As many a Facebook user has profoundly stated, it is already August and college starts in three weeks. And nobody--NOBODY--can believe it.
Midsummer means that half of incoming college freshmen have already gone to the “is this real life?” land that is their college orientation, while the other half wait around anxiously, increasingly overwhelmed by some deep-seated insecurity related to their fears of making friends outside of their high school parking lot. While this is all well and good, it sets up a perfect recipe for the incredibly predictable happenings at college orientations across America. With that, here's your guide to 10 things that will happen during your freshman acclamation period:
1. You'll Declare Your Undying Allegiance to Your School
In many ways, college is like a marriage. The relationship between student and school is often a reciprocal one, with both parties nurturing each other till that epiphanic moment where it all seems to fit--the moment that you
realize convince yourself that there’s no other place like your dorm, your friends, and the food of the dining hall. Yes that food may be sh*tty, but it's YOUR sh*tty.
College Orientation however, disregards all the rules of student/school relationships. Within hours of setting foot onto a campus, college orientations nationwide mandate that every student must immediately pledge their unwavering loyalty to a 400 acre piece of land, which will be underscored by a weird tradition completely meaningless to all new students. This is mostly because the incoming freshmen had never heard of the tradition until five minutes ago.
2. Unwillingly Participate In An “Ice-Breaker”
The unofficial motto of every college orientation is “If you are not having the absolute greatest time of your life, there is something fundamentally wrong with you as a person.”
Thus, as a cruel way of capitalizing on new students’ fears of not fitting in, orientation leaders often subject incoming freshman to a number of activities otherwise meant for four-year olds. Back in the days when I was an orientation leader, we were supposed to have our new homies participate in this game called “bunny bunny.” While I honestly don't remember what you did while playing "bunny bunny," its biggest accomplishment was to get people to pretend like they were having fun for exorbitantly long amounts of time.
3. First Exposure to Bureaucratic Failings of Your School
Despite tuition rates that make every college appear like dauntingly well-run Utopias, every University has a thinly disguised underbelly, reeking of bureaucratic incompetence.
While it’s technically no one’s fault that you weren’t registered for History 101--and now have to sit in a freakishly air conditioned room for three hours so that a bearded guy called your “Dean” can change your schedule to accommodate a class that will have absolutely zero bearing on what you do after you graduate--this is something every college student must endure at some point. Best get it out of the way early.
4. “Secret” Hookups
As any rational person will realize, half of male orientation leaders do orientation so that they could meet girls. And even if they’re not looking to meet girls, females are naturally attracted to the charisma, awkward humor, and brightly colored t-shirts of their sophomore and junior superiors.
If no one is hooking up during orientation, it will serve as a nesting period for hookups at a later date. My school for instance, had an unwritten rule in which orientation leaders were supposed to wait 2 weeks before they hooked up with their freshman homies. Some people definitely followed it, though others got down and dirty to their hearts content. Frat.
5. The Freshman “Veteran” Will Annoy The F*ck Out Everyone
Not only did she go on a wilderness tour with 7 other people (all of whom she’ll stop talking to by next semester), but her participation in the pre-orientation leadership development program conference summit initiative means that she’s head and shoulders above everyone else. Of course none of these things will matter two weeks, but for now she is Queen. And she’ll most certainly let you know it.