Monday, January 08, 2007

Freshman Orientation

Of course I was both excited and nervous about starting college. I knew being an hour away from home would create many differences in the schedule that I had gotten very used to in high school. I really wasn't sure what to expect. I have heard a lot of stories about what college is all about and I was excited to experience it for myself.

Before I came to school I was informed that all equine study majors would have to move into their dorm rooms a week earlier than the rest of the freshman class. I was hoping that my roommate was given the same news, that way I would be able to get to know the person I would be spending the majority of my time with. Unfortunately when I arrived on campus I found that there were only two other girls on my floor that had to move in early and that I would have my room to myself. When I arrived on campus that one thing that I couldn't get over was how empty the campus was. Later I found out it was because the only students here were freshman athletes and freshman equine students. The dorm that I live in had very little movement or life and this scared me because this would mean that I would have to force myself to be social. This was not the idea I had about college, I guess I always thought that social life was going to be the least of my worries.

The instructors must have anticipated the reserved attitudes from the students so the following week was planned out so that all of the students could get to know each other, meet the faculty and staff at the equestrian center, and learn the daily routine of the barn. Since no one's background was clearly known the instructors went over everything. They went over horse handling, including how to put a halter on, how to cross tie and yes even how to groom. Even though most of us knew the information that was being taught the instructors were able to keep our attention by adding tips and stories from past experiences.

Half way through the week I was thrilled to find out that there was a field trip planned for any student that was interested in attending. The school had presented us with an amazing opportunity to observe a lecture given by Jane Savoie at Devon showgrounds. Jane spoke on the topic of sports psychology. The majority of the lecture was about motivation and how to overcome nerves and fear. One thing that Jane Savoie is known for is her successful showing career in Dressage, and the most inspiring moment of her lecture was when she spoke about the emotions that she has every time she begins a Dressage test in competition. To really get us to understand these emotions the emotions that she feels going into a Dressage test she puts on a skit. Pretending the judge was right in front of her she spoke to her and approached her in a confident amusing way. She essentially told the judge that she was the best and that she could overcome her nerves and make fun of the situation. The lecture was very interesting and I think everyone that attended really got a lot out of it. If you ever get a chance to attend one of Jane's lecture I would definitely recommend you do so as I guarantee that you will have a good time.

I suppose that is enough for today, but be sure to check back because next week you get to meet my roommate and read about our adventures!!


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