I woke up today in the Sheraton, and now I am in my dorm room. What a transition! After a nice late wake-up (we really needed our sleep) we ate breakfast together in the hotel. It was slightly bittersweet knowing that it might be our last day to spend so much time together. We went to K-Mart to get some last minute necessities and then dragged our luggage to the check in point. I got my two keys, my check-in folder, and my student ID, which makes me feel very official.
Students check-in in the main quad
Then, with a little help from Mr. Lawrence, I moved in to my dorm room: Lippencott 202! All the hallways have inspirational quotes and some have lines from Dr. Suess books. It was fantastic to finally get everything out of suitcase and in to the drawers. After I had gotten settled in a little, I met my roommate, Temi from Texas. We had a couple hours of downtime before dinner so I got my room set-up and went to the University bookstore with Mariko, her roommate, and her roommate's friend. We walked as a big group to the dining hall for dinner and it was a great chance to see more of the campus and the city. Dinner was good, though quite different than the fancy restaurants we have been eating at for the past few days. No matter how much I loved those dinners, I feel a little more comfortable in a big room with people my own age and food that I can pronounce the name of.
Chloe in front of her dorm
After dinner we went to an all student orientation. Eli Lesser led the first half of the orientation. Eli is a hilarious and kind person, he had the entire auditorium captivated by his intro, and I promise I'm not just saying this because he told me he reads our blog. Sitting in the room with all 200+ students made me realize how amazingly diverse this program is. I am so lucky to be in a program with people from over 20 countries and over 20 states. Before the orientation I was a little scared and a little nervous about the whole program, but now all I feel is excitement. After Eli gave us the rundown on Penn and the different programs, Ed Healy took us through the logistics, rules, and outside opportunities at this program. I'm not sure if Ed reads the blog, but he was pretty awesome as well. I can't wait to play laser tag, mini golf, and go to New York and DC. In eighth grade, Chloe, Mariko, and I went on a school trip to DC, so I am very excited to re-live the experience.
The quad from my dorm window
Tonight we have a group meeting with our floors and our RCs (resident counselors). I miss seeing the cohort every second, but I'm very excited to meet all these new people. Tomorrow is the first day of class, and I can't wait to start my course. It looks like Physics isn't the most impacted class (Bio-Med has 106 students!) so I am hoping the first day isn't too crazy.