Hey bloggees (is that a word?)! I am currently writing but also celebrating because I was accepted to be an Honors Living Learning Assistant (HLLA), and so from my excitement about that I thought why not take the time to talk about my first year living experience a little bit!
So, one of the huge things for me my first year was my Living Learning Community (LLC). I know that LLCs vary between Honors and non-Honors housing so full disclaimer that I can only personally speak to my Honors LLC experience. My LLC was Outdoor Adventure, so yes it was exactly what it sounds like. A couple of the things we did over the year were touring an arboretum, kayaking, apple picking, skiing, and we almost went ice skating, but it was too warm.
After meeting Erika at Summer Bridge (previous post reference), my next round of “first college friends” were from LLC events. It also helps that you live on the same floor as people from your LLC, so we had all mingled a little bit during move in, but the first time we all got to really hang out was at the LLC launch event where we toured the Arnold Arboretum. There had been a floor group chat that was made by our resident assistant (RA) about a month before we all got to school, so I already kind of knew some people and already had some beef maybe. And by beef I mean there was a small group of people who denied the existence of the state of Wisconsin. Since being from Wisconsin is about 40% of my personality, this was very clearly upsetting to me. Speed walking away from the haters had me run into one of my now best friends, and I eventually brought “the haters” over to my side to also become another one of my closest friends.
Another key bonding area for my first year was surprisingly the dining halls. Anywhere you go, dining hall food is dining hall food, but it can also be a source of connection and a lot of fun stories. Because there is a wide range of food always available in our buffet style dining halls, I would often finish off my meals with a nice dessert waffle. Inspired by my creations, one of my friends challenged me to a dessert waffle competition. No one can say who won (it was me ofc) but we both had a ton of fun being really creative about it.
Another side to the dining halls is that it does really expose people for their eating habits. In my case, I was ~mildly~ judged for occasionally eating my pizza and french fries with ranch. One of my other friends eats their bananas with the skin on. We all have our quirks. No one wanted to join me in my pizza and ranch combo (even though it comes highly recommended but maybe just for a Midwestern palate), but I had to experience eating a banana with the skin on, so my aforementioned hater turned friend and I tried it out as pictured below. Was it that bad? No. Would I ever do it again? Also no. It’s really just the texture of the skin that is off putting. But college is all about trying new things, and it resulted in this fun story I can share with y’all.