Duct Tape Bowling: My first two weeks at Wheaton

President Dennis Hanno assists first years move-in for orientation. Credit: Wheaton College MA

I’m officially through two weeks at Wheaton College: my first real foray into adulthood. Going through daily adult life is still weird. I still hate laundry, more so in the disgustingly hot laundry room. I really need to do groceries and the list of items I wish my mom would mail me grows by the day. Today, I added thumbtacks and sponges. There’s luxury hidden in my two-bedroom apartment in Maine that I truly miss, like a shower big enough for one person, or a bed built for regular sized humans. But throughout everything, life at Wheaton is beginning to make sense.

Knowing full well it’s only been two weeks, I’m surprised to see how well adjusted many of my peers are. For much of my time here, I felt trapped. I felt as if my only chance to make friends passed me by in the form of CORE June and I was left to suffer alone. Melodrama aside, Wheaton is incredibly engaging, as far as I can tell. I try to be out of my room as much as possible now. Even if that means sitting in the Lyon’s Den while I struggle with German homework, it’s better than being alone.

In all honesty, two weeks in at Wheaton, I feel great. Slowly, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to try things I definitely wouldn’t be up for just a few months ago. Weekly radio show? Dope. Going out on a Saturday night? Unheard of, but I’ll try it. Bowling in the dorm hallway with a roll of duct tape? It’s weird, sure, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t fun. Just making the best out of every day goes such a long way between Wheaton being miserable and Wheaton becoming a welcoming, comfortable environment that I feel will truly help me become the adult I always foresaw myself as.

Last week, I started my Common Application again, for I was considering transferring to a school closer to home. Now, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. Give this school a chance, and I guarantee it’ll make an impact on you. No other school has made me feel as comfortable as Wheaton has, and I hope it does the same for you.

One term that’s found the back of my head several times since arriving has been the “Wheaton Bubble.” I’ve had it explained to me, and while that was a great primer, I feel there’s more to it. Simply, Wheaton has a protective blanket around it, from the horrors of the outside world, and in this blanket we are safe. That can’t be all, though. I know for sure that Wheaton is a wonderfully diverse community, and I see that in tiniest interactions. As I type this, a girl I’ve never met gave me a polite smile on her way to class, or dinner, or wherever. That’s what it means to me. That’s the wonderful community I’ve been imparted to, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The Wheaton Bubble is our gravity, and it keeps us all revolving around the Dimple, or the Chapel, or even Mary Lyon. Maybe I’m just naive, a dumb freshman not privy to the dark, dank secrets of Wheaton, but I’ll get there. But that’s what Wheaton means to me.