The first time you really start to feel like you’re going to college is when you go to summer orientation. As you probably already know this can take place anywhere from mid-May to late August. Orientation can be very exciting, but it can also be a major source of anxiety for others. Here are some of the pros and cons about orientation.
1. Pro: Getting in touch
During this time, you are finally getting in touch with your school — the place where you have decided to enhance your knowledge and develop your interests over the next four years or more. You are truly immersed in the school itself during orientation and this is pretty much your first time experiencing what the near future will be like.
2. Con: You have to be social.
For some, this can be easy. You can go out into a big crowd and fluidly become the center of attention and instantly make friendships. But for others, this can be, well, terrifying. Every person there is a stranger and everyone is kind of thrown in together and expected to make friends as quickly as possible. And no one wants to be alone for the next day or two so it’s basically like the friendship version of “The Hunger Games.”
3. Pro: The S.W.A.G. (Stuff We All Get)
T-shirts, tote bags, pens — you name it, you get it at orientation. This is the prime time in which you will be getting a boat load of college apparel and decor. Orientation is the time to get pumped for choosing this college, to really light the fiery passion you will develop for your school. And what’s the best way to do that for soon-to-be broke college freshmen? Free stuff.
4. Con: So. Many. Seminars.
Throughout the next day or two, you will have really interesting and informational seminars talking about all the exciting recreational activities, classes and fun things to look forward to at your future school. However, be prepared for a lot of boring — yet important — ones as well. This can include financial aid sessions, how to use your ID card and all of those necessary things you’ll need to learn about, but you have absolutely no desire to think about them now. Also, these seminars typically occur bright and early so make sure you add an extra shot of espresso to that coffee.
So, now that you see a variety of positives and negatives of orientation, you may be questioning how you yourself feel about it.
For me, I have had the same friends for as long as I can remember. Obviously it is heartbreaking to even think of other people being my best friends in the whole world. I mean, these people know all the little details, like how I have to have my earbuds in the proper designated ears and how my popcorn always needs extra butter. To even think about not always seeing my friends is truly sad and orientation is that big reminder of that, saying, “Hey! In case you forgot, your friends are leaving soon. Have a nice day!”
Despite this, I do actually look forward to orientation. Yes, leaving friends from home behind is extremely difficult, but orientation is the perfect way to meet new people in your future home. Over time, these new people will come to know the littlest characteristics about you. We must all realize that our friends from home won’t be gone forever, they’ll just all come back with more stories to tell. Orientation shouldn’t be viewed as dreadful, it should be looked forward to! Pick your classes, learn about the running club, the intramural dodgeball team or community service opportunities available. Orientation can be that scary alarm warning you that you are leaving soon, but it can also be that inspiring reminder that you are moving forward onto amazing things.
Lead Image Credit: The New York Times