Orientation: A freshman perspective

It probably felt different for every freshman the first time they stepped onto campus to start the new school year, but soon after everyone had conquered the endless I.D. card line and crammed the contents of their massive suitcase into their new little room, they set off to have a lot of similar experiences.

Whether it was Play Fair, Prelude, Passages, the Urban Plunge or simply trying to find someone to eat with at meals—everyone was in the same boat from there on out. There were “Wow, I’m in college moments,” homesick moments, leaving the room in shower shoes…again moments, and of course, the phone calls to the roommate or security as everyone learned the importance of keeping their key with them at all times.

It’s hard to define or sum up the freshmen orientation experience, but here we go. Whether it was crazy games at Passages or strange things at Play Fair, there was always a group of people (usually wildly dressed) instigating or at least encouraging all the activities.

They were the orientation leaders.

They danced around dressed in bright (or at least strange) clothes/costumes with smiles painted on their faces. Whether or not freshmen liked the games they played, they cannot deny that the group was committed to making them feel welcome and a part of something they should be excited about.

The leaders were crucial because the freshmen were having a lot of interesting new experiences at college.

Among these experiences were learning to live with another person, attempting to find the bright side of a community bathroom, getting used to people forgetting their names, and feeling bad as they forgot everyone else’s.

Ok, most of us have lived with the same people all of our lives—our families. Hard as that may have been for some, they were used to it. The dorm living experience gives all of us the opportunity to bond with a complete stranger who we will be waking up in the same room with for the next nine months. We had to become sudden friends with this person regardless because they would be a constant companion.

If that was not enough pressure, everyone had heard horror stories. The stories of what your third cousin’s best friend’s roommate was like—we all know of at least one. Once move-in day was over and each roommate had warmed up to the other…for the most part…the first night in the dorm happened. This meant the first run-in with a community bathroom. Two community bathroom mistakes that we learned about: looking at the drain, and the classic leaving your key in the room so that you can be locked out while in a towel.

It was a crazy orientation week. There were good moments, bad moments, and lots of fun in between. After all of the speeches we’ve heard about how special the class of 2015 is and how glad we should be now that we’re home, all I can really say is in four years we leave—let’s make the most of it.