The summer before I entered college was chaotic. Not only did I have to pack all my stuff up but I had to prepare for the all the events that occurred within the first week of school. Preparing to leave my home, my friends, and my family was hard enough. I had no idea what to expect from orientation week. Luckily, orientation week ended up being one of the best weeks I have had during my college career. Even though it will most likely be the best week of every students life, here are a few tips to make orientation at Syracuse University easier.
1. Research the activities going on a week before you arrive.
When I arrived at Syracuse, I had no idea what to do. I ended up hearing about different events through word of mouth and often, that strategy gave me little time to prepare. Orientation week offers a wide variety of fairs and social activities to learn about the school and meet new people so planning what you want to attend will help you to fully enjoy your first week at college.
2. Arrive early on move in day.
For most kids, move in day occurs during a specific time slot and is continuously happening throughout the day. Since hundreds of kids are arriving each day is turns into a chaotic mess. If possible, try to get a move in day time that is earlier in the day so you wont have to fight through the crowds of people leaving and arriving.
3. Join a pre-orientation group.
Most students arrive any day from Wednesday-Friday, but if you register to be in a pre-orientation group, you are able to move in before anyone else. My freshman year, I joined the Build Your Own Experience group and was able to move in the Sunday before everyone else. Some programs include volunteer opportunities, outdoor based activities, or ones for students who are first generation college students. The program was a great experience and allowed me to meet a lot of people before orientation actually began.
4. Wear comfortable shoes.
It may sound dumb but Syracuse University is known for having a lot of hills and stairs. The first couple of days, you will be doing a lot of walking so make sure to wear shoes that are comfortable. It will take some time to get used to the stairs (especially if you live in Day/Flint).
5. Go to every event that you can.
Orientation week provides a lot of activities for students at all hours of the day. During my orientation week, I met a lot of people by going to events, such as late night ice skating, and being social with everyone I met. The events are a great way to make new friends and experience the different things Syracuse university has to offer.
6. People are not as different as they seem.
Going to college is a huge transition from high school. New people, new environment. It can be very overwhelming. During my first week, I was very intimidated by others especially when they began talking about their lives and experiences. At times, I felt like my life was super boring in comparison to theirs. However, over time I learned that everyone had experiences that made them unique.
7. Show enthusiasm.
I did not know what to expect for orientation week but I quickly learned that you got what you put in. My friends and I were quick to get involved in games and activities happening at events (including playing in the big jumpy houses on the quad). It was definitely more fun to enthusiastically participate rather than sit off to the side
8. Other kids are just as scared as you are.
Every kid that comes to college is nervous. I didnt know anyone when I first arrived but I learned that others felt the same way. Allow yourself to be friendly and talk with everyone. It helps you to make more friends and feel more comfortable in your environment.
9. The week will never slow down.
Orientation week is comprised of a lot of events. If you decide to go to a lot of them, your week will constantly be packed. I attended not only all the fun activities but all the professional ones too. A lot of the colleges with Syracuse offer fairs in which you can go meet and talk to professors and heads of the different departments. With the fairs and social events, it is hard to find time to do anything else.
10. Enjoy every last minute you have with the people that drop you off.
College is a blast but dont be so quick to push away the people that love you. My parents and sister helped move me into college and while I was happy to start a new chapter of my life, I was sad to leave them. Even though it wont be the last time you talk to your family or friends make sure you remind them how much they mean to as you move on to this phase of your life.