| 03.18.2018

One semester later – ‘Happily chaotic’


If there”s one thing Danielle Payne learned this semester, it”s that life moves fast in college.

“I would probably describe it as happily chaotic, but I feel like that doesn”t like capture all of it even,” said Payne, a freshman nutrition major at the University of Idaho.

In her classes, there”s an essay due almost every week.

In her social life, some friends lasted while others faded away, she said.

Tess Fox | Argonaut
Freshman Danielle Payne reads over notes for her classes outside the Teaching and Learning Center. Payne has branched out culturally and attended prayer at a mosque during her first semester.

Sometimes, Payne said she would meet somebody on Monday and be best friends by Friday.

“And then the next week I wouldn”t see them at all,” Payne said. “And then I just didn”t talk to them very much after that.”

Like many other freshmen, Payne found a close friend in her dorm roommate. They sang songs  together and when her roommate needed to stay up to work on a big project, Payne said she sometimes stayed up as well to offer motivation.

“She”s really great, we”re best friends basically,” she said.

Payne, who before the school year worried she wouldn”t even finish band camp, found more friends playing flute in the Vandal Marching Band.

Payne said she will always remember the Homecoming Game halftime show, when she performed a Hammertime dance and saw faces in the crowd light up.

When band members turned on their LED light sunglasses, Payne said the crowd erupted.

“The crowd just exploded, it”s great,” Payne said. “I mean, as much as our crowd can explode.”

In the marching band she said she will remember the last-minute excitement she felt before stepping onto the field and laying down on the turf to spell out the word Vandals, listening to the bass in the Kibbie Dome speakers.

When Payne left Oregon for UI in August, she and her boyfriend Ben, a high school senior, didn”t put a title on their relationship.

But over Thanksgiving break, they decided they were happier together – even if there was distance between them, Payne said.

“It”s definitely the opposite of the turkey drop,” Payne said. “Because we decided it”s worth it to make the effort.”

While Payne is settled in her relationship, she said the college dating scene is much more haphazard. She sums it up in one word – willy-nilly. She said people don”t set each other up on dates and relationships come and go much easier.

“People, they do whatever they want, and no one else really pays enough attention to care about that,” Payne said.

Living in the Theophilus Tower, there was another social factor around – alcohol. Payne said sometimes students would come back to the dorm drunk and pass out or throw up.

On Halloween weekend, Payne said a student on her floor came back drunk and went in the shower with their clothes on. Payne said they eventually convinced the student to come out of the shower and put on a robe. She said a few other people were a mess as well, but people on the floor bonded over taking care of each other.

“It was a pitiful time,” she said.

Although a bit unsure of her major at the beginning of the year, Payne said she plans to continue with her nutrition major and is thinking about adding a Spanish minor. Although she won”t have marching band next semester, Payne said she expects the same busy schedule.

Ryan Tarinelli can be reached at  arg-news@uidaho.edu  or on Twitter @ryantarinelli

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