Well I survived...I think. But I am coming back with even less confidence than before. You will see why once I take you through the endless-no-sleep days that were Sunday-Tuesday. Sunday started with a wake-up at 3:30am and hopping in the car to leave at 5:30am. The only thing that made this morning drive okay was the fact that I had made pancakes the night before to eat in the car! Haha, can't go without my weekend morning pancakes. It was interesting, but I just let them cool the night before, wrapped them in wax paper, then just unwrapped in the car, mixed up my protein frosting, and ripped and dipped the cakes! Perfection 😉 Cold pancakes are actually pretty tasty too!
Sorry for all these phone/instagram pictures in this post! I did not bring my DSLR on the trip and I am so glad I did not!
This is also when your mom turns around in the car and looks at you like your crazy 😉 Anyway, we made it down there by 9:30ish and stopped at the hotel my mom and brother would be at. I couldn't check-in to orientation till 11 so we decided to get in some quick sight-seeing and lunch before I was dropped off. We went and said hello to the White House (this was my brother's first time in DC and he didn't seem very impressed). We stopped at Whole Foods to get lunch (the last decent thing I ate that day). Then we had to lug my heavy suitcase, food bag (breakfast and snack essentials), and overnight bag down many blocks to the campus.
My 4 other roommates for the duration were not there, but I just dropped off my stuff and headed over to the opening "ceremony". I met with my small group and leader and thankfully clicked with one of the girls in the group. Everyone was nice and friendly so that was one plus to my confidence. At least I can make friends! That day was super long with a bunch of different sessions we could attend just learning college life and what to expect.
Finally it was time for dinner. My mom had been in major contact with catering and food services all day. But alas, I was seared a plate of steamed green beans and about 2oz of undercooked pink "fake" grilled chicken. So green beans for dinner it was. (Why do all event/cafeteria places always serve green beans as the vegetable? Is it the most easily mass produced produce? I will never understand this...) I was about ready to die right there so thank god I brought food on my own. A shout out to my pumpkin pie Larabar for saving my life!
By the time dinner and then next sessions ended it was already 11 and I was exhausted. I never stay up that late. So I headed back to the dorm and skipped out on any of the late night adventures into the city. There I experienced a rare full on panic attack. I was still alone in the dorm room as none of my roommates were back. I called my mom, brother, even dad and none of them answered. I really needed someone to talk to as I lay in silence in a creepy gross dorm with random elevator noises and kids running up and down the halls every so often. Eventually my mom was woken up and talked to me over the phone for awhile. I then just had to close my eyes and pray for sleep on that metal spring bed and ½ inch thick pillow. No sleep was had and I heard all my roommates come back. In the morning we all talked and they were all sweet, which was another good thing showing me that the students at GW will be good!
For breakfast, considering I don't eat bagels, I brought my own buckwheat cereal to microwave. Well low and behold the microwaved was not plugged in and was on top of the fridge. The plug would not reach the outlet so my very nice roommate helped me left the heavy thing off the top and down onto one of the desks so we could plug it in. That girl has no idea how thankful I was! The rest of Monday was all sessions, including mandatory sessions with out specific schools and then meetings with out academic advisers to clarify scheduling and how to register for the right classes. I had one of my friends I had been talking to for a few weeks before hand in the same advising group so I hung out with him the rest of the day. I then met-up with my mom and brother so she could get me Whole Foods again for lunch since the "BBQ" on the Mount Vernon campus would not have had anything I could eat. We did go over to that campus though to finalize where I will be living next year. So no longer am I in a 6-person dorm in the city with no kitchen. I'll be in a dorm with a really fancy kitchen (better than mine at home!), but miles out from the city. I am still in denial about this. From there I went back over to the city for more sessions and then our regional dinner which was this for me...
