It’s that time of year when recent high school graduates are nervously stepping onto their college campuses for freshman orientation. Their heads are filled with hopes and expectations. I didn't sleep the night before my freshman orientation because I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I didn't know what a seven-hour orientation could possibly consist of. I wondered what the people would be like, if my outfit was acceptable and if any of the other incoming freshmen felt the same way. Looking back now after having completed my first year of college, I realize that stressing that much over orientation was ridiculous. It is a daunting experience, but these four tips should help to ease your nerves.
Be yourself. Leave a good first impression on people, but stay true to yourself. Don't feel the need to exaggerate about who you are or what you've done in an attempt to fit in. Even though it seems as if you won't see these people again for ages, you're only a few short weeks away from living with and going to class with them.
Go along with the program. The icebreakers and all the other games and tasks the orientation staff will give are lame. Everybody knows this. They are meant to alleviate the awkward tension of the group. The person who refuses to do them usually ends up making it quite uncomfortable for everybody else. The silly orientation icebreaker games usually end up being funny. To this day, I have a friend who I met at orientation and we still make a joke about one of the icebreakers we had to do.
Try to meet people. I met two of my closest college friends at orientation. One of them I offered a piece of gum and we just started talking. The other, we bonded over fashion. You don't have to leave orientation with five new BFFs, but do try to make a few friends. It'll be nice to have someone to talk to before you start school or to recognize a familiar face on move-in day. Remember that everyone is just as nervous as you, so don't be afraid to offer a friendly smile and a "Hello."
Get valuable information from the orientation staff. An orientation leader named Kelly said, "We have all been through it so they don't have to hesitate to ask all the questions they have." Ask any and every question you may possibly have – no question is stupid. The staff can give you the inside scoop on residence life and academics – the stuff you won’t find in the college brochures.
Make the most of your summer orientation. It will be your first real college experience. Have fun, meet new people and learn a lot. That is, after all, what college is all about.
By: Lauren Sale | Image: Source