I loved the way I was being treated and I was so excited to make friends and continue to compete on the football field. Over the coming weeks, my teammates and I would bond as we progressed as one on the field. Eventually, the non-athletes came on campus and I gained a numerous amount of friends that I am still close to to this day. Looking back on move-in day, if I had to pick one word to describe it I would say it was special. The atmosphere of the campus was one huge collection of potential and excitement. Everywhere you looked you saw a smile. For all of the incoming freshmen this year, I know your experience at Oberlin will be just as special! The excitement of move-in day freshman year is something that you will never forget. Most of you will also feel homesick in the coming weeks. Just know you are not the only ones and that eventually, you will not only adjust to your new surroundings but love your life as an Oberlin student!