Every incoming freshman knows that feeling of nervousness, the morning of the dreaded…FRESHMAN ORIENTATION. Here are 10 things I wish I knew before I attended MSU Orientation…
1. People will talk to you if you show them you’re open to meeting new people.
Don’t be nervous to start a conversation with people because everyone is feeling the same nerve. One of my closest friendships at MSU started from me asking them what their major is. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
2. You might get lost, but there’s always someone to show you where you need to go.
Everyone knows Michigan State’s campus is like a mini city. You’re going to get lost a whole lot, but I learned that during orientation, the staff stand outside and in the halls waiting for people to ask them where certain rooms and classes are. There’s no need to feel lost! Also grab a campus map on your way in, it’s a lifesaver.
3. Making connections is everything.
Orientation is a chance to meet a handful of people you’ll be with possibly for the next four years and it gives you a good chance to meet and bond with people before welcome week. Make as many connections as you can because when you come back in the fall, you’ll already know people, plus you get to meet their friends as well! It’s definitely win win.
4. It’s going to be awkward in the first part of the day.
A good portion of the people attending your AOP won’t be talkative at first. If you feel too awkward at a certain point, start making conversation with someone and know that it WILL get better through the day. Also that it’s for one night only!
5. Take advantage of the free time you get; that’s when the real bonding starts.
The first day from 9pm-11pm you get free time where there’s volleyball, basketball, karaoke, games, and hanging out. Take time to join in sand volleyball games or eat at the taco truck because it’s a fun and easy way to meet more people. Maybe even meet up with a friend you’ve already met and find an activity you can do together. You won’t regret it!
6. Picking classes is very time consuming.
There’s one point in the schedule where you meet your advisor and get to pick your classes, but the time consuming part is that none of your classes can overlap so you end up scrolling through each individual class to coordinate all of them. The good news is, you might not have any Friday classes! Advice: Don’t expect to be done putting together your schedule in 20 minutes.
7. Take time to meet your advisor when you’re given the chance to meet with them.
Your schedule also allows you to meet the advisor or your college. They will be the ones to take care of any questions you have and help you choose the best classes, kind of like a counselor. It’s important to try and form a bonding relationship with them so you feel comfortable coming to them later.
8. A nights worth of stuff can fit in a small duffel bag.
All you need to pack for a night at orientation are toiletries and an outfit for the next day plus a backpack for the day. I made the mistake of not bringing just a duffel and was the only one with a bulky suitcase walking to the dorms. I promise you, you’ll want to pack as lightly as you can.
9. Pay attention to the jobs at the resource fair.
During your orientation, one of your tasks is to go look at the resource fair. It gives you a good chance to find out a lot of stuff before campus before the fall including jobs, sports tickets, theatre and so much more. It’ll also be extremely helpful for students looking for jobs on campus. So grab all the flyers you can!
10. If you weren’t excited about being a spartan before, you will be now.
I was extremely nervous that I wouldn’t like it at Michigan State, but orientation made me feel at home. It can be a scary experience, but if you keep an open mind, the start of your college experience will be one to remember.