Before I could even appreciate being homesick, I found myself entangled in a human pretzel. Literally, I was trapped in a man-made knot recognized by many newly-ordained Clarkies as the most popular orientation ice-breaker. Additionally, I found myself constantly surrounded by people and social circles that were very diverse. Hence, the “Human Pretzel.” But although the initial example was a reference to a real ice-breaker, adapting to the Clark community is like facing constant ice-breakers.
The slew of ice breakers that I had to go through during International Student Orientation were fairly acceptable, then came the tedious Week One ice-breakers and then the more menacing ice-breakers within the clubs. No, I am not one who shies away from any social behavior. But constantly trying to make a good impression is a big deal. I felt like a detachable piece of a puzzle. I’ve been trying to fit in and be accepted by as many friends as possible. This is a class of approximately 600 people after all.
I suppose transitioning is a part of adapting. I had been sort of awaiting this social onslaught after all. In exactly one week, it will have been a month in a week since Clark orientation. A week ago, I turned twenty. I had a small circle of friends wish me with a cake, hugs and some Bollywood dancing. I did not expect this at all. It was a cheerful and humbling surprise, to have gotten so close to people. As I connect to larger chains and circles, I suppose the socializing is well worth it.