College orientation can be a little intimidating. Finally the realization hits you that this is it — you’re a college kid now. No more home-cooked meals or mom doing your laundry, now it’s ramen noodles, pizza, and figuring out which shirt smells the cleanest (nevermind the coffee stains). We incoming freshmen know a lot of stuff will happen, but not super sure what exactly will happen at orientation. As an incoming freshman, I’ve listed my expectations for orientation, while senior The Black Sheep reporter Clyde has answered those expectations with the cold hard realities.
Expectation: They’ll be peppy, and make us actually do things. Like social things. I get that they’ve got to do their jobs of course but that doesn’t mean shitting rainbows. Add some more here, whether about what will come of the social things, or what the orientation leaders will do.
Reality: You finally split into groups with your fellow leeches incoming freshmen after sitting through thousands of speeches about the greatness of DePaul. Your orientation leader (let’s call her Cynthia) shepherds you into a room the size of your bedroom back home and you sit Indian style and stare at each other. You then look into your leader’s sluggish eyes as she goes into her semi-scripted spiel about her college experience as you realize this is probably the 15th time she’s given this speech. Finally, to get someone other than herself to talk, she forces everyone else to say something interesting about themselves.
Planning for a Future
Expectation: I’ll get several lectures from other students/parents about how my journalism major isn’t one that will get me a six-figure salary after I graduate. Then having to listen to whole rants about which industries are paying the most, and how “I’ve got my whole future ahead of me.” Though maybe they’re right, maybe I should be an engineering major…
Reality: You’re one of only three journalism majors in your group, the first is a total weirdo who likes to write semi-sexual Star Wars fan fiction about Jar Jar Binks, and the other is way more passionate than you’ll ever be and has already done work for the New York Times (Why are you even at this school!). Fortunately, at the end of your orientation DePaul has you meet with an advisor to plan your first quarter. Unfortunately, these are only staff advisors who are completely unprepared to deal with your crying about how you have no idea what to do with your life while your fellow bottom feeders incoming freshmen sit behind you waiting for their turn.
Expectation: They’ve got to feed us all somehow, and being in one of the food capitals of the world, the meal will most definitely be awesome. We’re the future of this school/city after all! We’ll get high class food similar to mama’s cooking.
Reality: You decide the food was pretty decent, but surely this was just the cheap food because they didn’t want to spend too much money feeding a bunch of pieces of shit incoming freshmen. That is, until your orientation leaders tell you this is actually the good food at DePaul. It’s all downhill from here.
Forging Friendships that will Last a Lifetime
Expectation: Everyone is going to make friends and it’s going to clique up real fast. Not to worry though. I’ll be everyone’s friend on campus when they’re drunk and need to get home.
Reality: You’ll probably confine yourself to two people in your group who, at best, will end up being a random person you sit with during lunch one day because you don’t want to eat alone. Most likely, however, they’ll just be someone you add on Facebook and wonder who they are four years from now when you pass them on campus.
It’s not so much scary as it is exciting… and maybe orientation isn’t as life-changing as just being in college is. Orientation is a time for us to go out, break some ice, throw darts at a course catalog, and get a cruel, cruel tease months before moving in.