Advice from an Orientation Advisor

May 30th, 2014 by tstjohn

Hello there! My name is Hanna and I’m glad you chose UNE! The next step is attending Orientation. This is something many new students lose sleep over and I’m not sure why! I was in your shoes once. I had just freshly graduated high school two weeks before my Orientation session (I chose the first summer session with the one-day kayaking Trailblazer). Was I nervous? I certainly was. But another feeling overwhelmed any nervous bones in my body: excitement. College is a new, fresh start. And Orientation is only the beginning.

Now, going into my senior year, I work as an Orientation Advisor. My job is to help plan and implement New Student Orientation and make sure that you are prepared and eased and ready to go in August. So you can basically say I’ve been around the block a couple times. In order to help you out, I’ve decided to share some of the wisdom I’ve compiled over the short few years I’ve worked with New Student Orientation. Check it out!

Let Down Your Guard
At Orientation, just about every student is in the same boat: just graduated/are about to graduate, never been to college, nervous, excited, curious, overwhelmed, etc. This makes it easier to connect with each other and get to know each other. Let down any guards you may have had in high school. College isn’t high school and you can have a new start here if you so choose. That new start begins with Orientation. Be open to new people and meet as many as you can and don’t let your past dictate your furture!

Smile
This may seem like a strange “tip” or “piece of advice” but you probably have no idea how much good a smile can do! Some students are going to have a harder time adjusting to college life and this may show at Orientation. Be a friendly face to your incoming peers. They’ll certainly appreciate it!

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
This may seem like a traditional college cliché, but it really is great advice. I remember students at Orientation who step up and stand out. You may not be comfortable getting up and dancing in front of people but heck, if it looks like a good time why not join in? Challenge yourself each day to do something you wouldn’t traditionally do. College is about discovering yourself and seeing what you’re made of. This is one way to start!

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
So many students come to Orientation with one thing on their mind: course schedule. There are so many other important pieces to Orientation that you should be aware of and focus on besides your schedule. Don’t let your overarching desire for knowing your classes ruin your experience! You’ll get your schedule the last day you’re here for Orientation and will have a chance to paw through it. Until then, enjoy yourself. Absorb as much information as you can! Don’t let other little minor issues ruin your experience here.

Be Present
The past is the past and the future is on its way so just live in the moment. This is a crazy time in your life when what you’ve always known/done won’t be the same as what you are about to know/do. At Orientation, be present in the moment. Push things back home aside in your brain and try not to drive yourself insane thinking about your future. Being present will help you get the most out of Orientation so you’re better prepared for the fall.

Lastly, Have Fun
Transitioning to college can be extremely stressful, considering finances, roommates, housing, classes, and growing up in general. We design Orientation to be super informative but also fun. Why would we make you stay here for two and a half days (or longer if you’re participating in a Trailblazer) if we didn’t want you to also have a good time? Go to Hang Time Activities, play Nuke’Em, dance your behind off at the Campus Center Blowout, and just enjoy yourself. This may be a stressful time in your life, but it can also be an incredibly fun time!

With all that said, I know the Orientation staff as well as myself cannot wait to meet you! Take it easy, finish up your senior year strong, and we’ll be seeing you soon! :)