Last week, hundreds of students went through orientation at the University of Chicago, spending their first days as residents of a new community. During the week, we talked to dozens of students interested in nonfiction writing, photography, and design, and hundreds more about our Best of the South Side issue. We asked them to share their first impressions of the university, the neighborhoods that surround it, and anything else they had seen of their new South Side surroundings. The responses they sent were awed, excited, and sometimes naÃ¯ve–how could they not be?–but they all also had the sharpness and verve of first sight that is long lost to we who have been here longer. They made us think, and we’re proud to publish them.