Orientation: Past, present and future

We’re just two short weeks away from the first day of orientation for new freshmen beginning their first year at Ohio State this fall. Let’s see where we’ve been and where we’re going with orientation programs.

The history of orientation programs dates back to the early days of higher education in the United States. Harvard College, founded in 1636, was the first institution to implement a system by which experienced students helped new students in their transition to campus. Along with a personal support system, new students were introduced to certain “rites of passage”, which would likely be considered hazing today.

Toward the end of the 19th century, Harvard maintained faculty contact with students by assigning faculty members administrative responsibilities outside the classroom; one of these responsibilities was the orientation of new students. It wasn’t long before other colleges across the country became invested in the concerns specific to freshman students.

Today’s orientation programs have evolved from merely providing individualized faculty attention to focusing on myriad issues while responding to the needs of an increasingly diverse student and family population.

Orientation at Ohio State

In 1926, Ohio State enrollment had already reach 10,000 students, more than 25 percent of whom were freshmen. Freshman Week – later known as Welcome Week – started in 1927 under the leadership of President Rightmire as a way to help acquaint students with campus, to engage students in fellowship with one another, and to improve student retention. By 1947, orientation was a formalized university program.

Two-day orientation programs began at Ohio State in 1961; our schedule in 2015 is a modern version of what existed 54 years ago, including small group activities, advising and course registration, placement testing, and student identification photos. Staffs of upperclass peer leaders have varied in size – ranging from 11 to 34 undergraduate students – and represent the diverse interests and backgrounds of the university student body.

This year’s class of new students will meet their FYE Peer Leader at orientation, and these Peer Leaders will continue to engage in outreach and relationship development throughout the new students’ entire first year at Ohio State.

We look forward to welcoming our new students to Ohio State this summer!

Freshman orientation, September 1953 (Photo courtesy of University Archives)

Freshman orientation, September 1953 (Photo courtesy of University Archives)

 

Remember me? That Bernie guy…

Oh hey! I remember you; you’re that funny guy from Orientation!

That’s how most you of know me. At least that’s what you say when you see me on campus. Yes, I was the guy who welcomed you to Orientation. It’s a great job, it really is. But sadly, that’s probably the last time most of you saw me or my colleagues in First Year Experience. And why should we expect any different. We work on the third floor of the Student Academic Services building on the far edge of campus. You have no reason to wander up here.

Many of you are probably still connected to your Orientation Leader, right? I’m sure they may help you from time to time. “Yes, but Bernie, they don’t actually work for you anymore,” you might say. That’s right. The summer is over. The red polo shirts have been retired.

[End scene]

My colleagues and I started a conversation just like this a little over a year ago. It wasn’t hard to figure out that we’ve been doing this all wrong. The people you might actually listen to, connect with and reach out to when you have a question (your peers, that is)…we let those people go. Every August. And now, during the school year, we’re hoping you’ll listen to us. A bunch of staff members who haven’t been college students for 10 or even 20 years. Heck, my son is closer to your age and he’s nine.

So, I hope you’re not offended, but starting this fall, when it comes time to actually connect with you, it won’t be me or my colleagues leading the charge anymore. Instead, we’re going to let you connect with and talk to a fellow student. And not some random upper-class student you haven’t met before (because honestly, that’s always awkward) but those same students you’ve come to know and trust because they helped you feel at home, get some answers and have a great time at Orientation.

Now, there will be a slight change. We won’t call them Orientation Leaders anymore. They’ll be so much more than that. They’ll meet and help new students like you over the summer at Orientation, just like they always did, but now they’ll stay in touch, answer your questions and help you explore Ohio State all throughout the year. And the new name: FYE Peer Leaders. Simple, right?

I have a hunch that some of you (if you’ve read this far), might be thinking, “Bernie, how can I apply for this new Peer Leader job?” Well, I have good news for you. The application is available now (through January 30). All you have to do is go to our webpage to find out more about applying. I hope you’ll watch the short video and maybe even join us this month at an info session.

The one catch is that this job isn’t for everyone, and you may not be ready…just yet. I say that because I remember applying for a pretty amazing job on campus my first year, one that had the potential to impact other students. I started the process, filled out the application and even successfully made it through the group interview. But then, just before getting the final word, I removed myself from the process. Why? Well, I knew I wasn’t ready yet. I barely knew myself, how was I going to help others. I still had some growing up to do. The next year, my sophomore year, I applied again. And this time I stayed with the process. The very next fall I became an RA in Taylor Tower and had the time of my life helping other students.

