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美国大学新生入学感触

 

百草园:这篇文章是儿子给《海外文轩》子女教育集写的文章,由我译成中文。如果不是这篇文章,我还真不知道大部分孩子入学以后,刚开始大学的生活,还是有一份焦虑和紧张,需要一定的方式和时间去适应新的生活。

                                                            丛林之旅----助我步入大学生涯  

紧张、激动、茫然、加焦急,这些感觉一起搅在我心头。站在大学操场上,那一刻,在从小长大熟悉家的千里之外,四周环绕的都是陌生面孔。一想到这个地方将要成为我的新家,这怎能不叫人心头汇集五味杂陈的感觉。对我来说,上大学就是从以前熟悉、协调的高中生活里,迎接一个巨大的人生转变。

很明显,我的大学已经采用了许多方法来帮助我们,让我们这些新生尽量容易、平稳地开始生命的新阶段。校方采用的策略之一,就是这个著名的新生五天的野营活动。学校的野营活动五花八门,我参加的是其中的登山活动,我们这个小组除了新生以外,还有两个带队的老生。这个五天的野营活动,我们大家简称为“旅”,也可以称之为丛林之旅。这是校方精心计划的让我们在没有学课压力下,尽快地交朋友方式,它又能让我们在老生的引导下更好地了解大学生活。在向野营组织部门报到后,站在这片不熟悉的土地上,四周都是像我一样的新生。让我松了一口气的是,周围的每个人也都和我一样,每张面孔都带着焦虑和不安。

终于,我们这个野营团体集合好了。领队让我们开始互相介绍。介绍的当然都是那些你初遇陌生人应该讲的“安全得体“的话题,诸如自己的名字、来自何方、为什么选择这所大学、想学什么专业,许许多多话题。我们这个小组有七位新生加两个老生,老生一个是大四,一个是大三的学生。我感到那两位老生领队似乎非常有权威,因为他们好像知道所有的事情,不管我们提什么问题,他们都会自信满怀地回答我们。最后,大家终于把自我介绍这个话题整个过了一遍,所有的野营小组也都给领到屋里,下一步是进行这五天野营的安全教育训话。

安全教育总是既琐碎又无聊,况且我们大家都已经被这一整天的高度紧张搞得精疲力尽,现在面临着几十条安全条例就要仍向我们。等了很久以后,好像骤然间,所有在屋里的领队忽然跳了起来,我们这些新生几乎全都给吓了一跳,非常惊诧。但是我们马上就明白了,这个所谓的安全教育,实际上是领队们编演成的歌舞秀。作为美国最老的大学之一,我的大学有许多老规则,包括这个安全教育秀。歌曲和舞蹈都是领队的老生自编自演--他们在歌曲里告诫我们如何在溪流里取水、别在森林里扔垃圾、和一些其它重要的安全条例。这个歌舞秀,把我们搞的既兴奋又激动,主要是他们把活动搞的太出乎意料。以后的整个野营都像这样,充满了许多这样的老传统乐趣。

第二天,终于开始了我们的丛林之旅。一个大巴士把大家送到野营的路边。感谢上帝,天气非常好,有云彩又不太热。不过山路上还是有前两天下雨积存下的水坑和泥土。我们要爬几英里山路才能吃午饭。走在山路上,我们一起玩单词游戏,也互相讲话,让我们互相能更加了解。由于树林的屏蔽,只有我们这一伙人走在山路上,让我们更好地粘在一起,也更容易互相沟通。那天晚上,在负重三十磅爬了七英里以后,我们到了山顶上的一座林间小屋,当时的感觉是精疲力尽加饥寒交迫。吃饱饭后,大家高兴地高谈阔论、开怀大笑,最后我们都很快地在自己的睡袋里沉入梦乡之中。

早上,我们收拾好自己的行装,继续前行。我们那天的预定目标是爬到最高山峰顶上,那里冬天是滑雪场地,当然现在是一片绿草葱葱。尽管在爬了七英里以后,又是一个精疲力尽的一天,我们还是兴高采烈地与另一个野营小组一起玩了简易棒球。这个友好的比赛,让我们这些新生更加靠近,大家相处的更随便了。

尽管五天里我们无法洗澡、体力上很透支,可野营的时光随着各种游戏搞笑而飞逝。最后一天,所有的野营小组都汇合到一个学校拥有大的木屋里。这天的跋涉比较少,也比较放松,我们有机会认识更多的人,玩更多的游戏,甚至还用小船玩冲水。在野营结束时,大家都变成了很亲密的朋友,也对大学未来生活有了更大的自信。

开始上课以后,我们这个野营小组的朋友都散到校园的不同宿舍,选修不同的课,参加不同的活动。可我们还是找时间一起吃吃饭,保持联系。随着大家慢慢适应了大学生活,也随着课业和活动的加重,野营时交下的几个朋友,一直都是密朋。

大学对如何人来讲,都是一个巨大的人生转变。第一天自己站在那里,周围都是陌生人的那份恐惧,还是记忆犹新。学校组织的新生野营,给了我自信、聪慧,让我能更好地去面对课程的挑战和大学的所有一切。对我来说,新生野营是最好的方式助我进入大学生活,让我走进我生命的新阶段。我知道我们这个野营组的朋友,在大学里一直会是好朋友,也相信我们的友谊会通向未来。

 

 A Trip in the Woods - Adjusting to College Life

Nervousness and excitement and confusion and anticipation. I was feeling all of these emotions and more, standing on a lawn full of strangers in a place several hundred miles away from where I’d lived for the majority of my life. But this place was about to become my new home and that’s why I had so many emotions coursing through my mind. College was a huge transition from the well-known and comfortable routine of high school which I had gotten so used to over the previous four years.

