Hey there, my dear readers! Some of you may have been a long time reader of the blog and some of you might just be the new students of our new cohort at this academy. Regardless, I’d take upon this chance to welcome you all to Sincerely in this new academic year. It is crazy, really, that summer has already come to an end and now everyone will get to see their schoolmates again. Yet, among those faces, there are a few new ones. These are most likely our esteemed new generation of VinUnians, all excited and ready for a new environment. Looking back at the last weekend when these new students first arrived, I was hit by a wave of nostalgia regarding my first days at this school. Hence, I figure I’d take this opportunity to report upon the arrival of Cohort 4 at VinUni and share some stories on my experience as a 1st Cohort first year so that in retrospect, we can see how far our school has gotten.
Bright eyes and wide smiles, those are the images that plagued my (and I suppose many VinUnians’) social media for the past few days. VinUniversity page shares a treasure trove of pictures of the new arriving students (which I will be “utilizing” in this article, hehe). In them, I see myself and my friends from 3 years ago. Crazy how 3 years feel like such a long time ago and yet, nothing has really changed.
Students and their parents or guardians arriving with their suitcases were welcomed by a member of the staff or a faculty. Some other staff will be sitting at the JC building to await the new students and register them to their new rooms. Photographers are everywhere capturing the best moments and the most beautiful/handsome of faces. Then the students come to their new room, meet their new roommates and most important of all, pick the top bunk or lower bunk. Rinse and repeat until the end of the day. The only difference, really, is the appearance of a few new faculty who were not part of the school when I first arrived and the Ho Chi Minh Youth Union which was only established about a year ago. All in all, it was a busy day for the beginning of the semester.
The next day, the students proceed to go to their college’s respective welcoming ceremony and meet the rest of the schoolmates. At night, for the extroverts, they get together and organize unofficial bonding nights. Such is youth. The introverts among them will probably spend the night chatting with some of their new friends on social media instead. But hey, they are still making friends.
Now with that quick recap of the events out of the way, let me begin to channel my “boomer” spirit and tell “them unruly kids” how good you have it. On my first day of arrival at the school, the school actually opened the main front gate on a rare occasion and I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the entire campus. I was a bit nervous and confused, admittedly, but the staff there was kind and guided me to finish the check-in process. My dad was escorting me that day and together, we went to our room, JB309. Back then, male and female rooms were still mixed inside the same building with the boys occupying the odd-numbered floors and the girls with the even numbers. I met my new roommates and we had a chat, establishing some home rules and overall, getting along just fine.
The next few days, our welcoming ceremony was both quite exciting but also somber in retrospect considering our few numbers. At night, as a proud introvert, I stay in my room and play games on my own. Back then, I would still sleep at 9PM, my current staying-up-until-at-least-1 AM now look back and laugh at how innocent I was back then. Some nights, our dorm room will have a party to bond with one another. Anyway, confession time, back then, we were technically not allowed to cook inside our room (fire safety and all) and we didn’t have a kitchen… So yeah, your boy did a little sneaky cooking once in a while with our own pot and portable (electrical, of course) stoves (only getting caught once, hehe). Now, “you kids” get a dedicated communal kitchen (which I believe was a result of the 1st Cohort complaints and campaigning effort, so “You’re welcome, younger Cohorts”) and allowed to cook to some extent. All in all, it was still a fun time and even though I moved out long ago, I still look back at my time at the dorm fondly. Our old roommates still remain good friends until this date and we occasionally get together for some fun. I guess the school policy works in the end and the time at the dorm fosters a sense of brotherhood among us boys. I just hope that the new Cohort will also get to enjoy those same feelings.
In the end, I suppose I have spoken quite a bit too much about this topic. Looking at this article, I would not say it is a news report but more so of me, using the context of new events at school, to talk about my experience and showcase the legacy of the academy. The arrival of a new cohort signifies the beginning of a new generation who will get to enjoy a different yet familiar experience as me. And that is for the best, since all things will change eventually. VinUni was founded on the principle of changing Vietnam’s education scene and in the aspect of student’s life, I suppose they did change it in one way or another. As such, I hope that our school will continue to welcome new generations to this school for next year and the year after that, so on and so forth. Good day, my readers.
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