I hope, when the time is right, you’ll apply to be an FYE Peer Leader. First-year students need people like you in their lives. We understand that now.

33 Lessons an Out-of-Stater Has Learned About Ohio

  1. Spelling out Ohio is a common form of greeting.
  2. There actually are cities, Ohio is not just made up of farms.
  3. Everyone is either from Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton or a small town.
  4. The phrase “and Michigan still sucks” added on to any sentence is always welcomed.
  5. Buckeyes are not merely nuts, they are also delicious combinations of peanut butter and chocolate to which Reese’s cannot compare.
  6. “Oval Beach” is the best beach … it’s the only beach … and it’s not actually a beach.
  7. Every football Saturday is the equivalent of a national holiday.
  8. 24 astronauts came from Ohio.
  9. Tractors are not only used on farms, but they are also used for transportation (and they are not very conducive to the flow of traffic).
  10. Two-lane highways without street lights are real.
  11. High school sweethearts exist beyond high school. Their cute social media posts may induce nausea.
  12. When people mention Miami they are not usually referring to Florida.
  13. U-turns are illegal; attempt at your own risk.
  14. When people say they need a sweeper they may be referring to a vacuum. Always clarify when asked to sweep a carpet.
  15. There are high schools with graduating classes that have more people than some Ohio towns.
  16. LeBron returning to Cleveland evokes many strong emotions.
  17. Ohio sports fans reveal the idyllic optimism that many Ohioans possess.
  18. Buckeye Spirit is felt across the entire state; if you are purple and polka dotted but you cheer in scarlet and gray, you are accepted.
  19. Soccer is a big deal in Columbus, the city has its own professional team. Crew games are a blast!
  20. Take advantage of Discount Tickets (D-Tix) at the Ohio Union, you are going to want to see Columbus.
  21. Marcella’s is one of the best restaurants in the Short North, even if you are gluten free, vegan, vegetarian or lactose intolerant!
  22. Just because it is raining doesn’t mean it won’t be sunny within the next ten minutes.
  23. … The reverse is also true; always carry an umbrella.
  24. Snow boots are a great investment.
  25. Presidential elections in Ohio are times every four years Ohio when receives more attention than any other state.
  26. I talk funny. (I’m from Chicago).
  27. Ohio has their own version of a hot dog. It includes both corn and mashed potatoes I am still not sure how I feel about that.
  28. People live with animals that are not their pets.
  29. The summers are humid; you will start sweating when you open the front door.
  30. Jeni’s ice cream does the impossible: makes a dessert out of cayenne pepper.
  31. All roads will forever be under construction, you cannot escape it.
  32. Ohio is the heart of the U.S., it will worm its way into yours.
  33. Most importantly, one day you will realize that while Columbus may be a temporary home, it becomes a place that will forever be a home away from home. 🙂

 

Next week stay tuned for Connor’s post, The 34 Best Instagram Opportunities on Ohio State’s Campus!

Your Summer Playlist: 6 Songs to Describe Orientation

Hello again, everyone! I’m so excited to be back on First Things First, but I’m especially excited because I get to talk about a few things that I just love: summer, music and Ohio State Orientation.

Every summer there’s a slew of new music released (I’m loving “Problem” by Ariana Grande right now FYI). So whether you’re dancing around your bedroom or driving with the windows down on a summer night, there’s nothing like some good music to make everything right.

Today I’m super pumped to share 6 songs with you that describe the orientation experience. So pull up Spotify or grab your iPod and let’s make a playlist for your summer orientation.

 

1. “Wide Awake” – Katy Perry

When you show up to orientation on that first morning, it is EARLY. Whether you’re traveling five miles or 5,000 miles, it is rarely fun to get up early. However, I encourage you to arise and soak in the experience. This is your first introduction to Ohio State as an official Buckeye. Wipe the sleep from your eyes and enjoy those icebreakers, pay attention to the sessions and ask questions. Make sure that you’re wide awake and ready to make the most of your orientation experience.

