You’re an English Major? Here?

For our blogger, Coachella is a world away from his hometown of Coachella.

 By Jesus A. Vargas

Being a new student at a new school is daunting at first but
I’ve been doing my best to integrate myself both academically and socially and I
haven’t been doing a bad job of it to tell you the truth. I’ll get to some
particulars in some later entries but I think I should focus this first blog
entry on my actually moving from Coachella to UC Irvine.

The whole summer before the fall quarter began I had this
anxious feeling of just wanting school to start already. Even though there were
some fun times this past summer, I often felt as if I was just stagnating at
home. As the date approached; however, the once pure anticipation became diluted
with something else. I had lived in the Coachella Valley for the entirety of my
life. All my friends are there and most of my family and I was about to displace
myself from all of them. My confidence shattered into a million little
misgivings about myself. I would think: “I can’t even cook myself a decent
meal,” (Thanks, Mom) or “What if I can’t handle a real college course load?”
(Sorry, COD). I even began doubting my ability to make new friends, which
retrospectively was kind of dumb—I’m pretty awesome. When the day of my
departure finally came and I was standing outside, my car packed full of
belongings and my family teary-eyed, gathered around me to say goodbye, it was
definitely not as I had envisioned it would be just a few months before. It was
harder than that and sadder. As I hugged everyone goodbye for the last time, got
into the car and pulled out onto the road, I had to stop myself from looking
back. I was afraid, really, so I kept my head forward, put on some music and
just drove.

I already had visited the school and where I would be living
so it wasn’t all brand new but seeing the place full of new and returning
students all moving their belongings definitely put a smile on my face. Move-in
day was pretty chaotic but in a good way—parents hurriedly ferrying mini-fridges
from the parking lots to the houses, people scrambling to rent out the few carts
available for moving heavy items, kids carrying full loads of stuff in their
arms not noticing they dropped some shirts on their way to their room, that sort
of thing. The place where I live is called Arroyo Vista and it’s an on-campus
theme house community mostly for sophomores and juniors. The houses have either
24 or 36 residents, all the rooms are doubles and there is a shared kitchen and
living area on the first floor. They are organized by theme so one house is the
Humanities House for humanities majors and another is the International House
for international students and so on. My house is three stories (I’m on the
third floor) but there are some houses that only have two stories. I found out
that my room assignment had been changed when I arrived I would be living in the
Cesar Chavez House and while initially kind of discouraged that changed when I
met everyone and found that they were all really cool people. Oh and another
thing moving in by yourself suuuuuucks. That first day was exhausting, once I
had moved all my things and done a little organizing I fell asleep almost
instantly. Oh and my roommate’s name is Chris and he’s a cool, typical guy in
his early twenties so we should get along fine. Classes didn’t start for another
week after move-in day and the school had prepared lots of activities for
students that week. There was a world record dodge ball game (over 5,000
people), a free concert on campus, which was pretty intense If you really want
to know, a late night thing at the recreation center/gym to acquaint people with
the facility, and various little barbecues and social things just to get people
to meet one another. I became friends with some really awesome Indian people and
went to a UCI Indian club-sponsored event in Hollywood for which they had a
shuttle and everything. I went to various club meetings, played lots of indoor
soccer, hung out with the house mates and the aforementioned new friends and
just kept really busy until classes actually started. My classes seem pretty
manageable; being an English major, (people get really surprised when they hear
that, see title) classes are all just a lot of reading which Spark notes can
help me out a lot on, although my literature theory class lectures are just a
little bit crazy. The professor is pretty amiable but she gets a bit carried
away in her lectures. Let’s just say I need to do a lot of googling when going
over my notes for that class. I’ve also gotten a job at the art gallery on
campus. It pretty much just entails me making sure people don’t touch any art so
that’s going to be fine also. That covers the first two weeks pretty well (or
not that well at all if you wanted to hear about non PG-13 escapades but I’ll
keep those to myself). The weekend is here and I need to do some reading to
catch up for last week but the next update on the differences between the Irvine
area and the Coachella Valley (like Irvine having weather suitable for human
habitation) will be coming next week.

Lifelong Coachella resident Jesus Vargas blogs about his
college adventures as a recent transfer to UC Irvine.

For our blogger, Coachella is a world away from his hometown of Coachella.

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