Orientation at Ole Miss is an overwhelming two days that I was definitely not prepared for. The long days and flood of new information that I received completely caught me off guard. Don’t get me wrong it was extremely fun meeting new people and learning all about my future home, but it was also pretty stressful. Here are 10 things that I wish I knew before going to the University of Mississippi Orientation.
1. Be prepared for the “name game”
For those of you that do not know what the “name game” is, it is an icebreaker game where you have to think of an adjective that starts with the same letter as your first name and everyone goes around the circle and says their adjective and their name. Whoever is the last person in the circle has to say everyone’s name and adjective. For a person who is horrible at remembering names, this is a nightmare.
Aside from having to remember all the names and adjectives, thinking of an adjective can also be difficult. This is especially the case when your name starts with a “k” and all the other “k” people took your adjective. Basically, just try to think of an adjective or two before hand so when it’s your turn to say your name and adjective, you aren’t just standing their like an idiot.
2. You will receive summer reading books
Unfortunately, this is one of the first things you will do on the first day. All incoming freshman grudgingly stand up as the orientation leaders pass out the books. There are two books, the orientation leaders will say one is optional, but the other is necessary.
Luckily, I had an early orientation, so I had plenty of time to read the books, but if I had been in a later sessions I would have definitely been stressed about getting two summer reading books at the last minute. So, heads up, you will be receiving your first homework assignment whenever you go to orientation.
3. There is a choreographed dance
The very first thing you do after check-in, on the first day, is head to the Fulton Chapel for the Orientation introduction. There will first be a few brief speakers and then there will be a video of all the orientation leaders. Right after this video, the orientation leaders will run in from the back of the chapel to the stage, and will enthusiastically perform an impressive choreographed dance. If you are not prepared for all the energy and excitement, this will definitely catch you off guard. I would suggest grabbing a coffee beforehand, so you are already awake enough for this kind of energy.
4. The orientation leaders can answer just about anything
Personally, I loved my orientation leader! She answered every question I had and was super sweet! As far as I could tell, all the leaders seemed extremely nice and nonjudgmental, so feel free to ask almost anything you want to know about the school. If your orientation leader doesn’t know the answer to something, they will more than likely find someone who has an answer. However, if you want to find out things like where the best bar is, or where the best parties are, they cannot answer these questions while they are working for the school.
5. There are some boring parts
Of course, the entirety of orientation cannot be filled with fun dances and hilariously awkward icebreaker games. Unfortunately, you will be forced to sit through presentations that probably will not keep you engaged the whole time. Some people in my group decided that these presentations would be good times for a nap. This is fine, just make sure you know what presentation you will be missing before dozing off, so you don’t miss anything too important.
Also, if you choose to sleep, at least try to hide it. The people presenting know that they don’t have the most glamorous topic, so try not to be too rude. If I had known about these boring presentations beforehand, I might have brought a snack or something to do, in order to at least keep me semi-attentive.
6. The ID line is long
It is required that you get your ID card before or during orientation. If you choose to wait and get it at orientation, the line will be extremely long and you might have to miss lunch in order to avoid the line. The smarter thing to do would be to fill out the online form and send in a picture of yourself beforehand, so you can avoid the line completely. You should have received an email about student ID’s, or will receive one before you go to orientation, with instructions on how to get your ID ahead of time. You should really consider getting your ID before your orientation, so you have one less thing to worry about and so you can relax during your breaks instead of worrying about getting your ID.
7. What to wear
Going into orientation, I was expecting to be walking around campus all the time… I was wrong. For the majority of the first day you will be sitting in the Fulton Chapel, listening to many different presentations. Do not make the mistake of dressing for the hot weather because you will need a jacket.
Also, you do not need to dress up at all. Most people dressed comfortably, so you may stick out if you show up in your Sunday best. With that being said, wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and don’t worry about what other people are thinking! Be yourself!
8. Research professors and classes beforehand
Do your research! When it gets time to do your scheduling you won’t really have a ton of time to research every professor and every class, so do this ahead of time. There are student comment areas that give honest opinions on professors, so those are probably the best ratings to look at. Also, do not have your heart set on one professor or one class, have backups.
When it gets time to schedule your classes, everyone else will be scheduling their classes too and you most likely will not get your first choice of classes. I would suggest researching the classes and professors ahead of time and deciding which ones you absolutely do not want, opposed to picking out the one you do want. This way when you see that your number one pick is not available, you will at least have some more options to choose from.
9. Try to coordinate with your roommate
I did this, and I I think this is definitely one of the best decisions I made. This is especially a good idea if you are rooming with someone you have not met in person. Not only do you get to meet your roommate in person, but you also have a someone at orientation that you at least kind of know. For me, coming from out of state and not knowing barely anyone, having my roommate there made orientation much more fun. There are so many people at orientation, so having someone you know there makes the whole experience much more comfortable.
10. You will be bombarded with t-shirts
Wait to go to RebelRags until after orientation is completely over! You will receive numerous t-shirts, even if you don’t ask for them. There are t-shirts for signing up for a meal plan, just being at orientation, and even more depending on which presentations you choose to go to on the second day. Once orientation is over, then you can go buy some more clothes. I bought multiple t-shirts before orientation, later I realized I should have just saved my money and kept the free ones that are given out.
Bonus: Everyone else is new too
College is the time to reinvent yourself and to become whoever you want to be! Orientation is the first time to test out this “new you”. Remember that everyone else is going through this same thing, so be yourself and try not to care about what others are thinking. With that being said, treat others how you wish to be treated. Don’t go around judging people or putting yourself above anyone else.
Everyone else is also trying to figure out who they want to be for the next four years, so don’t label someone for how you perceived them at orientation. They may completely change during the time between orientation and move in day. Just be nice to everyone and try to have a good time!
Do you have anything to add about orientation at Ole Miss !? Share in the comments below!
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