The First Year Experience: In the Rearview Mirror

By Melanie Biles '18
Design Editor

Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the two-week-long ride of the prospies this year. On the eighteenth of April in 2015: we’re all still alive and we all still remember what happened, but here’s my interpretation of it anyway.

Admitted students weekends began not with a whimper, but with a bang. (We’re reading a lot of old American literature in Core II right now. Can you tell?) Out of nowhere, it seemed, the entire campus was filled with fresh-faced future first-years (alliteration always, my friends) toting around brand-new Scripps paraphernalia and folders. I was lucky enough to know one of these young women from my pre-Scripps days and hang out with her as she experienced campus for the first time. Every time she stopped to marvel at a garden (“Have you seen these roses?!?”) or appreciate some of the old dorms’ architecture (“You live here? For real? That’s unbelievable!”), I got caught up in reminiscing about the first time I experienced Scripps.

Visiting campus to tour was a blur; my first real memories are from orientation week. For the first few days, we tried to establish ourselves at a school that was ready to welcome us in ways we did not yet understand. I remember going to various socials, trying to meet as many people as possible and always falling back on the same questions. One of those questions was, “So, why did you decide on Scripps?”

For me, this question had both a short answer and a long answer. The short answer was that at the end of my college app process, it was the school that made the most sense academically, culturally and financially. However, I was so fascinated to hear everybody else’s answers. Some people told me that they had been waiting to go to Scripps since they were ten or that their mothers and aunts and grandmothers had come here. Some said that Scripps had been a safety or an only choice. For the most part, however, people had made the active decision to come here based on something about the school or campus of which they just could not let go.

Right now, with all of the prospies roaming campus, those kinds of opinions are forming. High school seniors are looking at our campus and wondering if that could be them next year, tanning on the quad or chatting at the Motley over an iced salted caramel latte and a bagel with vegan cream cheese. The people causing extra crowding at Malott could be our classmates, our hallmates, and our best friends in just a few short months. It’s hard to believe how quickly all of this time is passing; a year ago, I did not know where I would be going to college. Now, I can’t imagine myself anywhere else. Scripps students may not have much in common about how we decide to make this our home, but whatever our reasoning, I’m so glad we did.