So last week I talked about what you guys should expect as an incoming freshman over the summer, before school actually starts. But seriously, that stuff is pretty boring. The best part begins once you actually get on campus. One of my life mantras (I know right, cool kid) is that college would be better without classes. Okay, maybe that defeats the purpose a little bit, and somehow I feel like my parents wouldn’t be too happy with that idea, but seriously it would be sick. And that’s basically what the freshman orientation week is. My parents always told me before I came to Colby that college wouldn’t be all fun and games, and after the first week I had been at Colby I was itching to tell them exactly how wrong they were, for that’s exactly what the first week was.
I’m sure the whole orientation process changes from year to year, but I think in general the overall structure is the same. The first day is a little bit of a stressful, face paced blur, and last week I already talked about how for us sophmores (incoming juniors? Wow. I definitely just had COOT like.. a week ago) orientation was a little hot, to put it lightly. Anyways, you come onto campus, and there are tables set up somewhere (for us it was by Runnals.. I think) that give you a bunch of sheets and information. (still have to get around to reading those..) You also get your room key, mail key, and some other important things. Generally there are a bunch of CA’s and upperclassmen on campus who are around with the specific job for that day of helping out – both giving information and helping people move in. For you girls out there, you’ll probably get lucky and get some junior or senior to carry your makeup, wardrobes, crates of clothes, trees and whatever else you put in your room.
The rest of that first day generally takes the form of crying parents, a lot of meeting people (I’m pretty sure I was asked where I’m from like 5,000 times) and mostly doing nothing important whatsoever. The whole doing nothing important thing carries on for the next week, where the most pressing thing in your life is wondering what on earth Mingle is and how you should avoid it. (You’ll find out what Mingle is. I’m not telling you. It involves a lot of touching, embarrassment, and getting intimate with each other) Most of this week is set up by students like COOT leaders and CAs and I think you’ll get quite a shock transitioning from high school to what your elder students have set up for you. Well, you’ll probably get a shock for the entire first month of school, but that’s besides the point. I know I’m still experiencing it two years later.
Specifically what the next week entails differs every year – usually it’s just some form of activity to get to know each other, and you stay with your dorm and COOT group for most of the week, so no worries about meeting people. And you’ll very easily meet people outside of those groups too – the first week, everyone goes up and sits with pretty much random people in the dining hall. (Everyone on campus is a freshman like you) I kind of wish we could go back to the first week, it was great. Anyways, my class pretty much had something called Playfarer as our big “thing” (There’s no way I’m going to talk about that. I don’t even want to think about it. I don’t think I ever want to touch that many people in my class ever again. Nah but really, it was a ton of fun. If not really, really weird) The class last year got laser tag, some paint thing, oxygen tanks, and bounce things, which were kind of cool. Well, that’s all I have to say about your first week on campus – believe me, there’s no way you’re going to feel like a college student at all. If you thought you would all of a sudden feel grown up the minute you left your parents and came to college, believe me you won’t. That first week is like summer camp (hence why it’s called Camp Colby). You’ll get a very nasty shock though once the first week of classes begin and you realize that you actually have to do work.
Next week I’ll continue with this first year mantra for you guys and talk about COOT and a couple other loose ends!