2. “Ain’t It Fun” –  Paramore

Like I said before, orientation is probably your first time at Ohio State with your future classmates and peers. HAVE FUN! Why not? To quote the song, “don’t go crying to your mama.” This isn’t a sad time, it’s happy! Talk to as many people as you can, enjoy yourself at the evening activities at the RPAC and laugh as hard as you can during Orientation Night Live (the comedy show put on by the Orientation Leaders). Ain’t it fun? It should be!

3. “Carmen Ohio” – Ohio State’s Alma Mater

Of course I had to sneak “Carmen Ohio” onto this list. Perhaps unlike many other schools across the country, I can honestly testify that Ohio State students truly treasure their alma mater. This song is sung at the end of every football game, after club and organization meetings and at both Convocation and Commencement. The song is all about tradition, friendship and loving your Ohio State home. What better time to learn it than at orientation? (Yes, you will sing “Carmen Ohio” at orientation). This little song is a crown jewel of Ohio State and it continues to give me chills whenever I hear it.

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4. “Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen

You’re going to meet so many new people at orientation. It may be at the opening session, in your small group, at dinner, or a multitude of other places. These people could be the first of your classmates that you befriend. Don’t hesitate to call them (but who am I kidding: nobody calls anybody anymore), text them, or add them on social media. There is nothing wrong with staying connected on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram before school begins in the fall. Who knows, maybe someone you meet could end up being your friend, roommate, or significant other. Call them maybe?

5. “Clarity” – Zedd ft. Foxes

After your orientation, you’re going to have accomplished many things. You will have your classes scheduled, you will have tons of information about different resources and services available on campus and hopefully you will have made some new friends. This is what I call clarity, one of the best feelings in the world. I remember feeling so relieved after my orientation. Although I was initially nervous about my transition to college, after I attended my freshman orientation, this nervousness was replaced by readiness and excitement. I hope you will also achieve a sense of clarity, confidence and excitement for your first year once you’ve gone through your own orientation.

6. “Home” – Phillip Phillips

For so many people, orientation can be scary. You may be nervous about scheduling classes, meeting new people and potentially going out of your comfort zone. But there is no need to worry. This is your home now. Soak in the beauty of the Oval and campus both during the day and at night on your moonlight tour. Ask as many questions as you can. And relax, because this is a place where you will be able to grow and learn over the next several years.

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Welcome home and please enjoy your orientation, this playlist, and all that Ohio State has to offer. To me it’s like a good song that I just play on repeat. I hope the same can be said for you very soon.

Up next, the lovely and wonderful Lisa Combs will be sharing with you something that she knows quite a lot about: love. Her challenge is to list 8 ways that your first year is like falling in love. I’m already stoked to see what she has to say.

Charging my iPod,

Connor

High FIVEs and Other Ways to Meet New Buckeyes!

It’s hard to believe that the first week of orientation is wrapping up today…it’s been FIVE days of fun and learning, that’s for sure! It’s also been a week of making connections. One of the most important parts of orientation is just meeting fellow Buckeyes, both new and old. So in that spirit, I want to share with you FIVE ways to meet new Buckeyes at your orientation.

High Fives. Literally.

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Okay, you may be wondering where I am going with this and if I could be serious. I am! It may not actually be high fives, but you will have the opportunity to interact with a small group of students throughout your program and there is nothing the Orientation Leaders (aka Team Red Polo) loves more than a good icebreaker. Don’t be too cool for the icebreakers — everyone is doing them these days and it gives you a chance to get to know other first-year students and to find some common interests. You never know what you may learn from someone and you could meet your future best friend who also likes that one thing you thought no one else loved like you!

Mingle while you munch

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Join the Orientation Leaders and other first-year students in the Ohio Union around 5 p.m. to grab dinner and hang out before the evening session. It’s a great way to relax and meet students outside of your small group. For those of you staying in Morrill Tower for the night, introduce yourself to the other students on your floor and make plans to grab breakfast in the morning. This is all good practice for when you are on campus in the fall — many students find it easy to manage their time and friends by doing things like grabbing a bite to eat and catching up at the same time.

RPAC games

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There is nothing like some healthy competition! Stick around for the evening activities, especially RPAC games, in order to reconnect with your small group. This is personally one of my favorite activities as an Orientation Leader because I really get the chance to get to know my small groups better. It’s all good fun and there are activities for everyone to participate in while being cheered on by new friends!

