New student orientation. Welcome week. NSO. Freshman orientation. *Insert your school mascot here* days. Whatever your school calls it, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The beginning of your college career.
Every school does things a little differently, but here are some things that I can almost guarantee that you will experience at any freshman orientation.
Peppy and over-the-top student leaders.
I’m totally not judging, because I happen to be one of those peppy over-the-top student leaders. Their whole job is get you excited about being there…so get excited with them! Nothing makes a peppy student leader more sad than when they can’t get freshmen excited about orientation.
Pro tip: Whether it be your orientation leader, your RA, or an admissions tour guide, take advantage of the many student leaders that want to make your freshman experience the best that it can possibly be! If you want to know where the library is, ask them! If you want some secret tips on where the best Mexican food around campus is, ask them! If you just need to know where the restroom is, ask them! I’m sure they will tell you in the bubbliest way possible.
Free t-shirts. A lot of them.
They’re everywhere. Being thrown at you from across the green, handed out in your admission packet, tucked away in your dorm room and even being shot out of cannons.
Pro tip: Get as many as you possibly can, even if it means jumping up and down and being crazy. Honestly, it’s one of the best parts about college.
Overwhelming amount of information.
You will attend session after session of info meetings about residence halls, academic planning, campus resources, and lots more! Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information thrown at you, but don’t feel like you have to remember it all. Unlike the majority of college, there won’t be a test at the end of orientation.
Pro tip: If you hear something that you know you will want to remember, jot it down or make a note your phone, but don’t feel obligated to write down and remember every single little piece of information.
From rallies to long informational meetings to campus scavenger hunts, you will always be doing something at freshman orientation! Although it’s super fun, it’s super tiring.
Pro tip: Rest up before you even move on campus, because once you get there, you definitely won’t be getting your full 9 hours of sleep. In fact, you probably won’t get a full night’s sleep until after you graduate.
Cheesy getting-to-know-you games.
You probably thought that you were leaving these behind in high school. I’m sorry to tell you that getting-to-know-you games are alive and well in college too.
Pro tip: Just buck up and do them with a smile on your face. It will make the experience more enjoyable not only for you, but also for your fellow classmates.
A group of new friends.
Since you will be meeting so many new people, it’s almost inevitable that you will make some new friends along the way!
However, the unfortunate reality of freshman orientation is that in most cases, the friends that you make will not be the friends that you will keep throughout college. After orientation, the glitz and glam of college wear off, things get busy, you meet more people and your orientation friends might be put on the back burner.
Pro tip: This doesn’t have to happen to you! If you want these friendships to make it past the first week of school, be intentional. Invite your orientation friends to hang out with some of the girls from your floor. Call up a friend and ask them to coffee. Whatever you do, make sure that you are intentional about keeping up with friendships to avoid awkwardness down the road.
A feeling of camaraderie with your classmates.
You are all in the same boat. You’re probably scared, excited and nervous all at the same time. Every single freshman is probably feeling the same way that you are. Relish in it. Enjoy it. It will go by so fast and before you know it, you will be walking across that stage receiving your diploma.