Jordan’s Experience

June 11th, 2013 by tstjohn

Jordan, a sophomore Summer and Welcome Back Week Orientation Leader, writes about her UNE Orientation experience.

            My suitcase was all packed and ready to go by the door. I hugged my pillow and looked around my room, certain I had forgotten something important that I would desperately need and be unable to be without for the three days I would be gone. Having never even gone to summer camp, three days felt like a while. For the first time in my life, I had butterflies in my stomach. But I wasn’t only a bundle of nerves- I was also incredibly excited. I had no idea what this Orientation would bring, but I could not wait to find out.

When I pulled into the school, the butterflies started their annoying dance in my stomach again, but I ignored them as I started to bring my things into my room. I unpacked and realized I hadn’t forgotten a thing. In fact, I probably brought too much. Who could wear 6 pairs of shoes in three days?? I turned to say goodbye to my mom and little sister. I remember my mom was sniffling and I rolled my eyes and pushed her out the door. “I’ll be fine! What can happen in three days?”

The answer, I would come to find out, would be “a lot”. There were tours and activities and ice-breakers and skits and dances and soccer games and laughs. There were so many laughs. Within an hour on that first day, I couldn’t even remember ever being nervous at all.  The Orientation Leaders were incredible, easing us all in until we felt like we had been there for ages. I left at the end of the three days eager to come to school. It already felt like “mine”, because of the Leaders and all of the friends I made. I still remember where I stayed, who I roomed with, who was my OL… It was one of the best 3-day-stretches I’ve ever had. I hope it will be yours, too.

Jesse’s Experience

June 3rd, 2013 by tstjohn

 

Jesse, a Trailblazer Outdoor Guide, shares his experience participating in a Trailblazer as well as Traditional Orientation.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

You made it to college Orientation!

Give yourself a pat on the back you deserve it with all of your hard work thus far. Just a short year ago I was in your exact situation, dealing with graduation, sending in SO MUCH paperwork to UNE and finally trying to plan out my summer. Then on top of that, the thought of college Orientation gave me a bit of anxiety; I really had no idea what Orientation was or how it worked. So I found myself scrolling through the Orientation page on Facebook to learn all that I could. I stumbled onto the blog and after reading the posts I was a bit relieved to find the Orientation Leaders sharing their own experiences (so I am returning the favor). After reading them I thought that I had this Orientation thing in the bag and that it was going to be a blast (it was)!

 

I arrived at Orientation early for the Overnight Sea Kayaking and Ropes Course Trailblazer Outdoor Trip. Once on the island, our group immediately jumped into some hilarious ice breaker and name game activities. For the rest of the night we just hung out with our group members and just got to know each other. Then the next day we started working on team building activities that really brought our group even closer together and soon our group developed trust. After that we moved onto the way-more-incredibly-fun-things like sea kayaking, (my personal favorite) blindfolded rock climbing (…Yeah! blindfolded rock climbing), and finally finishing it off with zip lining across the island! My time on the Trailblazer trip was probably one the greatest times of the beginning of my college career. These memories on the trip are some of the most prominent not only because of all the incredibly fun things I got to do, but the fact that the Trailblazing group and I got to become so close in those few days. Trust me: if you are going on this trip you are going to have a blast!

 

Now back at school for Traditional Orientation, I was thrown right into the experience. Immediately upon returning from a few days camping on an island I had five minutes to freshen up in the bathroom for our school ID picture. . . which will stay with you until you graduate! However, to this day I have not met one person on the UNE campus that has said they like their photo they took, so don’t worry you will not be alone. Then after the photo and a quick shower we then start running through the basics: met some of the Deans, the President of UNE, the Orientation Advisors and Leader, and took the math placement exam (which is not as scary as it sounds, you will do fine). Then, finally, at night is when you get to take a load off and relax. . . NOT! That’s the time when all of the fun activities on campus happen like volleyball, movies and a dance! You just got to get out there and jump right in and in the end it just so happens that you make friends. My favorite part of Traditional Orientation was when I pulled an impromptu “all- nighter” with my new friends and we spent the night talking and getting to know each other.

 

Just remember, go into Orientation with a positive attitude. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone! Everyone is feeling the same anxieties you are, so try something new, get a little out of your comfort zone and I promise you will be glad you did with all the friends you will make. Just be prepared to answer what your name is, where you are from, your major and why you chose UNE!

 

See you this summer!!!

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:

http://bit.ly/UNEmathplacement

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!