Orientation is-no lie-one of the scariest moments in your college career. But, it’s also extremely exciting. I mean think about it, this is the first time you’ll be away from your parents as an adult in a completely college-oriented setting. Crazy, right? Now is your time to shine. These simple tips tell you how to successfully navigate ESU orientation without making a fool of yourself. Remember, first impressions are your chance to make the best impression possible. So keep reading!
1. Do NOT limit yourself in any way, whether it’s with people or activities.
You may believe you know who you are and the type of people you want to socialize with, but you really don’t. No one does when they’re fresh out of high school, but that’s no big deal. That’s what college is for! For example, you may have gone through high school feeling that you wanted nothing more than to be a Middle Level Special Education major (like I did!) because you always wanted to be a teacher. Fast forward to orientation and once I started hearing more and more about the education program and how intense the different certification tests are, I knew I needed to change my major FAST and I did and it was the best decision I ever made at ESU. It’s okay to change what you felt comfortable with and try something that you never thought you’d like or befriend someone that you don’t have a lot in common with. The end result is so rewarding, trust me.
2. Do NOT act unapproachable.
The easiest way to make orientation miserable and set yourself up for a semester with no friends is by being standoffish. It’s not cute, trust me, and you will end up very lonely that way. Even if you’re not the most outgoing person (like I am), you can show that you’re open to meeting others by making an effort to join in on conversations and by appearing friendly and communicable. I have a severe case of RBF and a lot of times people think I’m unapproachable and bitchy, but I can be the nicest person you’ll ever meet. It’s all about perception and how you choose to present yourself. Smile and make eye contact; it’s not that hard.
3. Do NOT judge anyone off of their looks, style, or speech.
You’re not in high school (or Mean Girls) and no one should care about what anyone else is wearing or how they look. Unfortunately, high school-esque cliques still do exist in college, but if you’re open to being nonjudgmental and making friends with different people, you’ll be okay. Honestly, your best college friends may turn out to be people you never thought you’d hang out with back when you were in high school.
4. Do NOT be afraid to be alone.
Orientation is scary, and I know I wish my best friend from high school was by my side the whole time, but she wasn’t and I had to deal with it. Being alone during orientation gave me the chance to forge new friendships with other people that were also alone. I met an awesome friend during my first night of orientation and we remained friends all of my first year. If I had been so concerned with the fact that I was alone all weekend I would never have met her and experienced being her friend.
5. Do NOT even bother thinking and stressing about the future.
Don’t worry if your schedule is a mess or that you don’t know your major yet. You’ll figure it out eventually. This isn’t the time for all of that stress. Enjoy your orientation, because once the semester starts, shit hits the fan and you’re stressed nonstop.
6. Do NOT lock yourself up in your room.
I’m an introvert. I wasn’t always like this but becoming an adult has turned me into a recluse. Obviously, orientation was hard for me because I didn’t want to be there especially not knowing anyone. I wanted so very badly to lock myself up in my room and cry all day. But our orientation leaders had practically every minute of every day planned for us so I didn’t have the chance. And truly, I didn’t want to have the chance to do that. It was so important for me to get myself out there and get to know my campus. I mean, this was my home for the next 4 years after all.
7. Do NOT get drunk.
We’re a dry campus in a dry state. Do you really think getting drunk would be a good idea?
8. Do NOT feel like you have to like everyone you meet during the time you’re there.
Trust me, you won’t. Be friendly and accept people and all that good stuff but if there’s someone that just really is rubbing you the wrong way, know that you don’t HAVE to be friends with them. Keep it cordial and move on when you can.
9. Do NOT make yourself look stupid for the rest of your time at ESU.
No lie, there was a girl that was acting so ridiculous during my orientation and I will never forget her. I mean, it doesn’t help that we had a mutual friend so I had to deal with her often but regardless, she was a mess and I will always think of her that way. One stupid move or choice during orientation will follow you for the rest of your time at ESU, especially if it’s monumental. So chill and just stay lowkey to avoid making a fool of yourself. You have the next 4 years to do that.
10. Do NOT feel intimidated by the orientation leaders.
They were in your shoes not too long ago and can relate better than you can imagine. If you have questions about anything, don’t hesitate to ask them. They were hired for a reason. They’re knowledgeable and friendly and really do know what they’re talking about.