Seven thousand new, first-year students. Nearly 10,000 family members. Over 400 buildings spread across more than 1,700 acres. Thirty-six days of orientation. Twenty-eight orientation programs. Twenty-four Orientation Leaders.
One Ohio State Class of 2018.
Today begins my tenth summer of working with new student orientation at Ohio State. I could (and would) go on and on about the history of our orientation program (it used to be called Freshman Week and it started in 1927..but I digress), but instead I will take this opportunity to highlight the myriad ways in which orientation is the embodiment of one university on this day one of orientation 2014.
The numbers above don’t lie: orientation brings together a bunch of people and they travel all over campus in a relatively short period of time. Daunting? Perhaps. Overwhelming? At times. I say this not to deter you from ever coming to campus (or to second guess your commitment to Ohio State — you are ready to be a Buckeye!), but to prepare you for what awaits you upon your arrival. Ohio State is a large, complex institution; its resources and opportunities are vast and multifaceted. Successful students are those who learn to navigate those resources and opportunities early on, and that learning begins at orientation.
Orientation is your first exposure to all that Ohio State has to offer. Throughout your two days of orientation, you will:
- meet and mingle with other incoming students, upperclass students, faculty and staff
- register for autumn semester classes and learn more about what is expected of you in a college classroom
- hear about opportunities for co-curricular involvement on campus and in the surrounding Columbus community
- become familiar with policies and procedures surrounding the business of being an Ohio State student
- begin to navigate the physical (and conceptual) layout of campus
It sounds like a lot…and that’s because there is a lot that goes into a university like Ohio State. But it’s nothing you can’t handle, and we’re prepared to support you along the way. All across campus, individuals who care about the successful transition of new students (YOU!) collaborate to make sure orientation runs smoothly all summer (disclaimer: we can’t do anything about the humidity…sorry). When I say that orientation embodies the one university mantra, I truly mean it.
Although you’ll interact with different personnel from different offices and departments — academic advisors, hall directors, FYE staff members, Campus Dining employees, specialists in the Student Service Center, staff in Recreational Sports and the Ohio Union, etc. — believe and take comfort in the fact that we are all contributing to something bigger than ourselves, to one university, to your university, to your Ohio State experience.
This summer’s blog contributors — our incredible team of Orientation Leaders — will be challenging one another to post content about orientation, the first year of college, and Ohio State (all for your benefit, written from the perspective of someone who has been in your shoes). The terms of this challenge are that, a) each post must correspond to whichever day of orientation we’re on in the summer and, b) the current blogger issues the challenge for the next blogger.
For day three of orientation on Wednesday, the talented Jay Seetharaman will blog about the three ways in which the first year of college is like a traffic light. It has the potential to be a CAUTIONARY tale that will STOP you in your tracks, so be ready to GO.