Written By: Ali Rae, a junior Communications major
There’s always a routine. The bell rings, the desks are filled and notebooks are opened. You stick to the same schedule, eat way too many sandwiches and sit with the same friends. In the four years you are there, you learn to get used to high school.
Then comes your senior year. Pamphlets for hundreds of different colleges are thrown at you and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the endless options. I was lucky: I knew exactly what school I wanted to go to. For as long as I can remember, my only desire was to be a Master’s student. They offered the Communications major I wanted and the biblical foundation I knew I needed. I was sure of my decision – it was the only school I applied to. But, just because both my parents had graduated from Master’s and I had grown up five miles from campus, I didn’t know what being a college student was really like.
View Weekend was a necessity for me. I have always been reserved and liked staying in my comfort zone, so without it, starting freshman year would have been a staggering yank from my routine into a brand new world. I needed time to adjust, to get to know my way around and learn the lingo like “North Campus” and “the Caf.” Spending those three days at Master’s eased me into the process of coming out of my shell and laid the foundation for the amazing experience I’ve had these last three years.
I had visited Hotchkiss Hall, one of the six dorms on campus, a few times before View Weekend; I’d seen the rooms, met the Resident Director, and heard the stories my mom told me from her time there. But nothing could have better shown me what the late nights of frozen yogurt runs and ping pong games would be like than actually living them. For two nights, I became the third roommate of two girls, and got to experience firsthand how so many students from different backgrounds loved living in close quarters. Each of them treated me, the outsider, as one of their own. I spent time with a freshman in the midst of production week for the play “Black Coffee,” a senior who played guitar in Chapel Band, and a sophomore from New Zealand (who would become one of my closest friends my first year at Master’s). Each person in Hotchkiss was unique, yet they were able to come together as a unit and collectively welcome anyone who walked through the doors. There were no cliques, no impenetrable groups I had to “earn” my way into, no outsiders. They were just students.
View Weekend introduces you to the reality that going off to college is an entirely new phase of life. Old routines will make way for new schedules. There are no bells, no lockers, no taking the school bus or P.E. class. You still won’t get away from cafeteria food, but it seems to taste exponentially better when you’re surrounded by people who are united not by their love for their dorms or classes, but by their love for Christ.