It’s as simple as introducing yourself

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It may seem awkward to turn to a stranger and introduce yourself, but everyone is in the same boat. Many new students are just as nervous about making friends or meeting new people as you may be. Most likely, your neighbor is going to be relieved to have someone to chat with instead of sitting there in silence waiting for a session to start. Furthermore, you are going to find yourself in groups of people who share the same study areas as you — you may find that you’ll see these students in the fall because you’ll be taking many of the same classes if you share the same major. Even if you don’t see each other in class, you are bound to run into each other in the residence halls or walking across the Oval. Why not get started getting to know each other now?

Follow up and ask questions

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Alright, I might be diverging from the whole “new Buckeyes” piece of this blog challenge, but just hear me out. Plus, these Buckeyes are new to you (that counts, right?!) At orientation you have the chance to meet some great upperclassmen as well as professional staff members at the university who want nothing more than to see you succeed in your first year. From your Orientation Leaders, to Hall Directors, to the Ohio Union staff and everyone in between…start making those meaningful connections! We know that you most likely will still have questions when you leave campus, so make sure you are asking for answers! Everyone is more than willing to give you their contact information so that you can use us as resources throughout the summer and your first year. I’m still in contact with my Orientation Leader and a few people I met at orientation because I remained in contact! Don’t let those resources go to waste.

That’s all I got…I hope that this has been helpful to you as you begin to plan your orientation visit. Orientation is the beginning to a wonderful journey as a Buckeye, and it’s my hope that you use these tips to find some people who will be apart of your journey.

Make sure you check back here on Monday for what I’m sure will be an excellent post from Connor MacDowell. His challenge? To tell you about SIX songs that describe the orientation experience. Get excited…I know I am!

Traffic lights: A guide for First Year success

Two days of orientation have passed and now we’re here at day three. With that comes three tidbits of information for students to utilize during their first year at Ohio State, using a traffic light analogy.

RED: It’s true that through all of the opportunities and resources available to first-year students, there are some boundaries and things that students should avoid. One thing that I would discourage a student from doing in their first year is skipping class! Although you may accidentally sleep through an alarm, just like unintentionally running through a red light, keep in mind one thing: classes in college are fast-paced and rigorous. Attending class can make a huge difference in your success in college and your final grade. That being said, professors know the difficulty of the material and offer additional resources to students outside of class such as:

  1. Office hours: hours set aside for students to meet with their professor in his or her office and ask questions about class content
  2. Review sessions: meetings held before large tests or exams in order to review content that may be included on the test
  3. Teaching Assistants: people pursuing a professional degree in the content related to your class who assist the professors, offer their own office hours and teach students during recitations (smaller classes affiliated with a lecture)

Each resource works to ensure students are able to understand the material completely and thoroughly. But if you are forced to miss a class, the last thing you should do is PANIC! Many professors have policies in place regarding class absences and acceptable excuses. They will be as accommodating as they can to make sure you succeed, so make sure you do everything possible to be present, and communicate if for some reason you are unable to attend class.

YELLOW: Everyone has his or her own comfort zone but I’ve been told that nothing ever grows in a comfort zone. In your first year at Ohio State (as well as the years to follow), stepping out of your comfort zone is crucial to developing as an independent and unique individual. For those who may feel more comfortable surrounded by groups of people, I challenge you to step outside this protective layer of friends. Do not be afraid to take on a meeting, project, or initiative solo. Many new students are nervous to participate in activities by themselves, but taking it upon yourself to be proactive can pay off in your personal independence, belief in yourself and expansion of your knowledge. When coming to Ohio State we are all heavily concerned about our social life, but don’t be afraid to be comfortable with yourself and take that time necessary to recoup, learn your personal strengths and make some quality “me-time.”

GREEN: Now that we got the hard part out the way we can delve into being proactive and outlining what a student should definitely take on and do in their first year. Although every first-year student is going to hear this a billion times, I cannot stress enough the importance of GETTING INVOLVED on campus. Even making it all capital letters doesn’t do it justice. Every student has heard how getting involved can benefit your social network, allow you to gain leadership experience and be a part of something with a purpose and goal. Although all of these points are true, in addition, when you get involved on campus you can benefit from everything Ohio State has to offer, especially real world experience. Each student organization is almost like a small business and every one has responsibilities to ensure prosperity and success with their goals. These experiences are prevalent throughout Ohio State but each student club on campus offers a variety of lessons and experiences for students to apply after graduation and that is an invaluable opportunity that no one can pass up.

