At orientation, you’re expected to meet new people, register for the most interesting classes possible, explore the coolest spots on campus and even reinvent yourself.
The buildup to these two days at BU has been progressing for quite some time — it’s your first time as an official college student, which can be exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. Regardless, you probably have high expectations for your orientation experience, and there is immense pressure to meet these expectations.
You may think that your experience at orientation will determine the rest of your college experience. If you don’t secure a friend group at orientation, you won’t have friends for the next four years. If you don’t take the right classes, you’ll be behind schedule for your whole college career. If you don’t make a great first impression and be the kind of person you hope to be in college, you’ll never be that person at this University.
These pressures can be paralyzing, and if you don’t feel like you’re doing everything right during your time at orientation, it can be disheartening.The fact of the matter is that everyone sets unrealistically high expectations for themselves at orientation, and there are few people who have a completely fulfilling experience.
It’s okay if you don’t meet a group of people you click with immediately — you’ll meet your closest friends in your classes, residence halls and through the clubs and organizations you join.
It’s also okay if you aren’t happy with the classes you register for — thousands of other incoming students are registering for classes at the same time you are, so sometimes your first choices will be unavailable. A little-known fact is that you’ll also be able to change your schedule during the first week of classes, so don’t stress about creating the ideal schedule right away.
And if you feel too shy to reinvent yourself as the outgoing college student you want to be, that’s okay too — it takes everyone a different amount of time grow into the person they want to be in college.
Orientation is not the be-all, end-all of your college experience. Although it is the beginning, it certainly does not define or dictate who you will be, the field you will study or what you will experience in these next four years.
Although the pressures and expectations of orientation are stress-inducing, it can still be good to take advantage of this time. People will be most open to making friends during this time — you don’t have to find your group in two days, but just keep in mind that everyone is trying to make friends now, so it’s easier in the beginning. And although registration at orientation is different than it will be later on, remember that this is the beginning of creating your own schedules and staying on top of what classes you need to graduate.
Orientation can be a great time to take advantage of academic advisers and ask questions about how to stay on track. Take advantage of your orientation advisers as well. They’re all current students who know everything there is to know about BU, and they’re probably more than happy to answer whatever questions you may have about how this all works. However, don’t be discouraged if these advisers don’t offer the advice you’re looking for — you will find someone who can.
Overall, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have a stellar experience at orientation. If you find your group of friends, come out of your shell and register for all the classes you want: more power to you. However, if you feel like your experience is not everything you expected it to be, don’t beat yourself up over it. You have four whole years to experience it all and make BU your home.