As we begin orientation sessions on campus later this week, members of the Office of Student Affairs wanted to share a little bit of our own orientation experience.
From Dean Wenner:
It is only now that I am about to write about my college orientation that I realize it was 29 years ago. For those of you doing quick math to figure out how old I am, let me help you out. I’m 46 years old and can still remember my orientation at the University of Pittsburgh. As an introvert, I remember being very nervous leading up to the weekend. While I was very involved in high school, through athletics, newspaper, yearbook, and student council, I was from a very small rural town and had literally grown up with everyone I knew. Meeting new people wasn’t something I had to do since kindergarten and I wasn’t comfortable putting myself in new situations. In hindsight, I realize that stemmed from having low self-confidence, which college eventually remedied! But I digress. My nerves quickly disappeared when we broke up into small groups, began talking about ourselves, our hopes, and our fears. I realized that I was not the only one feeling anxious or outside of my comfort level. From that point on, I fully engaged and enjoyed every minute of the experience. So much so, that the following three years I was an Orientation Leader and was able to help ease the nerves of those students who came after me. One could say that I have never left the Orientation Leader role completely, as now as Dean of Students, my role is to assist our new students’ transition from high school to college. To that end, I look forward to getting to know you, learning about your hopes, and helping ease your fears.
From Dean Fowler:
As a new student at Suffolk University, I remember walking towards the orientation check-in tables and seeing hundreds of people, and I didn’t know any of them. I was nervous. Beyond nervous. I had no idea what I was getting into…what were the next two days going to be like for me? I later learned that many people have these same feelings going to orientation. For the most part, nobody knows anyone or anything. Except for your Orientation Leader. My Orientation Leader was so great at making everyone feel at ease. She talked about being a college student with so much excitement that I couldn’t wait for classes to start in September. Fortunately, this feeling stayed with me for four years. I loved every minute of college.
This year, we have an amazing group of Orientation Leaders who are here to help you feel at ease, meet new people, and get excited for your first day of classes in September. They are the experts at being a Wentworth student so be sure to take advantage of your time with them. Attending Orientation is the first step in what could be the best experience of your life. So go ahead and be nervous, and be confident enough to introduce yourself too. Be curious, and be smart enough to ask questions. Be scared, and be bold enough to push yourself to make the most of these two days on campus. You’ll be glad you did.
From Dean Kosses:
For me, Orientation was a memorable experience, but not because I left the college full of excitement for the coming year. I began looking forward to Orientation being over the minute that I stepped into the room I was staying in for the night. When I arrived in the room, I saw that it was a 4 person suite, with two double bedrooms but the way things worked out I was alone in one of the rooms. That experience of finding out I did not have someone to stay with that evening had set the tone for my overnight stay. When I had visited my undergrad before Orientation, I fell in love with it and knew it was the right fit. I remember being so excited for my father to pick me up and being sad on the ride back home. I talked to people throughout the weekend but never felt that I actually connected to someone. Although my Orientation experience was not the best, I never doubted my decision. Once I learned who my roommate was, I started to connect with her over the phone (no Facebook back then) and I started to feel more comfortable about knowing someone on campus. I learned a great deal from my experience. If I could go back, I would have put myself out there a little more. I recognize that I did not put in the effort to meet others and I let my first negative experience dictate my experience. I quickly decided that I wanted to be an Orientation leader so that I could assist others in their experiences. I wanted to recognize in others what I saw in myself back then and help them connect to campus. The story ends well because I had the most amazing four years at my college and left with some of the best friends I could ever ask for.
From Assistant to the Deans, Jesse Correia:
Over ten years later, I can still vividly remember my orientation. Despite all the time that has passed, I also still get the nervous pangs in my stomach just thinking of it. Out of all of my memories, four very distinct things stick out in my mind:
- I was terrified. I didn’t make friends easily, so I was worried I would fail at what was supposed to be a fresh start for me.
- I remember my orientation leader, Michele, but not our group’s name or even the theme that year. She was hilarious and the most energetic OL; I was in awe of her ability to engage everyone.
- I only made 2 friends, both commuters and both Portuguese, so I was on my own for the evening portion of orientation.
- I got so overwhelmed with nerves, I cried. Once my two new friends were gone, I had to head out to dinner and got so overwhelmed by the thought of having to try all over again. I went to the suite’s bathroom, let out some tears, took a deep breath, washed my face, and went to dinner.
In all honestly, it wasn’t as horrible as it reads, but it was most definitely a lot to experience in 36 hours. It pushed me out of my comfort zone in all the right ways and, in spite of all this, I went on to have a very active social life. I even became an Orientation Leader the following summer!
If I did it, you can do it- trust me! Enjoy the silly ice breakers, be awkward, ask to sit with new people, and just let go.
From our Coordinator of Community Standards AJ Andreucci:
I remember my Orientation as an enjoyable experience, but I did not take advantage of all offered opportunities. I went to a college that was 30 minutes away from my hometown with three of my close friends from high school. I chose the college because I didn’t want to be too far away from home and for the small school experience. At our Orientation, we were all in different groups and had the opportunity to meet other students in our class year. However, when we were not in our groups, I ended up sticking with my friends from home instead of getting to know those in my group more or mingle with other groups. We were not required to stay overnight, so I left the orientation at the end of the day and missed out on the nighttime activities. I had interacted with the members of my group and felt like I made some friends, but I never stepped out of my comfort zone. If I could give advice to the first-year student version of myself, it would be to take risks. To go up to people and connect because it would have made my transition to college a lot more enjoyable. I would have already made connections and would have known more people in my major if I took advantage of all the opportunities Orientation offered.
Your orientation experience is one of your first steps as a Wentworth student. Use the opportunity to not only meet your classmates, staff, and faculty but to get an understanding of what it means to be a part of the Wentworth community. You’ll have time to connect with friends and family from home after Orientation, so use the day and half you are here to be present and learn what Wentworth will be like in the Fall. Have a great orientation!