7 Tips for making the most of freshman orientation

As soon as I toured East Carolina University I knew that it was the school for me. The last few months of high school I spent most of my time day dreaming about what my time at ECU would be like. I had a countdown to two very important dates- freshman orientation and move in day. I could not wait for orientation! I knew that orientation was going to be filled with meeting new people, fun and loads of information but I got so much more than that out of it!

When I arrived at freshman orientation I was excited and nervous at the same time. I am from Connecticut so I did not know anyone coming to ECU and it was a blank slate for me. In those two days I painted my blank slate purple and gold.

Here are my 7 tips for making the most of your freshman orientation:

Two female roommates by the Turstees Fountain

My roommate freshman year and I at orientation together.

1. Strike up conversations with everyone you can.

Orientation is a great time to meet new people. Everyone is split into a new group with people that they don’t know so making new friends comes naturally. Some of the people I made friends with are still my good friends three years later. There are a lot of opportunities to meet people at orientation so take advantage of them!

friends doing the hook hand sign

My friend Cooper and I who met at orientation and became great friends over the years as we were involved in organizations together.

2. Go to everything

When you get your schedule for the day you’ll get to pick and choose which sessions you want to go to and when. There are sessions on everything from adjusting to life as an out of state student to exploring what major you’d like to Greek life information sessions. Pick everything that interests you and fill up your day! These sessions are great times to ask any questions you have about specific things. At night there is a lot going on too that you can do. There’s a hypnotist show that you can go to and you can go on stage and get hypnotized. There are games, bowling, food and more in Mendenhall Student Center until midnight. All of these things are what make the orientation experience so much fun!

3. Participate in the ice breakers 

They may seem silly at first, but they’re a great way to get to know everyone. It’s a lot more fun to participate than it is to sit on the side watching. Also, you never know what fun facts you’ll learn about your peers when playing, you may have some crazy things in common!

4. Sign up for clubs and organizations 

On the first day of orientation there is an organization fair. At the fair a lot of the clubs on campus have booths set up where you can learn more about them and even sign up for them! Some of the organizations that I signed up for at my freshman orientation are where I met my best friends and they gave me some incredible opportunities. The clubs that you get involved in are a crucial part to making the most of your college experience.

two female students at a basketball game with PeeDee the ECU mascot

My friend Lillie and I cheering on the Pirates with the Student Government Organization.

5. Ask questions 

Orientation Assistants are students who are trained to help get you set up and feeling comfortable at school. They love to answer questions so ask them! No question is a stupid question at orientation. Make sure that you get all of your questions answered so that you leave orientation ready to go for the fall.

group photo of over two dozen orientation assistants in purple shirts

The summer 2016 orientation team when I worked as an orientation assistant.

6. Wear something comfortable 

It can be pretty hot in the summer in Greenville and you’ll be walking all around campus so be sure to wear something that you’re comfortable in.

7. Be yourself! 

College is a time to be yourself and truly do things that make you happy. Orientation is a great start. Sign up for organizations that interest YOU, and talk to people who you find interesting.

Freshman orientation is just the beginning of the Pirate Nation experience. Make the most of your orientation and gear up for the best four years ever! As I enter my senior year I look back so fondly on all that I’ve experienced so far at ECU and it all began with my orientation.