UA-76843172-1

Orientation: Success or Bust?

If you attended Orientation a week ago, you most likely felt when your head hit the pillow Saturday night, that you had just wasted four days of your life.

Do not be alarmed, because this was a recurring thought that was prevalent in many freshman or transfer students minds.

Why does Millersville have a four day orientation period, while the overwhelming majority of colleges have a one to two day orientation?

I unfortunately can only provide possible solutions, because I was not the one who put together orientation.

The main problem with Orientation 2009 was that the students felt as though they sat through several events on the same topics.

On top of these recurring events that took place were the lessons that many viewed as pointless.

For example, the common reading activity that occurred installed a class-like environment to the orientation group, but did not encourage students to reach out and make friendships with each other.

All that resulted from this activity was adding another thing for incoming freshmen to worry about on top of all the ordinary worries of a freshman. Students were already given a short summer break, so stop trying to shorten it with meaningless assignments that yield no new knowledge for the students!

If we can focus on only the few main areas of concern, we can shorten the orientation to one or two days. More importantly for students the start times of each day should be moved to later than the un-godly hours of 7 am.

Orientation was focused on a freshman’s biggest fear; the fear of not making friends.
Through forming students into orientation groups, bonding was encouraged and occurred with many students. These friendships are signs of steps in the right direction, but there is one fatal flaw to this system; that the groups were random and very rarely featured two people of the same major.

Many people at college, associate themselves with students in their same major.
Why not introduce them to students they will have the same classes with?

The kids from these orientation groups will most likely not associate with each other after orientation is over and the bonding was all for naught.

The best way to form orientation groups is to cluster together students of the same major, and determine whether they are freshmen or transfer students.

Time was not completely wasted though.

During the end of their orientation, the students were able to ask their orientation guides questions about the subjects that really intrigued them, such as Parties, University police, Greek Life, Funny pranks, etc.

Those questions only lasted twenty minutes, maybe we can let the students decide next year what questions they have, rather then be told what questions they should have.