What I Wish I Knew Before Orientation

It's crazy that a year ago, I was down at IU for my freshman orientation. So much has happened since I drove down to Bloomington to learn the campus, tour the SRSC, and register for my classes. Looking back, however, I wish I had known a few things going into the orientation process.

First, you don't have to become friends with everyone you meet. I was really, really nervous about making friends when I came to IU. Coming from a small private school I went to from 3rd grade to the day I graduated high school, I really didn't have to make new friends since I was seven years old. When I got to orientation, I tried really hard to make friends with people in my orientation group, and when I did not really click with anyone, I became discouraged. Looking back, I realize how silly that fear was. IU is a huge school, but once you arrive in the fall, you have so many opportunities to meet people who share common interests with you. There are people on your floor, some of whom will become good friends and others who will only be strangers you share a bathroom with. There will be clubs you can join with people who are passionate about the same things that you are; and meet people in classes who share your academic interests. There will be so many opportunities to make friends that you shouldn't try to force one simply because you don't want to feel alone when you move to IU in the fall.

Another thing I really wish I had known more about was registering for classes. I came to IU with a very specific pre-med plan; and registered for chemistry, calculus, and other challenging classes because I thought if I didn't start working on that plan right away I would fall behind and never make it. However, like many students do, I got through the first few weeks of freshman year and realized there were so many more paths I could take besides the pre-med track I thought I wanted to be on. I ended up dropping a few of my classes, signing up for ones that actually sparked my interests, and have since changed my major to Psychology and am so much happier than I would be if I had stuck out the classes I hated simply because I thought I only had one path that would make me successful. This all being said, be open minded. Realize that your freshman year is a great opportunity to explore different paths that are available to you, and to discover which one you really should be on. Take classes that interest you and that will help you realize what you really want out of life.

Most importantly, have fun at orientation. It's the first step of your journey at IU, and you should make the most of it. Go to the activities they arrange for you, such as the night tour of campus and the panels on topics such as Campus Safety, Campus Healthcare, and Studying Abroad. Make the most of your experience, and take advantage of everything IU has to offer.

About The Author
Carolyn HaneyPsychology Major, Class of 2016

Psychology Major, Class of 2016