Miami was once a dreamland we only visited on vacation, read about in magazines, and saw in the movies – that was, of course, until a few days ago. Now Miami is our home and our life, replacing the world of comfort we always knew. We’ve been bombarded with new information, new faces, and new places, forcing us to get acclimated as quickly as possible. The events of this week left us with a poignant feeling of uncertainty, but if there is one thing in which to find comfort, it is the fact that we are all in this together.
The first information we received was that this is going to be the best four years of our lives. Throughout orientation, we received countless amounts of information that sometimes reminded us of the redundancy of high school procedures that seemed humdrum and unimportant. However, the information did help us ease into the transition of being away from home (if you attended the orientation sessions). Regardless of the information given to us in the first few days, it will take several weeks of firsthand exploration to fully accept Miami as our new home.
Who would’ve thought it would be this hard to remember names? New friends have been made, enemies have been spotted, and the awkward Facebook “friends” have been sighted. The plethora of new people from all different backgrounds are joining forces to begin to define our freshman class. We’ve met people from Australia to Italy, New York to California and everywhere in between. It’s important to remember that first impressions leave a lasting mark on your new reputation here at UM, but it is also important to remember that we are all maturing together and new friends will be made throughout these next four years.
Whether you’re from a big city or a small town, it is undeniable that Miami is unlike anywhere in the world. It’s an international city with tons of Latino flavor and we’ve barely scratched the surface. Overwhelming at first, it’s a big change from the familiarity of each of our hometowns. From Coconut Grove to South Beach to Coral Gables, the new places to discover and conquer are numerous. It may seem like a lot to take in at the moment, but after our freshman year we should be able to navigate the city with a knowledgeable mindset.
Maintain an open mind, be friendly, and leave a positive impression on others. Good luck 2012, and welcome to Miami.