“Wake me up, when September ends …”

With all due respect to Green Day, I’ll be wide awake.

As part of my University 101 requirement (which I can already dub as a practical and fun course!), each student is required to send a weekly email to their peer leader or UNV professor. Since I was aiming to post my Pace adventures here at the end of each week, I decided to effectively kill two birds with one stone: I’ll post here and send the link to Agatha or Bill each week (Hi if you’re reading this!). I’ll try to stray from rants or musings; but if I do go on a tangent, feel free to skip sentences and roll with the flow.

To my new followers and readers, I’m Nelli! I’m a seventeen year old freshman at Pace University New York City (WOOT WOOT), majoring in Political Science and minoring in Peace and Justice Studies. I’m also a commuter student who struggles waking up at 5 AM; but thanks to my Mom, I stumble out of bed on time and plod through my morning routine. It’s imperative that I catch any train that leaves the station before 7:00, or else I’ll be late to school and that would earn death stares from professors (because you know, that kind of expression can kill).

I’m from South Amboy, by the way. A small town that barely shows itself on Google Maps. According to the United States Census, my small town’s population was 7,913 in 2010 – a tiny number for someone who’s used to the chaotic liveliness of city life. I was born and raised in Vancouver of Canada; my family and I moved to the States last year for my Dad’s job. Three things I miss the most about Vancouver are:

1. My group of friends there, always and forever in my heart.

2. The fact that wherever you were in the city, you would always be able to see the mountains.

3. The food. This might sound crazy and incredibly judgmental, but sushi and seafood on the East Coast is NOTHING in comparison to sushi and other seafood delicacies on the West Coast. It is a little more expensive on the West Coast, but the seafood there tastes sooo much better and is completely drool worthy. I hope no one’s hating me at this point … I’ll stop talking about food now and move on to the actual university experience.

One of the first few things that came to mind when I thought about this week were  elevators. A trivial thing to think about, but I won’t ever forget  about (or like)  the set of elevators right by the library. Those set of elevators don’t go up to the second floor; additionally, if you take the stairs by the library to the second floor, those two doors to enter the hallway are locked. I have no idea why those doors are locked; and the illogical reasoning behind those locked doors has experienced the wrath of many students, myself included. My UNV 101 class is on the second floor, so to get there I had to take one of the elevators on the west side of campus and run all the way over to the east. I would have been late if the doors weren’t locked, but thank goodness they were. I made new friends while waiting though, so yaaay!

My first official university class was Introduction to Sociology. I don’t have any opinion about the class yet, since class was dismissed immediately after going over the syllabus. I was really surprised, I almost didn’t move out of the desk! But the content of the course seems pretty interesting and I can’t wait till we go deeper. I couldn’t help but feel like like I brought too much paper though. I wasn’t sure whether or not I would want to use binders in university (I’ve gotten so used to them in high school!); but after this week, I’ve decided that binders don’t work for me since they add weight to my bag.  I’m going to be sticking with individual folders and notebooks for each subject, so hopefully that systems works out well.

Introduction to International Relations and African Art History are my favorite courses so far. We only went over the syllabus in Introduction to International Relations, but I’m already so so so so SOOOO stoked and so excited for the class I can’t wait till it’s 4:30 every Monday!! I want to work for the United Nations one day, so taking this class is one of the few million steps closer to my dream. Vato (a good friend from orientation, see photo below) is also taking the class with me; so it’s nice knowing one familiar face out of the twenty new ones. African Art History was equally just as amazing, with my love of art completely making me biased to the fact that I took this course because I heart art and I know nothing about African culture – so I figured that would be a good starting point. It would be probably ridiculous to mention that while my mom was grocery shopping at Shop Rite today, I was rereading the notes I had taken in class while pushing the cart around, hehe.

Vato opening his Macbook Pro :-]

Walking around university is a whole different world from walking the hallways at high school. High school was so much smaller with less hallways and floors, and definitely a smaller  population. University is a million – billion – times above the high school hierarchy; it domineers, towers (literally, hahaha), and penetrates the soul of a student fresh out of high school society. There are the nook and crannies to be explored, overcoming the fear of talking to upperclassmen, listening to professors who make you question your own existence (thank you, Notions of Self in Philosophy and Social Theory), and just accepting the fact I won’t get to see my close friends often. I don’t mind being by myself at times since I do like my independence, but there are times when I miss having my friends around. It’s part of the homesickness that settles in at random moments.

But besides the insecurities, fears, and the overall overwhelming-ness of university life,  its perks outweigh the down side feelings. Who can complain about more break time in between classes? I love the two hour breaks for mine, it gives me time to get most of my readings and work done in the library or computer lab before going home. The freedom to go off campus and navigate through lower Manhattan is an added bonus, since it is always a hub of activity and sights. I have yet to take a break spending time in the library to going out and taking a walk around Manhattan, but I’m saving that for fall since I prefer windy, cold days to humid summer heat. Fall, can you please come sooner?

I think the best thing about university, though, is the fact that everyone gets to start all over. It’s a new slate, wiped clean.  And there’s nothing from your past that can come and ruin it (unless you let it). I know I’m going to make a million mistakes and add to my ever increasing list of awkward moments, but making a fool out of yourself comes with the “true college experience.” I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I know everything will accumulate into something – and I hope you’ll stick with me as I narrate my adventures to you!

So that’s it, for now (; Time for me to go to bed and gain lost hours of sleep. Thanks for reading, and take care!

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