“Fly in! Fly out! Introduce yourself…” Haven’t heard this little jingle yet? Well, you sure will at Temple University’s freshman orientation! While some students are ecstatic to finally see what it’s like to live in a dorm or try Insomnia Cookies, others could be quite frightened about being in a new environment where they might not know anyone. But have no fear! As someone who has experienced freshman orientation herself, I’ve compiled a list of ten things I wish I knew before I went to orientation at Temple University to help make the experience easier and more enjoyable for you!
1. The earlier your orientation date, the better.
As a freshman, you can’t select classes until you attend orientation and receive a special code to log in. Therefore, the earlier your orientation date, the earlier you’ll get to pick classes. This is especially beneficial for CST students since those classes seem to fill up fast. This could also prevent you from having to take a dreaded 8 a.m!
2. Pack walking shoes.
A large chunk of your day will be walking to and from different buildings around campus for presentations. If there’s one thing I regret from attending orientation, it’s the fact that I chose to wear sandals the entire first day. My feet were in unbearable pain for a good week after I left! Ditch your flats and fancy sandals for a comfy pair of Nikes that have good support.
3. Get ready for icebreakers!
Cue moans of disgust… Yes, you will have to take part in icebreakers with the group you are assigned to. Games range from group to group, but in mine personally, we played a game with our names and food. For example, I would say. “Sydney sushi”. The person after me would repeat my answer, and then give one for their own name, and so on. It helped us to remember names based on association and got us all laughing! My best advice would be to go into orientation with an interesting fact or two about yourself.
4. Research classes before you come.
This is a huge point. By coming into orientation with a list of core and breadth classes you are interested in taking, you’ll be ahead of students who do not. Overall, this could be the difference between you getting into a class or not. This can also make meetings more meaningful, especially if you need to meet with an academic advisor.
5. You’ll be sharing a room with a random person.
Although this can initially be pretty awkward, don’t worry! It’s likely your roommate is just as nervous as you are to be sleeping in a room with someone they don’t know. Break the ice with them by asking about their major, where they are from, or what dorm they’ll be living in in the fall. Who knows? You both might have more in common than you think! Maybe you’ll even become great friends. If not, don’t sweat it. It’s just one night, and you honestly don’t spend too much time in the room other than dropping off your stuff in the morning and sleeping.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
This is your time to get any last-minute question answered by professors, deans, advisors, and current students. Don’t be afraid to speak up! If you have a question, it’s likely twenty other people in the group have it, too.
7. Bring snacks.
Although this might seem a little strange, it’s a must. Lunch is pretty early in the day, as is dinner. Although Temple did offer free Insomnia Cookies and Rice Krispies Treats at night, they ran out quickly. I ended up walking across the street to 7/11 with some new friends because we were so hungry from walking around all day. I would recommend bringing some granola bars or trail mix!
8. You don’t have to dress to impress.
Just like with shoes, the more comfortable your clothes are, the more comfortable you are going to be. The first day of orientation is quite tiresome, and the last thing you’re going to want to be thinking about is how uncomfortable or hot you are in the outfit you chose. Shorts and a nice shirt or a simple dress are great choices. Athletic shorts and a t-shirt would also work! I would also recommend a sweater or sweatshirt in case any of the buildings get too cold during meetings or presentations.
9. Use your free time to meet new people.
There is actually some down time. This includes meals and after 10 p.m on the first day. Be sure to go down to the basement of J&H to take part in the Owl Team’s activities! Another great thing to do is take a walk around the dorm. Some freshmen left their dorm doors open, allowing others to drop in and talk. There are also board games in the lobby if you want to get competitive. I definitely recommend either!
10. ID pictures are taken on the second day of orientation.
Your ID is something you carry around every single day for four years, so this single photograph is pretty important. From what I’ve heard, it’s close to impossible to get a new picture done. It’s also important to keep in mind that the background for the picture is red… Plan accordingly!