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Ideas To Organize A Fresh Student Orientation

At OOHLALA, we think that Student Orientation is such an absolute primordial step in freshmen's transformations from high school kids to "young adults" in college that it shouldn't be ignored. Student councils have the responsibility to appoint and to organize student orientation events that will help incoming students understand what it means and what it takes to be successful when attending a higher education institution. Among other things, student councils have to worry about informing students of the process of choosing a class schedule, about walking the students through campus so they get acquainted with the scenery early, all the while making sure they are enjoying themselves and making new friends. It is no small task! This is going to be their first impression of the campus  where they will spend their next four years roaming through. Here are some ideas of activities we suggest you organize to make this time as enjoyable as possible.

1) Check-In and Hospitality: Many incoming students who come during the summer will be students from out of the region. To make them comfortable right away, there should be a team of volunteers dedicated to show them around the residence hall. There are should also be residence hall advisors to answer any question a student or parent would have about living on campus.

2) Welcoming Ceremonies: Every new acquaintance needs a proper introduction. A welcoming ceremony helps officially mark the beginning of student orientation. This event should be short, sweet and fun. Members of faculty and student leaders should take the mic and greet the new students with informative facts but also with fun anecdotes. Such topics such as academic support and services, campus safety and student life programs and organizations are subjects that could be tackled during that ceremony . This will also allow parents attending to feel safer about leaving their kids behind in college.

3) Student Bonding Activities: This part of orientation should be all about encouraging student networking. Some examples of activities to organize include BBQs on the campus quad, or organize cultural activity at the college's museum or at the city's historical monuments. Any activity that allows students to meet new people is welcome. Council members should encourage students not to hang out with their high school buddies but to get out there and meet new people. It will make the freshmen's first weeks more enjoyable.

4) Social Evenings: Who is better informed about life on campus than current students and alumni? This is a great event to consider organizing for a casual dinner at the school's food court or for an evening out on the town. Ex- and even current students should partake in social activities with freshmen. This will allow freshmen to obtain tips on how university life actually is and on how great fraternity/sorority parties really are. Freshmen will always welcome mentors that will guide students through their first weeks.

5) Nightlife/Parties: Ok. This is probably something that freshmen will be waiting for impatiently. However, it is important to consider everything - legal age drinking, clear directions to the venue, presence of taxis, etc. Most importantly, inform students to drink smart.

Freshmen's transition from high school to college will take more than a day or two of Student Orientation but it is the first crucial step towards their embrace of their new lifestyle in college. Incoming students will remember this moment their whole life. Make this event memorable!

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