college · Music

Oboe Life: Take 6 -Where’s the beach?

Yesterday was orientation for the new incoming students for CSULB (CA State Univ Long Beach). I wasn’t really expecting much out of it other than getting my class schedule, and being involved in those weird get-to-know-you games because it was like a version of high school Freshmen Orientation, but it’s longer and more information. It was actually not as boring and not as awkward or cliché.

Let’s start from the beginning.

So, I woke up this morning at 4am thinking that I’m going to make it to Long Beach early with time to spare for breakfast on the way up there. Granted, I picked up my cousin and boyfriend to use for the carpool lane to save even more time. For some reason, by the time I picked up my boyfriend, it was 5:45am already, so I decided to use Google Maps as a way to track down the fastest route and as a countdown to miles and minutes as to when we will get there. When I put the destination, it came out to say that it would take me 3 hours and 15 minutes, and I’m thinking “I have to be there at 8am to check-in”. Being the person that I am, I HATE BEING LATE…so, speeding at most 90 mph (cop pulled over person behind me, nice), and it was still saying 2hrs & 50 minutes, even though I had past Irvine already. Well this didn’t make sense. Everyone was sleeping in the car, so I woke up my cousin to look at the navigation, the minute I asked her, I realized the issue. We were headed to CSU Northridge and NOT CSU Long Beach.

Why CSU Northridge? Well, the other day, my mom asked me to look up the distance between Northridge and Long Beach because a childhood friend of mine is going there, and her mom asked if we could carpool back to San Diego during breaks. I guess Google Maps didn’t forget that I searched that, so I hit the destination thinking it was taking me to Long Beach. Good thing I caught the problem in time to make a U-turn around Disneyland and get on the 22-Freeway  towards Long Beach. Wasn’t late, actually got there half-an-hour early to just rest for awhile, but I didn’t eat breakfast, so Gah!

After checking in and dealing with last minute admission issues (sent my ACT scores to the wrong school), all of us got into a lecture hall and was welcomed by stories of past orientations and traditions. It was 8am and I had been driving for 2 hours, so I wasn’t fully conscious to appreciate their warmed welcome, or to accept all the free stuff they were giving out. Come on, free stuff! Accept it and walk away. Anyway, after the welcome presentation, we were separated by our specific colleges to spend with the entire day. This was actually a pretty good idea because it let’s students know who is in their major and be with people who will go through what they will all go through in general during their college life. So, I was with the College of The Arts (COTA), and I was with Music Majors, Animation Majors, Dance Majors, Design Majors, Film Majors and Theatre Majors. There was only 18 of us in the group, but once we started our tour everyone already tried finding people who had the same major as them. I was pretty quiet for the first 20 minutes and I walked by myself because I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. Should I introduce myself first? Should I wait until they asked me what my major was? Should I just awkwardly  walk next to someone until they noticed me? It was weird, and I couldn’t figure out my role in this small society of Artists, and it’s expected of us to be outgoing, but I’m very conserved and like to keep to myself most of the time.

Well, while I was panicking on the inside about what to do with myself, we stopped in front of the book store to get an introduction from the people leading us on our tour for the day. This is where I first got acquainted with someone. He was a Music Education Major with a specific study on voice, so I was like cool because I’ve never known anyone personally to be that into singing and want to study it (unless the choir teacher at our high school counts, it really doesn’t). Likewise I exchanged information and told him that I played Oboe and was a Performance Major doubling with Music Ed. Usually, I get a questioned look about what the hell an Oboe is, but he just nodded and was like cool. So, we exchanged other stuff too like where we’re from and why we picked Long Beach over other schools, and just got to know each other over the entire day. This helped me to get to know other people within the group.

Our tour around campus was pretty short; we didn’t really go into any buildings or anything, but just went to 3 destination points where they pointed out several buildings and described the purpose and tips on them. One of our tour guides was pretty surprising, and what was surprising about him was because he’s an Oboe Performance Major. I was like, what? I knew at least one of our tour guides was going to have to be someone from the conservatory, but I wasn’t expecting someone so specifically the same for my major. First impressions aren’t always the best or correct, so I thought he was a younger looking Shia Labeouf who told so many puns, it was too much to handle. He was actually pretty informative of my major and probably took interest in me because I play Oboe (dur). We did have a common acquaintance which was the newly appointed 2nd Oboist of the San Diego Symphony, so that was cool.

Other than the tour and the people, the day was long and tiring and I kept wondering what my cousin and boyfriend were doing. Knowing them, they stayed in the car or in the student union to eat and watch Deadpool on the laptop. I did feel sorry that I dragged them along because I knew they would get bored, but I needed them for the carpool lane. Thank goodness that I got done signing up with classes by 3pm. I went looking for them by the bookstore, and then went to the student union to pee (chalkboards!). Afterwards, we drove by  the on-campus housing to see how close it was to school (even though I’m staying in the off-campus housing a mile away), and then went by the conservatory to take a nice picture of myself next to the sign.

Bob Cole Conservatory of Music Sign – June 1st, 2016

Was afraid to get yelled at because I had to step on some nice flowers to get up there, but actually not so bad of a photo(s) if I do say so myself. Actually, it took me awhile to figure out how to take a picture with this wall, and my boyfriend was yelling from the car “just stand next to it and get it over with!”. My cousin and I ran back to the car and drove off. We stopped by the residential housing that I would be staying at, and then got ourselves a drink from the Boba shop that was right next to the conservatory (I will survive!).

We got back on the rode, and experienced some nice 405-freeway traffic, while enjoying the drinks we got from the shop. (Read my Yelp reviews here!). My trip to Long Beach was really nice and something to look forward to again. I’m just glad to be back home to enjoy San Diego and it’s finest!

Machata – Zero Express

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