            Obviously, though, my college deployed many strategies to help ease us into life there and to help calm us while we adjusted to a whole new life. One of those strategies was to thrust us into a five-day trip of hiking and climbing in the woods with a group of other first year students as well as two older students who were our leaders and mentors. The goal of these five days of camping and physical exhaustion, which we simply referred to as “trips,” was to accelerate us into making friends quickly and using our trip leaders to answer all our questions and worries about college life. So, as I was standing there on that unfamiliar lawn, after just checking-in for my trip section, I was looking around at all the other confused and nervous first year students and was glad everyone was just as scared as I was.

            Eventually, however, my trip section assembled together and made our introductions – we told each other our names, where we were from, why we chose this college instead of others, what we were thinking of majoring in, and many more “safe” topics that seemed to be comfortable to ask people that we just met.  There were seven other first year students in my group along with two trip leaders, a senior and a junior. Both of my trip leaders seemed intimidating to me that first night because they seemed to know everything and were very confident in answering any and all of our questions. Finally, after we had thoroughly exhausted all the introductory conversation, all of the trip groups were led inside one of the buildings to be given a safety talk for our five-day forest adventure.

The safety talk was both intimidating and boring – we were already exhausted from all our emotions throughout the day and now dozens of complex safety rules were being thrust upon us. After what seemed like an eternity, all of the sudden all the trip leaders in the room jumped up. Completely surprised and confused, we quickly learned that the so-called safety talk was just a ruse as all of the upperclassmen burst into song and dance. As one of the oldest colleges in the United States, my college naturally had many traditions, including this one. The songs that the trip leaders sang and danced to were of their own creation – they had written songs about staying with our group, filtering stream water, not littering in the forests, and other important safety topics. We were both excited and energized by these shows, mostly due to the surprise nature of it all. The rest of freshman trips carried this same tone of surprise traditions and fun.

The next day, we finally left for our trip in the forests. We were dropped off by a bus next to the start of the trail by the road. Thankfully, the weather was very nice – it was cloudy and not unbearably hot. The trails, however, were covered in puddles and pits of mud due to rain from days prior. We hiked several miles before stopping for lunch. Along the trails, we played word games and talked to each other more – we were now much more comfortable around each other because the isolation of the woods banded us together. That night, after hiking about seven miles uphill with thirty-pound backpacks, we stopped at a shelter at the top of the mountain, exhausted and ready to eat dinner. After eating, we spent time talking and laughing, then finally set up our sleeping bags and dropped into deep sleep.

In the morning, we packed up our things and continued hiking onward. We were scheduled to hike to a cabin near the skiway – a strip of sloped land that was covered in snow in the winter for skiing, but was grassy in the heat of September. Though exhausted from another day of hiking around seven miles, we still managed to play a quick game of whiffle ball with another trip group that we ran across at the skiway. It was a friendly game between newfound companions and by now we were extremely comfortable with the people we were around, with all our anxieties forgotten in the great outdoors.

The rest of our trip went by quickly with lots of fun, physical exertion, and not being able to shower for five days.On the last day, we hiked to the destination that all the trip groups were heading toward – a giant lodge owned by my college. The final day was about relaxing after all the strenuous hiking; we had fun meeting more people, playing silly games, and careening down makeshift waterslides. At the end of it all, we emerged close friends and slightly more confident in adjusting to college life with our newfound support systems.

With classes starting soon after, our small trip group was scattered across campus in different dorms, different classes, and different activities. We still made time, however, to meet each other for meals and catch up. While adjusting to a college schedule, with much harder classes as well as much more time spent outside of class, those first few friends I made on freshman trips still stayed with me.

College is a huge adjustment for anyone – your life gets flipped around and changed completely. Being alone on that first day surrounded by so many strangers scared me, but through my college’s freshman trips, I became more confident, wiser, and felt ready to tackle the huge challenges of classes, extracurricular activities, and more. To me, freshman trips was the best transition my college could have given me to adjust to my new life. I know that my friends from my trip group will continue to stick together throughout the rest of college, and hopefully even further.

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评论

春阳的头像
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我女儿也是选择去了山林,不过下了几天雨,把她们的兴致都浇没了,呵呵。

 
百草园的头像
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春阳,那你女儿他们应该更高兴啊,那不是天天大家一起玩,不用爬山了吗?

 
海云的头像
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会让儿子来读,对他这个明年将读大学的人真是及时雨。

 
百草园的头像
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呵呵,海云,你家的孩子好听话,我们家的是在我催了N遍以后,勉强写的这一篇。不过其他孩子读读,应该有一些借鉴。

 
红花的头像
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不知道你儿子就读的是什么学校。我儿子他们怎么没有这样的野营呢? 从孩子过渡到独立的青年,是一个大转折。

 
百草园的头像
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红花,俺家儿子在东海岸,是一所小藤校,两个孩子都参加过这样的野营,两个孩子都非常喜欢。上大学的确是人生的一大步,要自己完全独立了。

 
天地一弘的头像
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学校采取野营的方式帮助孩子迎接大学新生活,让孩子认识到大学生活是一个新的开始。值得儿子好好一看。

 
百草园的头像
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一弘,可能儿子的感受跟我们的做法也有关,我们那天送儿子,他一报道野营我们就跟他拜拜了,想可能他不喜欢我们站在一旁,忽略了他是在一个完全陌生的环境,面对一群陌生的人,开始他新的人生阶段。

 
仲夏百合的头像
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写的好,译的也好。 你儿子写了文章还给你看,真不错。我要拿这个事例敦促一下我家二小姐。

 
百草园的头像
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百合,这篇是俺让儿子写的,当时就跟他讲写了要译出来,他是同意了的。赶快让你家二丫头也写一篇,贴出来跟我们共享。

 
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