Lee Hayman

Rush, running, and rice cakes.

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Denison lacrosse team dinner after practice. —Courtesy Lee Hayman

Every year The MV Times asks four recent high school graduates to write about their experiences during their first year after graduation. Lee Hayman is attending Denison University in Granville, Ohio. This is her third dispatch.

I think I can survive anything after surviving these last two weeks. Arriving back at school after winter break was a whirlwind as classes, lacrosse, and recruitment for Greek life immediately started up for the spring semester.

Something I love about the college schedule versus what I experienced in high school is that your classes are only one semester. They are much more intensive and require more work, but what a beautiful relief it was to have a completely different course load when I returned. Even though I am technically a communications major, I’m trying to squeeze everything out of what a liberal arts school has to offer by taking classes in fields that I didn’t even know existed until looking through the course catalogue!

I am taking a communication class that looks at the way media affects our lives, an introductory writing course, a Global Commerce class, and another level of Spanish. My favorite course so far has to be my writing course. Denison requires all freshmen to take an introductory writing seminar, and mine is all about analyzing the documents under which the Denison community functions, such as the Student Code of Conduct, and the history of the college that has shaped the way it is today.

While researching the history of Denison last night for a project, I found out that a building on campus used to function as a stop on the Underground Railroad! My teacher is a witty professor who was a student himself at Denison, and knows more interesting facts about Denison than any tour guide could ever list. I have yet to ask him if he was classmates with my dad, because as of now I think he still likes me.

Now on to recruitment. They weren’t kidding when they say going through the process of recruitment to join a sorority is good preparation for job interviews, because boy, do you have to learn how to smile until your face is frozen in place, and discuss how you don’t know what your major is yet 37 times at every single house. You have to be personable, social, engaging, and try to showcase your best self for your future sisters. As much as Greek life can get poked fun at or get a bad rap, I’ve been looking forward to joining a sorority ever since I can remember. I love the idea of a group of girls acting like your family, and walking around campus this semester is already more fun because the number of friendly faces that say hi has tripled, at least.

The recruitment process is a marathon of eight-hour days of socializing, and having to write down your favorite houses each night. The pride and joy I already have to be able to say I am part of the house I have joined comes from the girls I’ve met and their involvement in everything imaginable, and that they picked me to expand that reputation. It’s a crazy college system, but I’m so glad that I am getting the chance to experience it.

That brings me to my next “R,” running. My first college lacrosse season has officially started, and so has the collegiate conditioning! I absolutely love it. My first time walking into the locker room, all decked out with all our gear hung up, was better than Christmas. I was with two other freshmen, and we just ran around yelling and bursting at the seams with anticipation for this season. To some people it sounds like a burden, but I honestly love going down to the gym early to hang out with my teammates in the locker room, go on our rare off days to stretch and shoot around with a friend, or go after practice to get a team dinner. I think everyone else on my team loves it too, because it’s a contagious feeling to be that happy about doing what we love with a great group of girls. The juniors who were abroad during our fall season have returned, and now I can’t imagine our team without them. We have our first scrimmage in just two weeks, and our first game in less than a month. I already don’t want it to be over, and it is just beginning.

Last, it seems I am back to my strict college diet of rice cakes and Froot Loops (just kidding, Mom, I promise I’m eating a vegetable every couple of weeks). My closet won’t close at the moment because of the volcano of laundry erupting out of it, but much to my roommate’s dismay, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. These little college stereotypes of surviving on ramen and going weeks refusing to do laundry make me laugh to myself, because I am finding out firsthand just how true they are. But hey, at least I’m running my ramen off during practice, right?