an Online Journal of Sorts

By Alyce Wilson

VINTAGE ENTRY: Aug. 20, 1988 - First Day in College

Click on the highlighted portions for my annotations.

High school graduation

So the day finally arrived - the day that has been approaching for the last 12 years, the day my teachers prepared me for. This was the first day of college: Penn State, the Best Season of Your Life.

We loaded everything in the car - a trunk, a large suitcase, a box, a container of tapes, an overnight case, and several loose items. Then Dad, Beth, Mom and I headed for State College. Andy didn't come, because he had a competition with the Keystoners.

The information I'd received didn't tell me when I had to arrive, just that arrival started early in the morning. We ate lunch in Center Hall before we got there, so I guess it was about 2 o'clock.

We checked in at the Warnock Commons and picked up my room key. My room is 408 Runkle Hall in the North Halls complex. We took my stuff up there. It was totally empty, because Bonnie hadn't arrived yet.


I looked the two sides over and decided on the right side. The door was off the wall cabinet right next to my bed, but it makes a good shelf for putting things so that I can get at them easily.

I don't know how much time we spent unpacking my stuff. Even after I had it all out, it seemed like just a little bit, and the room was echoing with emptiness. I hung up the posters I'd brought - David Bowie, John Lennon and the Beatles. Mom, Dad and Beth stuck around a little longer because I didn't want them to leave.

Soon, Bonnie showed up with her dad. My family left soon afterwards. I walked them to their car, out in Lot 80. Beth cried and grabbed at me, which really brought my spirits up. I waved good-bye and headed back to Runkle, alone.

Nothing was really planned for Orientation for the rest of the day. Vickie, our Resident Assistant (RA) for the fourth floor (Dauphin House) came by and told us there would be a floor meeting at 7 tonight.

The first thing I really did was meet all the other girls on my floor for dinner. Vickie had arranged for us to go with the guys from Third Floor Holmes, but they stood us up. I sat next to Bonnie in the dining hall. We didn't say much.

After dinner, Bonnie decided to drop in on Lynn, a friend of her sister's who lives in Leet. I went along with her.

Lynn is an art major. She and her roommate, Shari, are pretty cool. They have a big room and a lot of funky prints and stuff to hang up. Lynn decorated the room while she talked to us. She has blond hair that falls in her eyes, and she wears loose, casual clothes. In a way, she reminded me of Beth Mowen, probably because of the way she carries herself and the good-natured confidence she exudes.

The meeting at 7 p.m. was in the basement of Runkle Hall. Vickie explained how they run the floor government here, and she told us a few things we would have to know, like where the laundry room is and what the policy is on visitors.

She had us each talk to someone we didn't know for about three minutes and then introduce her to the rest of the group. I talked to Marion, a girl who is vegetarian. She is a petite, brown-haired, bright-eyed woman. I forget her major, but I think she's a junior.

Later on, Bonnie and I took a walk with two girls she's met, Jody and Paula, who are roommates and live on our floor. Jody has long, bright auburn hair and freckles. She's an agricultural major. Paula reminds me a bit of Sharon Mohr; she has an athletic build and light brown, curly hair. I believe she's an architecture major.

We walked down Shortlidge Road and out Curtin, past East Halls, and then past the athletic fields. We circled around the block and came back on Shortlidge. But at the time, we had little idea of where we were going, and we probably just found our way back by luck.

Bonnie and I played Rummy for awhile, sitting on her bed. She was tons better; solitaire is more my speed. We talked a little bit and then went to sleep, our first day of college ended.

Copyright 1988-2003 by Alyce Wilson

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