Feeling disoriented during orientation? Don’t worry, everyone is.
College orientation is a fast-paced, action-packed adventure full of laughter and anxiety for all, but it’s important to remember that it isn’t the whole college experience. It takes time to establish yourself at college, and you can’t possibly do that in the span of two days.
In the mad rush from activity to activity, you may find yourself feeling isolated and insecure from orientation’s sampler of college life. All those feelings are perfectly normal when you’re one of thousands feeling that way (even if everyone tries to play it cool). The icebreakers may be brutal at first, but you’ll soon find that they make orientation a communal endeavor, love it or hate it. It’s good to familiarize yourself with the faces you see in your brief visit, as you might just find a few of them again when you return in the fall.
If there’s anything that orientation does well, it’s how it shows the best of being a college student. There are so many options for discovering what you enjoy and, more importantly, who you are, that it may be daunting, but that’s the beauty of being where you are. Don’t feel pressured to suddenly become aware of what you want to do and who you want to be, because it’s not going to happen overnight, as nice as that might sound. It’s a slow and steady process that begins with orientation, even if you leave with more questions than answers. At the very least, you should take orientation as an opportunity to probe the paths you might take when you return in a few short weeks, be it in academics or personal development.
The Editorial Board wishes to impart some wisdom about orientation from people who’ve lived to tell the tale. Scheduling, if you haven’t already heard, might not be the most pleasant experience of your life. Use it as an opportunity to bond, because you’ll come to find that scheduling is always less than pleasant. Be open to socializing, but know you might not make friends for life out of the first people you meet. Those friends will come in due time. Don’t be afraid to ask your orientation adviser about any clubs you may be interested in — they might know how to guide you to your new family. Lastly, don’t be afraid to explore. It won’t be long before the campus you walk upon today feels more like home than home does.
All in all, orientation is a scary and confusing time for everyone, but don’t forget that it doesn’t define the college experience. It’s just a taste of things to come.