There are a certain number of Freshmen who come to the Admissions office on the first day of class every fall, each armed with a question. They don’t know who to go to about their bill. They can’t figure out where their Dean is located. They haven’t seen Curtis Hall anywhere on campus and have class there in two minutes. In short, they’re lost.
They are lost, and they think we’ll know where they should be and that we will tell them without making too much of a fuss about how woefully uninformed they are as they enter this very important stage of their life. They’re right, of course, as this is without a doubt the friendliest and best equipped office within the entire University with the possible exclusion of the counseling center. However, i don’t necessarily credit their arrival solely to such a basic assumption.
We sent them an application or a catalog, maybe as long as two years ago. They’ve talked on the phone to their counselor here, and maybe even made it in for a visit. When they got their triple-thick acceptance envelope in the mail, it was our return address that was emblazoned on all of the letterhead within. We brought them here, and given the choice of desk staff or resident assistants or their friends or anything else they routinely wander into our office with the first of the many difficulties they’ll be faced with.
I feel a little like that about this page. It has opened up my writing, my music, and my life to avenues that i hadn’t even previously contemplated. It has also eaten my time, caused balled up fists and angry words, and has drawn an indifferent sigh of resignation on more than one occasion.
I am past my first problems, those things we are asked once every fall here in the office. I used to come here with all of my difficulties: with my degree program, with theatre, with singing, with the opposite sex, and with myself. But, slowly, all of these problems have resolved themselves into much more complex honeycombs of issues – interconnected, maze-like, and sticky. And, for lack of anything so easy to complain about as a class i can’t get into or a girl that doesn’t seem to notice my existence, I seem to have given up on writing anything.
What a very few of the freshmen ever seem to realize is that they can come back to our office more than once. Diane will still know the answer to their questions. Maggie will still smile and fawn over them. The counselors will still fight for them the same way they fought to make sure they enrolled here to begin with. I was lucky enough to find this out more than a year after my first timid askance of the location of Curtis Hall, and whenever i really need an ear of someone who is impartial to my problem but willing to help me however they possibly can i still come here.
And here. So, welcome back.