It’s Day 2 on Semester at Sea, and I’m starting to feel a little woozy. Supposedly, the waves we are experiencing now don’t even compare to the “real waves” we will be greeting later on on our voyage across the Pacific, but nonetheless everyone is stumbling along, holding onto railings and walking in zig-zags up and down the hallways as the ship rock back and forth. A few brave souls are tanning on the upper deck despite the chilly weather, but most are staying inside and finding their ways to their new classrooms (not too difficult since there are only nine).
So far, as most beginnings of things go, Semester at Sea has been overwhelming. Yesterday was orientation, and all six hundred or so of us (in groups) were ushered from place to place across the MV explorer, being told what to expect and what is expected of us, what we should do in the case of emergency, and, of course, that this is going to be the best four months of our entire lives. We’ve been divided into “seas” based on where our cabins are – I’m in the Red Sea and we are already cheering louder than all the rest in preparation for the Sea Olympics – and we’ve been subjected to the usual routine of “ice breakers,” as no orientation would be complete without them. Needless to say, yesterday was exhausting, and despite the pressure to socialize and find my new perfect circle of friends I really just want to go back to my cabin and nap. Which I might, since the rocking boat is slowly but surely putting me to sleep as I write this.
Anyway, even though the first few days have been a lot to take in – complete with several WHAT AM I DOING ON A SHIP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN AWAY FROM ALL OF MY FRIENDS moments – I have confidence that this will be the amazing, life-changing four months that all of the alumni and professors on the ship keep telling me it will be. No one I know has had a mediocre Semester at Sea experience, or come out of it unchanged, and I’m excited to discover just what makes it such an incredible program.
Five days to go until we reach Hawaii! And then another ten or so to Japan. A lot of time with no land in sight; crazy to see first hand just how big the Pacific Ocean is.
I’m really going to try to update this blog at least once a week, so I can keep you all posted on my voyage in case you’re interested.
Sending my love back to the mainland!