Well, there is less than a month left now until most of you leave for your first year of college. The nerves and the excitement are probably starting to set in as you realize that all of your hopes and fears are becoming a reality. While you may be overwhelmed right now, I can honestly say that your anxiety and worries won’t last too long. For many of you, orientation is coming up and will enable you to meet new people, learn about your college, and get a feel for what college is going to be like. Here are a few tips for getting through orientation:
1. Pay Attention!– Orientation serves as a solid transition to what college is going to be like without the classes. Your parents are gone, you’re living with a roommate, and you get to see what the campus is really like. You’re going to learn about registration for classes, advising for your major, and overall, what college life is really going to be like. I know I was completely overwhelmed during orientation since it was such a major change in my life, but I made sure to listen to the information that was given to me because I knew that it would be handy in the future. However, you don’t have to worry about memorizing all the mass amounts of information you’re given because you’ll have advisers and friends help you along the way, but try to take in as much as you can; it will pay off in the future.
2. Get to know your RA– Don’t be scared to get to know your resident adviser. Your RA is there to help you. If you ever need help with finding a class, getting a general question answered, or getting back into your room when you’re locked out (It happens more than you think), your RA is the person to go to. You definitely want to be on good terms with him or her because they can be one of your greatest assets in adjusting to your new environment.
3. Meet People– Orientation is about getting used to college life and what better way to do that than by making friends? I think that I met more people in that one week than I did for the rest of the year. It’s actually funny looking back on it and seeing how I became friends with some of the people that I now call my best friends. Orientation gives you a chance to meet people and then build upon those friendships throughout the rest of the year.
4. Get Involved– I know that I had the ability to go to a number of seminars and meetings on various topics including clubs, sports, Greek life, and differences between classes and I tried taking advantage of them as much as possible. Not only are these information sessions helpful, but they allow you to meet people with similar interests. You might be at a meeting for the soccer team and find somebody who is a fan of the same team as you. You may be sitting next to somebody in a lecture on the varying biology courses and find that you both have the same major. The possibilities are endless and really trying to do things that interest you are a good way to be involved and stay informed.
5. Have Fun!– Keep in mind that orientation is your first impression on your future classmates, professors, advisers, and friends. While that sounds like there is a lot of pressure on you, try to stay calm and enjoy it. These few days are the moments that you and your friends will laugh at in the future. I know most of my friends didn’t even know I existed during orientation because I was quiet and kept to myself. However, that soon changed once I became closer to them and more comfortable. Lastly, remember that orientation should be taken seriously, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun on the side!