We’re well into the summer now, as the Bloom has shifted from scorching hot days to thunderstorms – with a couple beautiful days in between – and New Student Orientation has begun. For those who have already gone through this ordeal, you’re familiar with the anxious feelings of being on your future campus for maybe the first time, meeting people that you may or may not end up friends with, and getting a feel for all of the beauty of this campus, in order to really call yourself a Hoosier.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, this is my first summer away from home and my first time in Bloomington, outside of the Fall and Spring semesters. The atmosphere is generally calmer and the population of this city has been drastically cut in half. Watching students walk around campus brings back such nostalgia for me, as an upcoming junior.
For those who are currently experiencing orientation, or are coming at a later date, I have a few things for you to keep in mind when you set foot on this gorgeous campus.
- Be social. College is the time where you get to meet so many people, who impact you in the smallest ways possible and can end up changing your life. Sometime down the road, you end up meeting people that you’ve met at orientation, as I have recently. Knowing that orientation is what brought you together is comforting. Everyone feels a little nervous about being new to college. Putting yourself out there, regardless of your personality, is a little frightening. However, using this time to meet all new faces and make the best of your orientation days with the people around you will make you feel more comfortable and will make you happier by the end of the program.
- Learn as much as you can about everything. I like to be prepared. Sometimes I check calendars three or four times a day before a commitment, just to be sure that I have the time and date right. Knowing me, I could definitely be overlooking something and, if I’m in the wrong, it’s no one’s fault but my own. Whether it’s taking a campus tour, attending seminars, or simply asking questions of the orientation counselors, utilizing the resources you’re presented with during orientation ultimately prepares you for a more prosperous first semester. It will be difficult and different than anything you’ve ever experienced. It will be both what you expect and, at the same time, nothing like you expect. Taking the time to prepare yourself and learning all you can before the first day of classes will be imperative, and it’s a good habit to get into for the rest of your life.
- Appreciate whole-heartedly the opportunity to attend IU. As a southerner, Indiana is just another “I” state to a lot of my high school classmates, who ended up going to college closer to home. Though I chose this school because of it’s exceptionally-ranked music school and my family’s legacy of attending this university, there are so many different aspects that set IU apart from virtually every other college campus. From the outstanding faculty within every department to the gorgeous nature and scenery, regardless of season, as well as the sheer amount of opportunities and the fact that you are getting one of the best educations in the country, there are many reason to be thankful. Sure, Bloomington is just a dot on a world map of great universities, but your time here will literally change your life and you will be so happy that you chose this school and all the great amenities it has to offer.
- Take the time to explore Bloomington itself. Bloomington is a real college town. The population significantly drops during the summer, but during the school year, it’s a vastly different community. If you, perhaps, come a day early or are staying an extra day with your parents, I would encourage you to take a walk down Kirkwood Avenue or 4th Street, enjoy some of the great ethnic food, or make your way down to the Square, where a lot of great shops are located, so you can see all the different aspects of the community that make this city truly unique. There is no other place like the Bloom and, in the Fall, it will be your home.
Whether I was able to bring to light some things about orientation that you were unsure about or help you become more sure of what you want to do here when you visit, I hope you enjoy orientation and make the most of your time here! See you in the Fall 🙂