Hopefully the information above helps if you’re an incoming first-year student, especially if you are anxious, nervous, or scared about your transition from these summer months to your first semester as a Buckeye. Granted, these tips are not finite! There is so much Ohio State has to offer and a multitude of decisions that students will have to make during their time as a college student.

I hope you get started in the right direction on your path of success during your time here at Ohio State. Go Bucks!

Friday’s post is going to come from Mackenzie Hogan; she will describe five ways to meet other first-year students at orientation as your college journey begins to unfold!

One Orientation | One University

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 summer.

One Ohio State Class of 2018.

One university.

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.

 

 

Orientation in 140 Characters or Fewer

No matter where you are traveling from this summer, orientation is a great place to connect with other first-year students and to learn about campus resources.

However, how can you stay connected at orientation and beyond?

The options are limitless.

Facebook, email, good ole’ phone number? All are great options, but what we use most with orientation is Twitter. As an Orientation Leader entering my second summer working with new students, I find that Twitter is a great platform for quick connections and can be used in so many ways at Ohio State. So why not get a head start at orientation?

You might not have a clue what goes on at orientation…and that’s okay! Below are 24 ways to experience your Ohio State orientation (in 140 characters or fewer).

6:30AM: Currently headed to Ohio State for orientation. Hoping Mom was kidding when she said we did not have time to stop for coffee. #TooEarly

 7:45AM: WE MADE IT! *Drake voice*

7:53AM: Wait…how are these people so excited to give Mom and me parking passes? How much coffee have they had?

8:01AM: As if the parking people were not excited, I was just greeted by the most energetic guy. Is he a student or nahh? #WhereAmI

9:45AM: This man just had the out-of-state students stand up. He should ask if anyone needs more coffee and I would be like hi, pick me.

10:47AM: Just learned that these peppy people in red polos are actual students. They also talk loudly and walk backwards….prerequisite?

11:32AM: Was not crazy about the idea of “icebreakers” but it turned out to be fab. My small group is the best! #TeamBigBucks

12:27PM: YAS pizza. Love me some ‘za.

12:45PM: How many humans can fit in this place? #IndependenceHall #new2osu

1:37PM: Shout out to all the parents asking all these questions. May or may not have been wondering similar things.. #DBBS

2:32PM: The people in this academic session are so nice! #SpecialEdMajor #EHE #new2osu

4:05PM: Officially have my BuckID! Does this make this whole college thing real? Loving it!

4:25PM: Excited to be living in @SmithSteebHallOSU next year! Who’s with me?! #OSU18

5:27PM: Pasta and burgers and salads oh my! Options for days. Not mad about it.

6:45PM: Looking forward to the Involvement Fair in the fall. Over 1000 student orgs. HOW!?

8:47PM: #TeamBigBucks coming in hot to the RPAC to win these games. #new2osu

10:20PM: Was not expecting to laugh this hard at Orientation. #ONL #OSU18

11:17PM: The OL giving this tour is cracking jokes about some “long walk.” #OSUTraditions

12:32AM: Crazy to think I am in an actual res hall for the night. Soo college.

9:17AM: Mom, where are you? Session is starting soon! #LOTC

10:32AM: Meeting people from @OhioStResLife this morning makes me want to move into @SmithSteebHallOSU right now!

12:47PM: Classes are officially scheduled for Fall ‘14. Only one 8AM class two days a week. WAHHOOO!

1:23PM: Just picked up #TheGlassCastle for the #BBCBook at @OhioStBookstore.

2:45PM: What a great two days at Ohio State! Looking forward to the fall and seeing all of #TeamBigBucks on campus. #OSU18

Looking for more than 140 characters? Download the Ohio State Orientation guide on the Guidebook app or visit our Guidebook website.

Making the Most of Orientation: Evening Activities

It’s the first day of Orientation, and you just said goodbye to your parents after dinner in the Ohio Union. Although you tried to hide your embarrassment, you are starting to see why Mom shed a few tears at the thought of leaving you for the night. You may be thinking to yourself…

What now?

