Thankfully we didn’t have to be the pool until after orientation. Still, Jeremy and I seemed to start the day off wrong. We panically threw our clothes on, grabbed our backpacks, and were out the door. We would deal with our belongings later.
‘I must admit, I have become somewhat of a hermit now. Outside of the pool, I am a clueless human.’ Jeremy is different; he seems to thrive amongst crowds. He asked all of the questions to random people of where the freshmen athletes meet. Turns out all freshmen meet in the same auditorium, no matter your major. Makes sense actually because not only must athletes succeed in their sport, but we have to keep a 2.0 in our seperate acedemic major. College is going to be more difficult.
“Dude!” Jeremy waved from the doors about twenty feet away, “catch up will you?”
I had stopped following him. I was surrounded by people, that my body must have stopped working. I quickly ran to catch up to Jeremy. ‘I never thought I would become this type of person.’
Jeremy tugged me to the closest open seat which was almost the back row. ‘Wow. Living in my swimming bubble made me forget about how many other majors there are in school.’ There was a sea of people.
“Dude, I forgot how many people actually attend school. Look at all of them!” Jeremy said slowly gliding his hand through all the people.
“We really do spend too much time together; I was thinking the same thing,” I laughed.
“So what major are you in?” A girl in front of us had turned around to ask. Her two friends turned with her.
“We are both double majored. I’m Jeremy and I’m majoring swimming and civil engineering. This is George, he is majoring in swimming and physics.” Jeremy strecthed out his hand to the girl who had started the conversation.
‘Thanks Jeremy. Words were stuck in my mouth.’ But I took shook the girl’s hand when she extended it to me. I also nodded a hello to her two other friends.
“My name is Ellen. I’m majoring in Tennis and English. My two friends, Helen pointed to the one on her left, is majoring in only English, and Lisa, on her right, is majoring in civil engineering. Us double majors are in for an awakening. I’ve heard that it is extremely difficult to thrive in both.”
“I will struggle, but this one,” Jeremy thumbed at me, “will have no trouble. Hish school plus swimming was a breeze for him. I’m sure he will be perfectly fine. Me on the other hand will definitely be struggling.”
The three girls looked at me with amazement and wonder. ‘Just a lot of crap coming out of Jeremy’s mouth.’ High school was not a breeze; the swimming part was hard enough, and it was only going to get harder. Thankfully the host appeared and took all of the atention off of me and to the stage.
It was just the normal orientation. Do your work. Do your best. ‘Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Everyone knows all this.’ My mind was now wondering. I looked at the faces around me; they were all beaming with excitement towards their future here at school. My excitment wouldn’t begin until I stepped onto my turf, the deck. Jeremy nudge me bringing my attention back to the stage.
The host was speaking, “We are going to do something different. I would like eveyone to stand up from their seats.” There was a loud thud all all the seats returning to their closed positions. “Good. Now, if you are doing a single major please take a seat.”
Thousands of people sat down around us. Including the two girls we met earlier.
“Now anyone without a sport in their double major take a seat.”
Again several people sat back down. But there were still a huge number of people standing. ‘I wonder which ones are swimmers?’
“Now anyone starting off freshmen year with a GPA lower than 3.0, please take a seat.”
This time Jeremy sat down. He was close to a 3.0 but high school as he said was a struggle. There were now maybe forty people standing. ‘Wow. I didn’t know a 3.0 with a sport was difficult.’
“Wow! There are more students still standing than last year. I don’t want to discredit those of you with a double major of two acedemic subjects; but at our school, doing a sport means your life here at the school, will be much more difficult. Only the strong minded athletes survive. Now…Anyone under a 3.5 GPA please sit.”
Again about half of the students left sat. ‘Great. I wish I could have sat down as well, but there was no way Jeremy would let that slide.’
“I am fully impressed with the number of students still standing. Now…Below a 4.0 GPA please sit.”
I wish I was one of the ones that sat, because now it was only me and three others. My GPA was a 4.25. Hopefully the host doesn’t go any farther.
“Let’s give these students a big round of appluse!” The auditorium erupted with clapping.
I wanted to sit back down, because now all the pairs of eyes in the place were searching and ending on me. ‘I am really not a land person. Stick me in a pool and this would be nothing. Here…I feel so out of place.’
“Let’s welcome these students onto the stage.”
‘Crap.’ I looked down at Jeremy who was no help, because he was almost in a fit of laughter.
“Go on George. You had to be a smarty pants. Go get your reward,” Jeremy said while laughing.
‘Whatever.’ I started walking to the stage; if I hadn’t Jeremy would have definately made it worse. Eyes were following me as I walked down to the stage. One of the other boys who had been still standing exited his row in front of me. ‘Good. He will go first.’
“Yes. Congratulations you four. You are the highest scored double majored athletes of all the freshmen. You should be proud of your accomplishments in high school. Especially since they will probably fluctuate these next four years,” the host said as we took our place on stage.
I was in the middle of the group. ‘Which is good. Meaning I won’t be going first either way.’
“Now, they will introduce themselves. State your name, sport, other major, and GPA,” the host passed the microphone to the girl closest to them.
I had two people before me.
The first girl confidently grabbed the mic, “My name is Stephine. I am a swimmer. Other major is Mathmatics. And my GPA is 4.15. Thank you,” and she handed the microphone the guy beside her.
‘Swimmer. Cool, I won’t be the only one up here.’ My nerves relaxed a bit.
The next student, “Hello, I am Phillp. I am in Baseball. Other major is Engineering. And my GPA is 4.0. Thank you.”
He passed the mic to me. ‘My turn.’ “Hello. My name is George. I am a swimmer. My other major is Physics. And my GPA is 4.25. Thank you,” and I quickly passed the mic to the guy on my left. ‘I did it. If these people surrounding me were only swimming people I would not look so uncomfortable.’
But after I finished there were gasps and looks of shocks from everyone in the audience below me.
The boy after my was name Jeffory. He was in Gymnastics, other major was Architecture, and his GPA was 4.0 as well. ‘So yes. I was the one to stick out because I had the highest GPA.’ I wish the host people didn’t do this; just label people with something that might not be their focus. ‘I wanted to be know as a swimmer; not an academic student. Can we get off this stage already?’
“Let’s give these students another round of applause as they make their ways back to their seats.”
If I could have walked faster, without looking like I hated the attention I would have. I got to my seat and tried to ignore the hushed whispers and glances.
The host continued to speak, but I couldn’t focus.
“Good job dude,” Jeremy whispered out a chuckle, “it’s only the first day and you are famous.”
I shot Jeremy a look, the kind of look that if you don’t shut it you will die. He got the message and shut his mouth.
“Now go out onto the campus and start your future at College!”
As everyone was gathering up their belongings, I grabbed my backpack and Jeremy and booked it out of there. I didn’t want any more attention. I was feeling suffocated in there. I threw open the doors to bright sunlight and we were off.