Freshman Orientation: Stranger in a Strange Land

College is almost here and I have only one question: WHERE THE HECK DID THE SUMMER GO?!

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff. I don’t know about you, but I am kind of/sort of/holy-crap-yes excited for the upcoming year, especially after going through the required (pause for effect)…

Freshman Orientation (BUM BUM BAH… That probably sounded more dramatic in my head.)

Freshman Orientation Movie Poster

Not the movie.

Here’s what went down during my orientation session:

1. Got orientated (if that’s not a word, it is now). There were these people called Orientation Leaders or OL’s (very creative) who helped freshman around campus throughout the scheduled orientation day. OL’s gave me a schedule for the day, freebie bag and pen, class registration packets, organizational planner, brochures and lots of other informational papers.

2. Sat through an a hour of welcome speeches. These consisted of people (from the Student Body President to the Vice President of the actual school) making wry (*cough*dry*cough*) jokes, thanking us for picking this college, ensuring us that they’re worth every penny, etc etc. In all actuality, it wasn’t that bad. If anything, it got me more excited for the rest of the day and gave me a bad/good case of Antzin-Pants. The cure for Antzin-Pants? Dr. WebMD doesn’t know.

Antzin-Pants is Real

It's not like I just made it up or something.

3. The cure for Antzin-Pants: doing anything. Like splitting up into groups of around 8 people based on your declared major. So because I am a computer science major, I was with 7 other people who would be part of the college of engineering and computer science. Not surprisingly, I was the only one with XX chromosomes (nerd points. Can I get a ka-ching? No?)

We did the usual “say your name, where you’re from, what’re your interests, and what is your major?” The OL broke down the schedule for us, told us where we’d be going, gave us a small tour of the campus and small talked with us. One if the parents was especially chatty and had a lot of questions. Kudos to the OL for not losing her cool.

4. Then comes the specific informational sessions. We picked two sessions from a a list of about five, where we learned about getting involved, getting a job, making the most of college, having fun while studying, yadda yadda yadda. It was good information. Kind of boring, but good info.

And before we knew it…

5. Lunch time! Being the awkward person that I am, I had a tiny tremor of a panic wave as I got my lunch. How many awkward people do we have out there? Yeah? You too? So do you do this when you’re in a new environment? After getting my lunch, I looked around the dining room a few times and did what the “uncertain of herself” individual does: scan, calculate probability of rejection, avoid the weirdos, pick seat based on arbitrary calculations. Do you do that, too? Yes? Even if you said “no,” high five.

Laughing Laughing Laughing

Not pictured: Me

Well, after all this brain-straining work, I just picked an empty table. Yeah, I’m that un-gutsy. Fortunately, a person came by and sat down and we struck up a pretry decent conversation with only minimal awkward pauses. Then a few other people sat down and it was like fiesta of fellow nerds. No, I’m sorry – of “intellectual badasses.” They were talking about their IB (does not stand for “Intellectual
Badass,” in case you didn’t know. Although the coincidence is fantastic) classes. One said she could only take seven, instead of the eight IB classes that she wanted to take. I’m just nodding and smiling like my introvert self. I have nothing to add because I only took AP classes, not IB. *sigh*

Intellectual Badassery at work.

6. With full belly and sluggish gait, I made my way to the activities fair. There were tons of booths set up with representatives ready to promote their activity or spout off plenty o’ useful info about transportation costs, financial aid, clubs, student government, multicultural services… There are a lot more, but my feeble mind won’t cooperate with me. So I made my way to each, filling out this “Activity Fair Bingo Card” When I was done with that, I got a free eco-friendly T-shirt. Awesome.

7. Hi ho, hi ho, off to advising and registration we go! So I met back up with my group and my OL, who led us to the college of engineering and computer science. We were presented with a slideshow detailing our major and general education requirements and opportunities. This – yet again – pumped me up for the fall term to finally arrive. Computer science isn’t actually the most exciting, captivating subject, unlike the art of underwater basket weaving, but I was on the verge of jumping up out of my seat and doing the Pee Wee Herman “Tequila” dance (Watch ithe video. You know you want to. He’s my idol.)

Pervert's Playhouse

Not really.

We met with our major department’s advisor, figured out what classes we needed to take and then signed up for them. What was really neat and what I hadn’t expected was that the classes we needed to take for a Bachelor’s degree were already laid out for us. All the required classes (with designated empty spaces for electives), were laid out in a four-year grid, so most of the work was done for me! It was a relief because I had thought that I would have to flip through a book, earmark pages, flip some more, hold finger on another page, lose a page… In short, I thought the process was going to be long and hard.

That’s what she said.

That's what she said

Sorry. Couldn't help it.

8. Victory dance. On the inside. I didn’t want to look like a complete idiot in front of my future faculty members and peers. No need to make the first impression of a – well, if I wrote what I was about to write, I’d probably offend people of the, erm, “Rainman” persuasion.

And that was more or less my day of frosh orientation. How do I feel? If I haven’t said it enough, I am ecstatic, thrilled, anxious, and uh, and awakened, aroused, discomposed, frantic, in a tizzy, on fire… I have to stop using

For the first time, I am not stressed or worried – for now. I know once the first day of classes nears, I’ll be a mental and emotional wreck. My sleep patterns will resemble a crack addict’s; my fingers will twitch like a tweaker’s; my moods will rage like a person on PCP…

See, kids, you don’t need drugs to feel like a drug addict.

Preachy moment over.

Have you gone through freshman orientation yet? Was it traumatizing, amazing, boring, explosive, all of the above? Tell me about it in the comments.

Images courtesy of IMDB and (photostock).