Human beings typically don’t like change, yet there are times in our life when we have to give up the familiar for a new opportunity. Coming to college is one of those times. The University of Tulsa has a week of Orientation at the start of the new school year in order to help ease this transition. Whether you are originally from Tulsa, moving from out-of-state, or even coming from another country, this week is for you.
Orientation is a time to learn the campus, meet your classmates, and form the bonds you’ll need to get you through freshman year. I work as an Orientation Leader, guiding a group of students through this week to make adjusting to campus as easy as possible. In that spirit, here are my top three tips for getting the most out of New Student Orientation:
In every Orientation Group, there is at least one student who thinks they are too cool to play games or discuss serious topics. Don’t be that student. The best way to have fun and make friends during this week is to be open to activities that you normally wouldn’t try and conversations that you wouldn’t normally have. You might even be surprised by the things you enjoy or learn from the most.
REMEMBER THAT EVERYONE IS IN THE SAME BOAT
It’s easy to forget during orientation week that you aren’t the only one going through a big change. You may look around and see people laughing and talking to each other and fool yourself into thinking that they aren’t feeling scared and insecure like you. That is not the case. Some will handle this change better than others, but no one is completely immune to the uneasiness that comes with meeting new people and getting used to a new place. So do your best to reach out to others this week and don’t think you are alone! Start a conversation with a stranger, invite others into your activity, ask to join someone else’s – you will start to feel like you belong here more quickly than you realize.
YOUR ORIENTATION LEADERS ARE A RESOURCE, USE THEM!
As Orientation Leaders, our whole job is to help you. There are a few more specific requirements, but that one is first and foremost. Take advantage of this! Upperclassmen can help you figure out the best professors to take, how to get involved on campus, what there is to do in Tulsa, and much more. Through our time at TU, we have learned all kinds of tips and tricks that can make your life easier, and we would love to share. Additionally, your Orientation Leaders are some of the best informed people on campus about the services available to students – as are your RAs – so if you need something, ask them about it. This doesn’t just go for during the week of Orientation, but throughout your time as a TU student!