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Great question. What now?

Lucky for you, there are several options known as evening activities that will help you to make the most of your overnight orientation experience. Overnight activities are a great opportunity for you to meet up with your Orientation leader (OL) and many of the students you met earlier in the day. Often, the best memories and most impactful moments of orientation happen during evening activities! If you’re thinking…

Tell me more!

…read on to hear about three fantastic ways to spend your evening at orientation!

The RPAC Challenge

The Ohio State University has one of the top Recreation and Physical Activity Centers (RPAC) in the nation. During orientation evening activities, students and their small groups come together as a team to work their way through a series of physical and mental challenges as they explore the RPAC and learn about all this facility has to offer. There truly is something for everyone at the RPAC Challenge and even fun prizes for the winning team! Don’t miss out on the chance to help your team bring home a  victory! Those bragging rights will last well into fall semester!

Orientation Night Live

Do you like to laugh? Do you enjoy comedy and improvisation? Then Orientation Night Live (ONL) is the show for you! Following the RPAC challenge, students will have the option of attending this crowd pleasing show. ONL is formatted much like the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and is facilitated by the Orientation Leaders. Watching the OLs act silly on stage is guaranteed to make you laugh harder than you can remember! As a student in the audience, you are given the chance to shout out scene and character suggestions, and are even given the opportunity to get up on stage! Orientation Night Live is a favorite memory for many orientation students, and is one activity you definitely don’t want to miss out on!

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Moonlight History and Traditions Tour

Darkness has fallen and campus is quiet, but evening activities are going strong with this final opportunity. Following ONL, students are given the option to go on a moonlight tour of the Oval. On the tour (led by the OLs) you will learn many fun and interesting facts about the history and traditions of the university and enjoy the unique atmosphere that is the Oval at night. This tour is the final activity for the evening, and is a great way to wrap up your day one experience!

Clearly, evening activities are a blast and will leave you with knowledge, memories and deeper friendships that will last into the school year and beyond. You can guarantee evening activities are a must in order to make the most of your orientation experience!

Adventure is Out There!

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Adventure is out there! At least, that’s what Pixar’s animated film Up taught me. For all of you new Buckeyes, your next big adventure is about to start. Just like with any big endeavor you don’t want to start out without preparing a little bit beforehand. That’s what orientation is for! Orientation will give you an advantage when heading out on your journey by providing you with the opportunity to:

Get the Lay of the Land

Any adventurer heading out on a big expedition needs to know a little bit about what to expect when they get there. Will it be a hot desert or a dangerous swamp? Will they need to climb a mountain or paddle across a lake? A part of orientation will be dedicated to helping you learn what is expected of you both in and out of the classroom.  Someone who knows what to expect will be more likely to overcome any obstacles that may appear.

Speak to a Guru

The wisdom of an expert is a valuable asset to any adventurer. At orientation you will get the chance to attend a group advising session led by an advisor in your academic area of study. This will give you the opportunity to ask any questions or voice any concerns you or your family may have about academics. An explorer with the inside scoop is sure to get the gold.

Plan for What is to Come

A good adventure is well planned and may even follow a schedule. Orientation will provide to you the opportunity to schedule your classes for your first semester as a Buckeye. There will be plenty of seasoned adventurers to help you with this process. You will also have the chance to complete some university business. This could include: getting your BuckID card, picking up your Buckeye Book Community book, or taking any necessary placement tests. An explorer who plans is an explorer that has a lot less to worry about in the long run.

Meet Others at the Start of Their Journey

One of the most exciting opportunities at orientation is meeting other people in the same boat. Whether you’re literally taking a boat somewhere, or just figuratively, it is nice to see that other people have similar destinations. Talk to any swashbuckler and they will tell you they never could have achieved their goals without a little help from others.

Survey the Terrain

Not many explorers get the chance to see where they will be exploring beforehand. You will get the distinct advantage of becoming more familiar with campus before you embark on your four-year journey. You will see some of the buildings where classes take place, the student union, and even how our living spaces are set up.

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All of these opportunities are meant to help prepare you to be the best Buckeye you can be. Just like we wouldn’t send someone out into the jungle without the proper provisions, we wouldn’t send a student into their first year without these essentials. I wish you the best of luck young explorer, just always remember that “Adventure is out there” just waiting for you.