My days as an undergraduate at the University of Tampa have begun. Yesterday was move-in day, and what a mess that was! You pack and pack and pack and still you forget stuff. In this case, I left behind my pillow, which I can tell you isn’t a good thing to leave. I slept with a blanket rolled up into a tight bundle that was entirely uncomfortable.
The “apartment” that I’m supposed to live in for 9 months isn’t much larger than a shoe box. Both my roommate and I are living in spaces that might work great for a freshman, but for a 33 year old man it’s a bit small. I actually got very depressed on tuesday when I came to drop things off in my “apartment”. I took one look at it and had clausterphobic reactions immediately. The furniture is oversized. My bedroom door doesn’t open all the way thanks to the large desk that partially blocks it. I’ve tried moving it around the room, but that really hasn’t done very much.
I did discover, however, that there is a lovely bar around the corner from my building called the Retreat. Any place that offers 1 dollar per pint beer is my new friend. My roommate and I popped in there yesterday afternoon for a quick nip that lasted almost 3 hours, after a very unsatisfactory tour of the campus. I’m still trying to get my bearings in this city designed by madmen. So, that beer really did help a bit. At least I know after all the time spent with my roommate that he and I will not likely kill one another. We seem to be getting along famously.
Last night at the previously mentioned bar, a very nice woman was talking with the both us and she said, “I wouldn’t know you two only met this morning. To hear you talk to each other I would think you’ve known each other for a very long time.”
I drank too much. Probably trying to drown my sorrow at living in a noisy, terribly designed city.
I woke up too early this morning; the result was that I managed to find a grocery store, procure some foodstuffs and bring in the rest of my kitchenware from my car by 9:30. The rest of the day was taken up with very boring orientation sessions about things I could have found on the UT website myself. I realize they are trying to help us acclimate, but it feels so weird to be sitting in a room of 400 people and be nearly the oldest one there.
If one more person looks at me and asks me if my son or daughter goes here, I’ll probably smack the shit out of them. Do I really look that old? Well, I guess I am, in truth, old enough to have a child going here. Okay. I get it, I was stupid and wasted a lot of time trying to do other things and I should have accomplished this ten years ago. Whatever. I didn’t, and that is now history. What’s important is that I’m doing it at all.
Sitting in the Honors Orientation today, I suddenly came to the realization that every person in that auditorium was competition for me. I’m used to being the smart one, and now I’m just one of many. In order to stand out, I’m going to have to be astounding.
What’s that old saying? A little competition goes a long way? We shall see.
I find myself looking forward to my visits home. I’m glad I can at least do that from time to time. I forgot how much I dislike living in a city like this.
I’ve also discovered that there are many, many things that UT never bothered to mention to us. For example, in order to complete a double major, It will take me almost 3 years thanks to the fact that it requires almost 30 more credits to get a double. When I see my advisor (who is from Political Science – yuck) I plan to change that second English Major into a minor. I’m already half way done with it.
At least my tv works now, and I finally fixed the internet to my desktop. I hate my laptop. I’m really glad now I did bring that desktop afterall. I feel very disconnected from everyone I know.
The night holds sleep if I’m lucky. More to come, including photos later.