Yup a plate of chicken and steamed broccoli. Thrilling. Mind you I was on the phone with the head of catering this whole time trying to get them to give me the right food and when this plate is finally brought to me it was not what they said. They also came back out trying to give me a plate of raw spinach as "salad" and they told me that plate was actually for someone else. (It was safe for me, but it wasn't actually for me?) I don't know, but what I do know is they have no idea who to feed someone with food allergies and I know I am not the only one ever with Celiac and other allergies to come to the college. My mom and I are really scared right now and are still fighting with them to get their communication together. They have instilled no confidence in being able to provide for me and have done nothing at all to accommodate my needs thus far even though I was approved through disability. I always say being gluten-free and having my food restrictions is easy. But now that it is time for college and not being home, it is eye-opening to see just how difficult it is and how ignorant many people are about it.
I had to get out of there so I skipped some comedy performance and headed down to the monuments to meet-up with my mom and brother. It felt good to just walk around since I had been sitting those last few days (no exercise...I basically died. I also did not have time to make it to any of the yoga studios I had hoped to check out. It was too scary to do by myself at 5:30am in the morning when I could have anyway!). The monuments always make me feel better though!
I headed back late to the dorm again and skipped the midnight excursions too. I was just so tired and so full of anxiety, I needed to at least pretend I could get some sleep. I also bought a bunch of bars from Whole Foods so I snacked on a finally new to me Kit's Organic Cashew bar! It was so good! I wish I had access to these at home 🙁
The next morning I needed to get on my laptop since blogging from my phone on Monday was not fun. I actually tried plugging the router that was in our room into an outlet, but I ended up blowing the fuse (sparks and smoke went flying) and disabled all the outlets on one wall. Thankfully I got it fixed! So I headed down to Starbucks with my laptop, got an iced green tea and did some happy-me-time blogging. Then there was just the organization fair and a survey to take on Tuesday. I left with one of my roommates and we did that, I signed up for the College Republicans (haha, woohoo!). There were only a handful of organization there though so I will have to wait to see all 400+ of them in the big fair during the first week of school. I then skipped closing ceremonies, met-up with my mom and brother so we could lug back to their hotel all my stuff in the hot hot humid DC heat. (My brother complained the whole time about carrying my suitcase!).
Before we left to go home, we picked up lunch again at Whole Foods and a sub for my brother. Then we hit the road, or more like hit traffic. It took us over 5 hours to get home! My body hurt so bad. Sitting for days, walking, shin-splints, no-sleep, sore body-aches does not make for a fun car ride. I was so happy to be home and be able to sleep in my own bed though. I am not ready for college after that experience. But I know and so many people have told me not to worry and that these orientations are obviously nothing like real college life. But I only have a few weeks really to get my self calm, cool, and collected. I can foresee many future posts on this blog being me trying to work though my pre-college anxiety and worries. And thank you to all of those who have been in contact with me through emails and social media about my worries of college. You guys don't know how much I appreciate it and how it has helped! XOXO
Before I go...I have some exciting news to end this rather sad tale-of-gluten-free-woe with! After maybe 8 years, I had my first coffee! Yes, I use my coffee extract and small amounts of instant granules in pancakes, but I have not had coffee in years! I went hardcore at the DD when we stopped at a rest stop on the way home. A small iced black unsweetened decaf coffee. I was so scared. Before I took my first sip, I out in some stevia, haha, and then it happened. I am addicted! The taste! O how I forgot about the taste of coffee! It was so good! I think there is going to be a problem now. I am going to have to control myself once I start living in the world of Starbucks and coffee shops on every corner DC! For now, all I can say is...Coffee, I love you and I am glad to have you accepted into my life again. (Just can't over do it and screw up my stomach again. Control. Moderation...)
***P.S. Today is the last day to enter my Blog Birthday Giveaway Surprise Box! I gathered some awesome stuff and you don't want to miss out on your chance to win this one!***
So tell me:
+ Were you one of those annoying "so excited not nervous at all" incoming freshman? I am not. At all. And to all those kids saying they are, I do not believe you one bit!
+ Allergies, medical, or disability problems in college? How did you deal with un-accomidating administration? We are still constantly in contact with dining and housing right now. But everything we do just seems to be a wasted effort. They are not listening and not giving me any accommodations what so ever. They aren't even going to switch around my meal plan dollars to better help me.
+ Favorite coffee place? I have only ever had DD and it's damn good. But Starbucks is the kind in DC, so I need to give them a try next!
*I am linking up with Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud today!*
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