Chandler’s Experience

May 29th, 2013 by tstjohn

Chandler, a sophomore Summer and Fall Orientation Leader, writes about her first UNE Orientation experience.

It’s hard to believe that one year ago, I was exactly where you are today. Finally decided on a college (an amazing one at that), about to graduate from high school (yay), soooo ready for summer (I mean really, who isn’t?), and it was time to sign up for Orientation.


…what on earth is Orientation?!


After I signed up, I must have Googled, read, and clicked on everything I possibly could that pertained to UNE Orientation. I even found myself at this blog you are reading right now. With no idea what to expect, I was a little nervous. Okay, fine…a LOT nervous. But the thing was, my excitement overpowered my nerves. This was my chance to immerse myself in the environment I’d be living in for the next four years. It was an opportunity to meet new people and connect with other students who would later become my friends. Little did I know that Orientation would put my worries about college to rest and leave me eager to return in the fall.

The butterflies in my stomach decided to make an unscheduled appearance the moment I arrived at Orientation. So much so that I forgot to pick up my room key. Thankfully, I immediately realized I was missing something and went back to get it. Meeting my roommate was next. She was as nice as could be and we seemed to click well. I then survived the Math Placement exam (it’s really not as intimidating as it sounds), and participated in the remaining activities of the day. I don’t know if I’d consciously decided to do this, but I made it my mission to strike up conversations every chance I had with anyone that would talk to me.

Hi, what’s your name?

Where are you from?

Why did you choose UNE?

I met many wonderful people this way and I definitely encourage everyone to do the same. You’re all in the same boat. Most of you probably won’t know anyone else at UNE so make the most out of your experience! Arrive at Orientation with an open mind. This is YOUR opportunity to start meaningful relationships with other students. Just be you and good things will ensue. You only get one (YOGO! Just kidding, please don’t hate me…) Orientation. Do everything you can to enjoy it!

The Math Placement Exam

May 28th, 2013 by tstjohn

Math Placement!

Alright, let’s be honest: the summer Orientation sessions are just around the corner and this summer, after a long senior year spent battling “senioritis,” the last words you want to hear are “Math Placement exam.” However, the Math Placement exam is important to your career here at UNE.  At Orientation, most students are required to take a math placement exam that will assist in determining which math and science courses they will be most successful in.  Below are a few pointers about the Math Placement exam:

  • 2 hour multi-choice exam.
  • will take place on the first day of your Orientation Session.
  • does NOT allow a calculator.
  • helps place you in the appropriate science and math courses.

Transfer credits will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

AP calculus results come in after Orientation so students are required to still take the exam.

It is important to take the test seriously and do your best!

Prepare for Math Placement!

A strong foundation in general math and algebra is essential if you want to place into college level mathematics. Some of you will benefit greatly by reviewing mathematics concepts and computations prior to the placement exam.

Some of you may be thinking:

-I have not taken a math course for one or more semesters.
-My Math SAT is lower than 550.
-I struggle with math or have math anxiety.
-I earned lower than a B in Algebra I or II.

If you identify with any of the above statements or if you are concerned about your performance, you are strongly encouraged to consider a mathematics review prior to placement testing.

For more information about a formal ALEKS review, visit the Student Academic Success Center’s webpage:

Trailblazer Outdoor

May 21st, 2013 by tstjohn


Chelsea, Trailblazer Outdoor Orientation Advisor, writes about her experience participating in a Trailblazer Outdoor program for her Orientation

The Beginning

Trailblazer Outdoor… Where should I begin? I guess I can start from the beginning with my selection of a Trailblazer trip during summer Orientation. After I sent in my deposit I went onto the website to figure out how Orientation worked and how I could sign up. At first when I saw the Trailblazer option I thought it was required. Which I thought would be absolutely fantastic to go on a trip before Traditional Orientation!  I fell in love with the school even more.


The Options

Reading through all of the impressive choices for Trailblazer trips made making a decision between them very difficult. I was torn between the community service options, because I loved it so much in high school, and the outdoor options. Initially I looked at the service trip to the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center (MARC) and the Overnight Sea Canoe Adventure. I knew that going into school as a declared Marine Science major I would have time to meet plenty of other marine science majors that may have participated in that Trailblazer in my classes, so I chose the Overnight Sea Canoe Adventure. One reason I chose to go to school in Maine was to have access to more “outdoorsy” adventures like camping or hiking. This trip was perfect for me because I would find other people on the trip that liked “outdoorsy” things too.


The Trip

I arrived early to check in because I was wicked excited and nervous for it to begin.  Naturally I try to be the first one there. I did not end up being the first one there but I couldn’t distinguish between Orientation Leaders (OLs) and other students because everyone was friendly and smiling so I assumed they were all OLs. I realized one student was actually going on the trip with me and I started to feel less nervous and became more excited. Altogether, OLs and students, we waited on the lawn for the remaining students to arrive. A girl approached me and asked where she should put her bags. She mistook me for OL (foreshadowing perhaps?) because I was smiling at her! I later found out she would be my bunk mate and my tent mate. We ended up being roommates for the past two years!

