Freshman Orientation at UC Irvine, aka SPOP (Student Parent Orientation Program), is a combination of some “boring” speeches, emotional yet fun games and activities with your hall, and basically no sleep. Overall, SPOP is an experience you’ll never forget.
Incoming freshman arrive at UCI’s Mesa Court and are led to their assigned dorm hall where they begin the first step of UCI. Each hall has roughly 40 incoming freshman with 5 or 6 SPOP staffers. SPOP staffers are current UCI students who volunteer part of their summer to help incoming students acclimate to life at UCI and lead students in games and activities throughout SPOP.
There are 10 SPOP program dates — therefore roughly 600 incoming freshman at each SPOP date. SPOP is a two-day orientation program, and parents are welcome to attend Day 2 (for a fee that covers lunch and workshops).
SPOP morning begins with speeches. I guarantee you, you will get to know the Pacific Ballroom very well. You will hear from important people within UCI, and it may seem slightly boring. But, don’t worry, the real fun is at night. Shortly after, will break into groups based on majors. Each group will go to separate part of campus and meet with the head of the department or an academic advisor and begin scheduling classes. This is the most stressful part of SPOP. My suggestion…BE PREPARED!!! Come to SPOP with at least a small idea of the necessary classes you need to take for your major and for GE’s. If you are in a major that is particularly small (for instance, I am a music major, and in my SPOP, there were only 6 other music majors), then advisors will be able to guide you to pick classes. But, in a more populated major, you may not have the chance to be helped by an academic advisor. Therefore, I suggest to do your research ahead of time!
After scheduling, can you guess? Pacific Ballroom for some more speeches. But then, dinner (which is delicious).
Then came evening activities which is the most memorable. Students walk back to their halls and gather in the common room. SPOP staffers then lead students in games and activities that allow students to get to know each other, and for each incoming freshman to learn more about themselves. Some halls may then break off into small groups and have an open discussion time to talk about what each person is looking forward to/nervous about regarding starting at UCI.
Beginning at 10pm, ASUCI hosts several fun events for students to attend that honestly get pretty lit 🙂 After that ends, the night has just begun. SPOP staffers has creative and super fun activities (such as: a fake proposal to a SPOP staffer, creating skits about Disney movies, or a mini dance party). The night can go on and on. However, if you do feel tired and need to sleep, go to sleep! Sleep is important. Just do realize that some of your peers, pulled all-nighters 🙂
A wonderful breakfast at the UCI dining hall — yum…. Actually, the food at UCI is pretty good, so no complaining there. Then…Pacific Ballroom for a few more speeches that make you totally regret staying up all night. Some students choose to sleep-in instead of going to breakfast and to hear speeches, and while it’s technically okay, just get up and go. It’s worth it because who knows, you might meet your future best friend there.
Shortly after, students have the opportunity to meet with their parents if they came for Day 2. Parents and their almost college freshman can attend workshops together or can break off into separate ones. Workshops consist of campus tours, housing tours, Q & A Panel with current UCI Students, a session about study abroad opportunities, ect. After these workshops, SPOP comes to a close.
Overall, SPOP allow incoming freshman to get a first taste of UCI — making friends in your dorm, listening to someone talk in a room of hundreds of people, and getting little to no sleep.
Are you excited for freshman orientation at UC Irvine? Comment below!
Featured image source: pinterest.com
Hello! My name is Hannah Koury (pronounced like 'Hana'), and I am a freshman at the University of California, Irvine majoring in Music - Oboe and minoring in Digital Filmmaking and Chinese. Go Anteaters!