How to Make the Most of Freshman Orientation

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When first starting Siena, the new student orientation terrified me. For most of my friends headed for other schools, orientation took place some weekend mid-July, with their parents present and with the knowledge that they’d be home again in a day or two.

At Siena, we do things a little differently. Orientation starts on Move-In Day, several days before classes start, and continues throughout first week of class. It’s a hectic time: you move in, meet your roommate, RA, and hall mates, say goodbye to your parents, and are officially welcomed to college—all in the span of a few hours.

The craziness continues throughout the next few days as you’re whisked from one activity to the next. You get to know other students on campus, learn a bit about the Franciscan tradition you’re entering into, and prepare yourself for the college experience.

As such, I thought I’d compile a list of several orientation tips that incoming freshman-me would have really appreciated upon first starting college here at Siena.

Be friendly.

I know that it might seem cliché, but friendliness is a super important part of orientation. First impressions really do make a difference, so being a tad bit more smiley or outgoing than you might usually be might help you get to know a few more people during those first couple of days.

Pay attention.

While all of the sessions are important, some might interest you more than others- that’s only natural! It might be hard at times, but pay attention to the information that the various presenters are sharing. All of it is there to help you adjust and make your time at Siena as wonderful as it can be!

Really get to know your Saint group.

Even though you may not know all of the people in your orientation group starting off, these people are going to be your hall mates all year. Orientation is a great way to get to know them and have fun with them before classes start and you have to switch into academic mode.

Keep going to events, even if you’re tired.

Orientation is designed to keep you busy and interacting with your fellow students. It helps to dispel some of the homesickness of the first few days, and gives you a head start on making friends. Most of the activities are mandatory, but try to go to the optional ones, even if you’re tired. Chances are, you’re going to have a lot more fun there than staying in your room.

Fully involve yourself in the games.

Some of orientation is designed to give you information about on-campus resources, but there is also a great deal of ice-breaker games and activities. Even if they seem a little silly, give them your all. You’ll meet lots of new people, and they’ll have a chance to meet you!

Talk to your SAINT leader or RAthey’re both great resources.

Have any questions about campus right when you get there? They have the answers. They can tell you how to not look like a freshman in the dining hall, where to find Health Services, and are a familiar face to see on campus in those first couple of weeks.

Have fun!

As with most things at college, orientation is what you make of it. With the right attitude, you can have the best start to your Siena experience!