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By 10 p.m. on August 31st, I was in bed. “You are going to be ready on Wednesday,” I said to myself. Granted, my first class did not start until eleven, and I had not gone to sleep earlier than two in the morning all summer. But I felt as if I had to be in bed by ten.
Time always seems to be the tortoise when you want it to be the hare. That was one of the many thoughts taking refuge in my mind as the clock ticked past 11:59 p.m. As the first hour began, I lay motionless on my bed of rocks. During this time, I became eerily familiar with my new ceiling. Its flawed construction, rippled paint, and simple off-white hue comforted me. These otherwise unnoticeable imperfections reminded me of home. Earlier that month, I exclaimed to my mother how eager I was to escape from the penitentiary that I called home, and now I was having nostalgic thoughts about it. I laughed at the glaring irony and slowly drifted to sleep.
By 10:45 a.m., I joined the procession of pupils on my way to my first college class. Uniformity among the masses seemed like one of the many luxuries that freshmen were not deemed worthy to have. (Kindness from most upper-classmen was one of the others that stood out on that day.
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My first class was English composition in some place called Rankin Hall. “What a detestable name,” I thought. “I wonder if they throw all the freshmen in at least one class here to intimidate us.” Why else would they give such an awful name to a building? Who was the poor person who had to go through childhood with that name? All of these questions were immediately answered when I saw Rankin Hall. What a putrid site. This hidden gem is a dark, dank building connected to a parking garage that only enhances its pulchritude. It was 10:50 a.m. when I navigated my way through the steaming hot building and found the matchbox called room 022. This cozy little shack had no more than twelve seats (which would prove to be about seven short of what was needed), rickety flooring, and walls that were sweating as profusely as I was.
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I remember walking out of Rankin Hall a bit unsatisfied. I wanted a little more. I felt cheated because my first college experience was sitting down on an uncomfortable chair, writing an essay that I was not pleased with. Nonetheless it was over, and I felt as if things could have been worse (mostly because I had not been maimed or killed). On first impressions, State College was not the den of scholars that I expected it to be, but I hope by the time I graduate, our school will gain that reputation.