The Week that was Orientation

by Lindsey Galloway '07

Though I had visited Scripps College before I decided to attend, stepping on to campus as an actual student was exhilarating. My parents and I arrived at the back door of Mary Routt Hall, the place that would be my home for the next nine months. I was nervous, but excited.This was the moment I had been waiting for since I received my letter of acceptance last spring.

I walked inside to see a crowd of other girls with their parents, scrambling to get their keys and check out their rooms.Though complete strangers surrounded me, I realized I would come to know many of these women well throughout the year.

As soon as I got my key, I ran upstairs to the third floor to check out my room for the very first time. I opened the door slowly and breathed a sigh of relief.The room was nice, large, and had an excellent view. I could definitely call it home for the next few months. I was surprised to see a bowl of goodies from my “peer mentor,” one of a group of sophomores who take first-years under their wings to help us adjust to college life.

While I was busy stacking boxes, Nancy Bekavac came into my room. I thought I recognized her face from one of the many College brochures, but I wasn’t sure until she shook my hand and said,”Hi, there! I’m Nancy, the president.” I think my parents were a little shocked; they thought she was just another parent! I knew I had chosen the right school. I don’t know anywhere else where the college president would have walked all the way up to the third floor of the dorms just to meet new students.

After the very last box of belongings was carried up, my parents and I walked over to the newly refurbished Garrison Theater for Convocation. We were introduced to the dean of students, the dean of the faculty, the student body president, as well as President Bekavac for the second time.

After Convocation, my parents and I spent the rest of afternoon shopping at Target to pick up essentials. Before I knew it, we were eating dinner on Elm Tree Lawn, the very place where I would graduate in four years. Saying goodbye to my parents was hard, but I knew they had every confidence I would make this journey independently and successfully.

I returned to my dorm and had a chance to talk with my roommates.The three of us hit it off right away. That night, we headed to Harvey Mudd College, where we were entertained by the improv antics of six talented performers.When the hilarity ended, we returned to Routt to spend the first night in our dorms. It felt great knowing that this was my room and my bed for the year. Having my own little space led to a new feeling of freedom and independence.

The next day was filled with placement exams, but we were rewarded with dessert at the dean of students’ house. All of us first-years soon realized that if nothing else, Scripps likes to feed us—from the many lawn dinners to delicious desserts at the dean’s, and even the famed In-N-Out burgers.

One of the final nights of Orientation, we were again treated to a “lawn supper,” and then invited into the Humanities Auditorium for an introduction to Scripps traditions. It was great to look back on all the crazy, wonderful things Scripps women have done in the past, and the crazy, wonderful things they continue to do now. Following the presentation, we took part in one of the more recent traditions.We walked through the front doors of Ella Strong Denison Library, signed the book containing the many names of the first-years who arrived before us, and exited out the back door.When we graduate, we will walk out the same door we walked in, coming full circle in the tradition of Scripps College.

In these first few days on campus, I met so many strong, intriguing, intelligent women—and this is only the beginning of my college career. I look forward to the next four years and the adventures these women and I will undoubtedly share.