Everyone going on the trip showed up and we were soon off on our journey. Remarkably it did not take us long to chat with each other in the van and become acquainted. We got to the Chewonki Foundation, which is where the Overnight Sea Canoe Adventure is held, met with our Chewonki guides, and started packing our things into the canoes.

Then we were off! We reached our destination, a small wooded island. We hauled up and tied the canoes to a tree so we could then set up our camp. The Chewonki guides demonstrated how to set up the tents so we would know how to do it ourselves for the remainder of the trip. There were three girls to each tent, two guys in another, and also a tent for our Trailblazer guides. After setting up camp we cooked our own dinners over the fire with the help of the Chewonki guides. Half of us prepared and made the dinner while the other half cleaned up. This rotation switched for every meal so everyone had a chance to do it all.

We sat around the fire, told stories, played icebreakers or team builders, and more importantly laughed! We had a great time. The guys bonded over their love for football and had realized they attended the same football camp. The girls bonded over not wanting to hear any more about football! But it was all in good fun. The next morning we had packed up our campsite, made breakfast, and set out on the canoes and made way to our next island camp! We paddled all day taking breaks for delicious GORP (Grains or Cheerios, Oats, Raisins, Peanuts, and Chocolate Chips). My canoe partner and I struggled against the current but we did not give up. Even when we lost sight of the rest of the group, we eventually caught up and spotted them waiting in a cove for us. It felt so great to persevere through the tide and finally reach the rest of the group. We then reached the island and did our routine of making camp, dinner, and hanging around a fire.

I really got to know other people and make friends through cooking meals together, paddling (or struggling) together, and laughing over the love/dislike of football! The girls in my tent eventually became my roommates because we all got along and thought, “Well if we can live in a tent together we can live in the residence hall!” Not that everyone will have the same experiences I had on my trip, I like to believe there was a great connection and understanding between us that will always be there. Trailblazer Outdoor will always be in my heart, and here I am, first as a student, then as an Orientation Leader and now an Orientation Advisor.

Although your experience will be different from mine that does not mean it will not be as equally awesome! I would suggest trying a Trailblazer Outdoor program for Orientation because it is a great way to meet and connect with people before you start Traditional Orientation. It’s also a great way to meet people before the school year! If you have registered for Orientation already or have not, make sure you check out Trailblazers to see if it is something you can do! College is about making your experience your own and taking advantage of all it has to offer!

Trailblazers in the Community

May 16th, 2013 by tstjohn

Hi all!

My name is Hanna and I am currently the Orientation Advisor for the Trailblazers in the Community (TBC) program. I will be a junior this coming fall, studying Marine Science with a minor in Education. If you are anything like me, you are equally as excited and nervous choosing an Orientation session and attending it. I want to give you a little explanation on why I do what I do and why choosing a Trailblazer can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can make in an effort to prepare yourself for this upcoming academic year.

Why Trailblazers?

I can still remember the day my mom handed me my postcard from the university telling me how to sign up for Orientation. It had listed all the traditional dates and had this little blurb about Trailblazers. Intrigued, I looked it up online and decided that it’d be fun. I had chosen the One Day River Kayak. While at Orientation I met so many great people. My Orientation Leaders were awesome. They were resourceful, great advice givers, eased my worries, and just plain out fun. They were also great support, already having gone through the transition into college life. The other students in my group were awesome too. We had a blast kayaking down the Saco River and enjoying the sights, as well as an occasional seal or two. It was then that I finally realized that I had made the right decision to come to UNE!

Trailblazers in the Community (TBC)

Through my experiences at Orientation and my experiences being a first year student I decided to become an Orientation Leader. I applied and was selected as a Trailblazers in the Community Orientation Leader, something that had caught me off guard. I had originally applied to be a traditional summer Orientation Leader, but after giving it some thought, my selection had made sense. I have had a strong foundation in community service through high school. TBC has changed me for the better. Last summer was my first year being a part of New Student Orientation as an Orientation leader. Not only had I connected really well with other team members, I connected with new students.

Trailblazers in the Community offers many opportunities for new students to meet fellow peers, upperclassmen, professional staff, and our many community partners. TBC has smaller groups that really help to develop a level of comfort among new students. You won’t believe how sad some students who participated in TBC are to leave at the end of Orientation! It’s a chance to go out into Biddeford, Saco, Kennebunk, and Portland, to name a few, and familiarize yourself with the community you will be living in for the next chapter of your life. It also feels great at the end of the day to know you made a difference!

I’ve had such an incredible experience with my time participating in Trailblazers. From being a current student who participated in Orientation and a TBC Orientation Leader I can say that without participating in Trailblazers, I wouldn’t have made some of the connections I have made today. I can say for all of us here at New Student Orientation that we are excited for our summer orientations kick-off in June. We look forward to having you all here! Whatever you do in preparation for Orientation, all I ask of you is to be yourself but step out of your comfort zone. You will be glad you did!