Whatever comes to mind: How to get the most out of Orientation

Whatever Comes To MindBy George Flynn | Opinions Editor

While this year’s glorious summer comes to a close, a new school year must begin.  As a senior, I am completely terrified to embark on my final year of my college career and inevitably enter into the abyss known as “The Uncertain Future.”  As a freshman, I was feeling a similar sentiment. I was petrified that I would fail all my classes and have trouble making friends, not to mention disappoint my mother and family.

Luckily, none of these things happened.

Orientation was a great stepping stone in my transition into college. I was relieved  of many of my stresses about starting anew. Orientation boosted my confidence, helped me meet many friends and gave me the chance to attend amusing events. And a bonus, I got free stuff. Orientation was proof that I chose the right school.

This year’s theme for orientation is BRANCH OUT. The name speaks for itself. There are so many events and opportunities for freshmen to attend during this exciting first week. Hopefully, you have already had the chance to meet your orientation groups and leaders. Even though ice breakers and introductions might seem cheesy and unnecessary, you might find yourself enjoying them. Since no one knows you, no one can judge you. What is more appealing than a clean slate with no reputation or presumptions what so ever? This is your chance to start fresh. This is a week where no one is judging you.

Another great way to reach out to the student body is to go to the events. If you missed the graffiti dance or the ice cream social due to nerves, it is not too late. Step out of your comfort zone and go to the dance at the Sheraton Hotel. If you’re feeling specifically confident, sign up for the talent show and give it all your all. Think of it as an advertisement to let others know the interesting side to you. If you’re an introvert or someone who dislikes loud events and crowds a wonderful substitute is to sit outside of the dormitories and socialize. Guaranteed, at least one person will be outside on a bench. Everyone is trying to make new friends. Remember that.

An excellent benefit to orientation is the freebies. When is the next time you’re going to run into free stuff? You don’t get a T-shirt, lanyard and drawstring bag for being a senior, that’s for sure. I remember receiving t-shirts, water bottles, bags, an agenda, plus a ton of free food. Even if you are a misanthrope, these are steals that you will never come across again. Take advantage.

These will have the mark of Duquesne University on it. Don’t be embarrassed, or take it off when you walk off campus. Wear them with pride! Be ecstatic to be a freshman in college.

My only word of advice is to not wear your lanyard in The South Side or Oakland if you plan to enjoy the nightlife on your first weekend. Pittsburghers will recognize you as an unsuspected freshman who is new to the city. Besides that, this is the beginning of one of the best chapters in your life. Embrace it.

This isn’t just your first week of college, it’s your only first week of college. Get the most out of it, this is the only time you will experience orientation week. Don’t throw away your graffiti dance t-shirt or lanyard. Keep them in the bottom of your dresser. You can always pull them out and reminisce about the beginning of your college career long after it is over. Keep all the souvenirs from this week and try and keep in touch with the new friends you make and old friends from home. Have fun these next few days before your first classes begin. These will be the first memories of your college experience at Duquesne University. Branch out.

And shake your booty for Burgh Bucks.

But only if you want to.