Orientation is a mandatory ordeal that most colleges tell their students to attend. It’s a fun, but sometimes terrifying extravaganza that UCSD students undergo. There are certain things I wish I knew before attending orientation, so read ahead to prepare yourself as a UCSD Triton.
1. Make friends and engage in conversations with your orientation group members.
Although you’re 18 years old and somewhat scared to death of the upcoming months of change, orientation is one of the best times to meet people. Talk to everyone you meet and ask questions about what they’re studying/ what they’re like. Always make sure to grab their contact info because as school rounds the corner at the end of the summer, it is extremely nice to be surrounded by a few familiar faces.
2. Do NOT be afraid to ask your orientation group leader (OL) all the questions that pop into your head.
You’re leaving the nest, embarking on an entirely new adventure where there’s a good chance you know near to nothing. So, ASK THOSE QUESTIONS! Remember, your group leader is probably only 1-3 years older than you and may have had similar experiences that you have questions about. It’s way more authentic to get stories through first hand experiences rather than the faculties’ points of view.
3. Also stay in touch with your OL’s.
It’s super important to get your orientation leaders contact info. They could be very helpful with any last-minute questions or need for advice that you have before coming to school. Make sure to ask them questions over the summer, and also ask them about how to get involved if you’re also interested in student well being.
4. Be prepared for lectures, but make sure to pay attention because it is key for smooth enrollment.
Orientation is not all fun and games. Remember it is mandatory for a reason, you are about to be a part of a new institution. Many lectures are given on the how to’s and do not’s, the do’s and how not to’s. The faculty and OL’s will give you detailed instructions and examples of how to enroll correctly to ensure you get the classes you want. They will also teach you the importance behind taking advantage of the services UCSD offers.
5. You were admitted to one of the 6 colleges when UCSD accepted you & your orientation will only be with people of this college.
With the small amount of people and the maybe not so attractive faces that surround you, have no fear this is only 200 out of 30,000 people. Also know that the colleges can be competitive with one another so the students will be pushing that their college is the “best” college.
6. If possible, go to the overnight orientation sessions during the summer.
There are about 6 orientation sessions for all the colleges at UCSD. If you can attend one of the overnight sessions in June or July, you will have a much more detailed session and will feel more prepared for the school year. There are three other sessions a few days before move-in, but time is crunched and you don’t get that overnight experience that could be crucial to avoiding some pre-college panic attacks.
7. Take pictures!
You may have a limited amount of time, but when your OL’s take you on a tour around your college, make sure to take pictures of the buildings and walkways. Then you can study it next to a map to put an image next to the street names. You should also be taking pictures of the dorm room you stay in because then you will have an idea of how much room you will have and you will be able to pick out what you will need in terms of storage and decorations!
8. Save all the papers.
Living in a world of technology, we sometimes neglect the importance of papers when they are handed to us. Word of advice: the booklet they give you at orientation describing how school actually works, keep it dude. It’s possible to find this information online, but let me tell you now that no college website is easy to navigate. It’s much more convenient to just take that booklet home with you and save it when you need to enroll in your classes.
9. It is time to grow up.
Orientation is one of the first steps on learning how to live on your own. You are expected to pay attention and understand your finances as well as how to survive on your own. While your parents will hopefully still be around for questions, it is important to start attacking life on your own and stop relying on your parents to help you with every little thing.
10. Be yourself and have fun!
People are judging you a lot less than you think they are. Let go of the cliquey clichés of high school and the worries of fitting in with the “popular kids”. In the span of a few months, things will have changed drastically and maturity is a quality that you admire. Start your college life out right at UCSD orientation by being yourself and finding the people you feel most connected to.