Freshman orientation brings a bunch of new experiences and can be overwhelming because of exactly that. You’re meeting dozens of new people, seeing tons of new places and introducing yourself more times than you can count. In addition to all of this, freshman orientation also brings experiences that can be anything from unique and interesting to flat-out bizarre, and they can definitely play a huge role in shaping your early college experience.
Sometimes these experiences happen in your dorm, involving the people you’re going to be living with for the rest of the year. Dorm life is unlike any other living situation you'll find yourself in — you're surrounded exclusively by people your age — which can mean a lot of very unique experiences, good and bad. Go ahead and embrace the weird!
1. Hayley, Hollins University ‘19
“On my first day of school I had a community standards meeting with every other new student living on campus in which an RA told us, 'There will be no four-legged showers in the dorms' so I looked at my hall mates and said, 'So, are six legged showers cool?' as a joke. A week later I ended up in a six-legged shower with two of these hallmates, at least partially for the irony. That's the story about the time I had sex ironically.”
2. Molly B., Syracuse University ‘20
“A boy from a different floor came to our floor [the first week] in a skin tight bodysuit that covered his face and got in everyone's faces creepily.”
Sometimes these moments can be unique bonding events where you get to know your classmates in a way you might not have thought about. Remember to break out of your comfort zone during orientation week, and speak to people and try new activities that you might not otherwise do: you may find yourself finding an activity you really enjoy or making a new friend.
3. Kelsey M., Montana State University ‘21
“A bunch of us decided to meet up next to the SUB [Strand Union Building], out of the blue, to play Frisbee at 10:30 p.m. on move-in day, with a light-up disc. As people arrived all you could see were their silhouettes, so people introduced themselves in the dark. At one point we had 20 people there learning about each other in the dark! In the days following, when someone sounded familiar you'd ask ‘Were you at frisbee?’ like it was a secret club.”
4. Celeste C., Rutgers University ‘20
“[At orientation for the LGBT freshmen, called Q-mmunity] we built a fort out of all of the lounge furniture and our own pillows/blankets. It was called Fort Gay AF. We built it then had a ‘shit show’ where we sat in a circle and talked about our mental illnesses. Then we crawled into the fort and sang ‘I'll Make a Man Out of You.’"
Sometimes you meet people under circumstances that you normally wouldn't, because all of you are gathered together in a busy, chaotic environment.
5. Becca A., Smith College '20
"I met most of the upperclassmen in our house during Convocation [a carnival/celebration where students dress up] the night before classes started, so most of them were half naked and covered in glitter."
And sometimes, the weirdness of orientation can spread into the first week of classes.
6. Ani H.O., University of Vermont ‘20
“Not orientation, [but the first week of classes] my anthropology professor dressed up as a famous Mexican wrestler, played intense music and stomped around the classroom.”
No matter what freshman orientation brings, you're sure to gain a lot of unique memories. As you head into classes, take some time to look back on them!
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