2018: DAI orientation: the ‘YOU WILL’ document

offered to incoming students by Clementine Edwards (DAI, 2018).

  • You will get hungry. Socialising and thinking with 70 people for 18 hours a day takes a LOT of energy. Drink lots of water and keep eating.
  • You will surprise yourself with your emotions, they might seem harder to manage than usual. In such intensive environments, small moments can feel unbearable.
  • You will be confused by the names of the classes/modules/syllabus. They are not intuitive. COOP or roaming, assembly or academy, kitchen or performance, class or study group or something else?
  • You will come to understand all the different accents.
  • You will get fluent in English and DAI-speak quicker than you can imagine.
  • You will become less exhausted by the social aspect by second year, because at that time there will only be half a campus of people to get to know. There will be people you can relax with without exchanging too many words. You will know when to rest, eat, drink, think.
  • You will need to work and rest in unusual places.You may find yourself sleeping on a bathroom bench or working in a bar. Take time where you need it, and time to yourself where you need it.
  • You will have imposter syndrome. This will wear off as you discover there are a thousand ways to be ‘intelligent’. The DAI sees this and accepted you because you for a reason. There are no imposters.
  • You will get frustrated. There are many different personality types at the DAI (as well as sexualities, cultures, genders, ideologies, ages). Honour that and remember: you will probably come to love the people you find difficult to understand, too.
  • You will (might) take up smoking or alcohol with more vigour than usual.
  • You will be exhausted after a DAI week.Talking to three people may feel like meditation or it may feel impossible. Your words, even if native English speaker, may evacuate.
  • You will make friends (and might drift apart from others). This might take time but it will definitely come. Sometimes it takes a year to find your groove. Xo Clem