Orientation is approaching very quickly! We are a little over a week away from first year students moving in and things couldn’t be crazier in the office. Whether it is dealing with last minute panics from both first year and upperclass students or working on training our Peer Advising Leaders (PALs) for the upcoming year the office has been exciting to say the least. A couple years ago when I was an Orientation Leader and Peer Advising Leader I did a blog post on a guide to orientation and I thought it would be fitting to update that guide now that I have become an academic advisor.
Orientation can be a nerve-wracking wonderful experience. One of the greatest parts of orientation is that everyone is having the same feelings whether that is constant excitement or a mixture of excitement and extreme nervousness for what the next four years will bring. Due to the fact that everyone is going through same or similar circumstances this might be the only time in your life where you have the same thing in common with over 1,000 people. Take advantage of it! Orientation is specifically designed to welcome new students and spark potentially lifelong friendships. Here are my top five tips to get the most out of Orientation.
- Go to all of the events!
Whether you realize it or not your tuition is paying for all of the different orientation activities and festivities. Based solely on monetary investment you should attend all of the events to get your moneys worth. Attending all of the events though stems much farther than getting your moneys worth. The people I met at orientation I was friends with throughout my entire college experience and beyond. The events are also usually pretty awesome! Watching people getting hypnotized or seeing a new magician or movie on the lawn are events that do not happen everyday so take advantage.
2. Make friends with your Orientation Leader
Your Orientation Leader (OL) can be an extremely valuable resources for things ranging from best professors to when to go to the cafe to avoid the long lines. OL’s truly enjoy helping first year students and love answering incoming student questions. That is what they are paid to do after all! Most OL’s are upperclassmen and can provide small tips that will go a long way in helping to get adjusted to college. My OL highly recommended us all to leave our doors open when we were in our room. As a result of this I met everyone on my floor and we all actually went to dinner together most nights. OL’s are trained on all of the services available on campus and can share personal experience from their personal use of the services. For example when I was an OL I encouraged everyone to use walk-in tutoring on campus even if you didn’t think you needed it. My freshmen year I was worried about doing well in math so I went to the Learning Center to do my homework. I did not always need help but if I did there was a fellow student there to help walk me through the problem.
3. Get everything involving lines done first
What inevitably comes with orientation is lines at places such as Financial Aid or the Bookstore. Getting these things done early can save you a lot of time. While most students rush to check out their room and spend countless hours decorating and rearranging furniture there is the opportunity to complete everything on your checklist. Picking up your books and getting your ID picture taken can take minutes if done earlier in the day before the mad rush and then you will have tons of time to debate the furniture arrangement and feng shui of your dorm room.
4. Follow the directions!
Universities have been through numerous iterations of move in day and orientation and most have perfected their method. In order for the well oiled machine that is move in day to work directions need to be followed for a smooth transition. If you are told to move in at 10AM then plan to be there at 10AM. Most schools have people to help move in such as athletes or OL’s and may give you a set amount of time to move in. For example SNHU only allows people to park in front of the dorms for 15 minutes while countless athletes, OL’s and PALs help to move all of your belongings into your new home. For me the whole process of physically moving things in look less than ten minutes.
5. Don’t Panic!
While the day can be stressful there are hundreds of people on campus to help make the transition as smooth as possible. It is not easy saying goodbye to your parents or maybe it is but keep in mind it is not easy for them. It will be weird when your parents and whoever brought you leaves but realize again that there are thousands of people feeling the same way. Get to know your floor mates and stay up late talking with your roommate. In the end panicking will be a waste of time and there are plenty of things to do on move in day besides panic!
Happy move in and remember to see your academic advisor!