In lieu of repeated names and trying to keep some semblance of structure to this blog, here's another episode of "The Dos and Don'ts." Best consumed with one grain of salt.
Here's how to do Orientation:
- DO DIVE IN HEAD FIRST AND GET OUT OF YOUR DORM ROOM
- DON'T EXPECT TO MEET YOUR BEST FRIENDS RIGHT AWAY
- DO MAKE YOUR DORM ROOM HOME
- DON'T BUY A BILLION THINGS FOR YOUR DORM ROOM BECAUSE BUZZFEED TOLD YOU TO
- DO AND DON'T FREAK OUT ABOUT COURSES
- DO JOIN OCIRCUS!
- DID YOU REMEMBER YOUR GRAIN OF SALT?
Get yourself out there. It's College! Go meet lots of people! Go to events! (But don't feel pressured to go to Orientation parties.)
This one will probably happen anyway, but it goes at the top of the list.
Remember that you're starting with a clean slate. Don't be afraid to be a different person than you were in high school. Be the real you, and you'll get real friends.
However, I know that's a lot of pressure - So...
In the movies, the main characters all sit down at the same table during the very first dining hall meal, or sit next to each other in the first lecture.
While it can happen like that, usually life just isn't like the movies.
There were a lot of people that I met at orientation that I literally never talked to again. Yes, honestly. But there were also a ton of people that I met after orientation who became my best friends. I'm still meeting people who I'm becoming friends with. It's absolutely fantastic.
Give it time, and let your friend group be dynamic. Long gone are the high school days of just being friends with someone because you would be in every class together and see them five days a week.
Welcome to this modular, slightly sad-looking little space. It's your home for the next year.
You have to bring the happy into it. I just moved into my new RA crib in EAST 101, and even though I get a nice divided double all to myself, it still looked sad when I first stepped in, because it was empty. You have to make it home. Put up posters. Loft the bed. I dunno. It's your space, so make it yours.
With that being said, you'll have all year to live in it. Refer to pro tip number one.
Bonus tip: However, your new home might not be just yours. You might be sharing with one or three people. If you've grown up having your own room, it will be different.
Roommate living, however, is a broad enough topic to get its own episode in the near future.
While on the subject of your new digs:
Maybe I'm a minimalist. But personally, I did a little bit of that, and half of it ended up in the Free Store (Oh yeah, we have a Free Store). Go there if you want that stuff. But you might end up hating the clutter, like I did.
Hang on, why are we actually here again? Oh yeah:
Last, but certainly not least:
I may have a bias with this one...
But hey, we have juggling/object manipulation, unicycling, aerials, tumbling, and partner acrobatics.
There's literally something for everyone, of all body shapes and backgrounds, with any experience or lack thereof.
But the real tip here is to find your community/s and join it.
It may take some time, but it's so worth it.
All in all, though:
You don't have to join OCircus!... although I'd really like you to.
Seriously, feel free to ignore my advice and forge your own way ahead. Your orientation and your college experience are just that - yours.
Don't let me tell you what to do, don't let your peers tell you what to do, and don't let your parents tell you what to do (although maybe don't ignore your parents).
This is a huge part of your life. It's the society-approved transition between adolescence and adulthood, the 'pretend' world and the 'real' world (of course that's all rubbish, but you'll probably grow and learn a lot during college).
It's time to start taking responsibility for what you want your life to be and what you want to be in it. You choose your friends, your major, your passions.
But remember to let yourself change and grow.
It is actually crazy to realise how different I am than I was a year ago. I think we don't really realise how much we change, because we always feel like the same person. Consciousness is funny like that.
I have more self-confidence. I'm stronger. I'm more open to new things. I'm kinder, I think. Most importantly, I'm happier.
You're about to dive into an experience which could turn you into a more awesome you.
Sit back and enjoy the ride.