New to UB means a new story

On January 28, 2014


"Do you want us to come up with you?"

The ancient family van idled in front of the dorm. It was my first time setting foot on the UB dorm side, but it felt like this had happened before. The bleak-looking rooms were tightly compacted and highlighted from yellow window to yellow window. The scurrying students dodged in and out of the doors. The long distance from freshman side to academic side was intimidating in the stark temperature, and walking it was as good as a death wish in the Buffalo weather.

Yeah, I had seen this all before.

I am a second-semester transfer sophomore student from the Rochester Institute of Technology, a school well known for its award-winning programs but hardly known for its journalism major. My time there started to feel more like a dead-end and Buffalo seemed to be that U-turn.

It is the second largest city in the state, home of The Buffalo News and the winner of momentous urban planning awards for its architecture school. For an aspiring writer and urban planner, UB couldn't have been more tempting. Yet, as I stood sweating in the wind chill, I wondered where the bus was, how to use it and, most importantly, where the bus was. I found being home much more likable. It was all something I was sure I had grown out of.

But I knew the often-repeated saying. It whirled in my mind and brushed the lips of my parents as they stared at me with angst when I didn't budge. "Things take time to get used to - you'll be fine."

In that moment, though, I found anything more appealing than walking out the door - the back seat, the flickering light, even not going in at all. "Things take time to get used to - you'll be fine."

I wasn't sure if the saying was applicable this time. I knew no one, missed my family and friends terribly and couldn't stand my shower shoes that were now out of retirement. I couldn't find comfort, something that had taken time to find in Rochester, but, nonetheless, I found. I was still lost with my classes, the lunchroom and even The Spectrum office. I wasn't allowed to move in before the eve of the first day, and I was at a loss as to where to start.

But if I didn't have UB, then what did I have?

At that moment, I had a terrible headache and nervous parents. I had a key in my right hand, and my left hand in my mother's, as she grasped it and wished me good luck. I had a feeling I might freeze in thin air like thrown water, and that maybe if I ran far enough I might just be able to catch a bus back. But I didn't know where that bus was either.

"Things take time to get used to - you'll be fine," I told myself, and now closing in on my third day, I am fine. It might not be the pitch given at the last student orientation, but it's one I am starting to be happy with. I'm beginning to get a sense of the campus. I found the Starbucks. I have enjoyed the company of my floor so far. I fought for a space on the bus, found the gym and might even try to get a job on campus. I used the Spine and my UB meal card. It's not a fairytale, but I hope it's going to be a good story.

In the rush of finding my classes the first day, I passed by The Bull covered in signatures of past graduates who went on to take their UB education to the next level and into the real world. I'm hoping to find that for myself - just as soon as I find the South Campus bus.



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