|My dorm is definitely photogenic.|
I’m writing this mostly because I had no idea what to expect for orientation. Mine was just a two day event during the summer and wasn’t going to be like the move-in “Welcome Week”. Google failed me when I tried to find a post about what other college orientations were like and the truth is your orientation will be different from mine. But hopefully it’s a little comforting knowing sort of what its like?!
The purpose of orientation is just so you know kind of what’s going on. You’ll kind of know the campus. You’ll kind of know about all of your resources. The main point for my university’s orientation was to register for classes and a chance to meet your academic advisor. This isn’t your only time to make friends! It’s extremely awkward having to introduce yourself to random people. To me it seemed forced and unnatural. For some reason I was extremely irrational and thought orientation was my only chance to make friends – that’s not true at all.
But your university will probably make it ridiculously easy to meet people. You’ll be split up into groups and probably play lame icebreaker games (they are dumb but they have a point)! Mine was based on what college we were in within the university, so I was with a ton of other social science and humanities majors. I ended up exploring Boston late at night with two other girls I met in my orientation group and I was actually being social. That is so unlike me because normally I would have gone back to my room to blog. This is so trite, but university is the perfect time for a fresh start. I’m an extremely anxious person, but my “trick” for being social is to pretend like I’m an actress playing an confident and outgoing person. At orientation it was a lot easier to sit down next to complete strangers and introduce myself because they had no idea who I was. I could be anything. I was terrified for lunch because I thought it would be like in the movies where I’m the sad girl who doesn’t have friends, but everyone is in that position. I went up to a group of girls that were already friends and they were welcoming! Anyone who is worth your time won’t say “you can’t sit with us.”
I forced myself out of my comfort zone numerous times during orientation, but if you’re introverted it’s also important to give yourself some alone time. There were optional socials late at night that I would stay at for 20 minutes and then allow myself to go back to my room if I was feeling overwhelmed. It was a lot to process in those two days and at first I felt guilty for being “anti-social” – but it’s not like I was intentionally trying to keep to myself! It’s natural for me to want to have time to recharge before another social interaction.
Okay, so I’m trying to write this as a guide but it’s not flowing that well so I guess I’ll just share random “highlights” from orientation. They give you a lot of free food which is awesome, but it’s also a cautionary tale of how accessible unhealthy food is at college. The best part of orientation for me was bonding with other economics majors. There was about 10 of us and we each had to meet with the academic advisor, but we were allowed to leave once our session was over with. The problem was that we had no idea where we were on campus so we all waited for each other. How precious is that? It was so easy to talk to them, which is comforting considering we’ll have most of our classes together. I am so hyped for college to start.
(This is a super vague post because my orientation was July 27th - 29th and I can't recall vivid details. I'm sorry I procrastinated this post so much!)