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August 28, 2008

Showing Your O-Face

Hey, I'm Tyler. Nice to meet you. I'm a junior at St. Michael's, journalism major/art minor, I like music and food and local beer and long bike rides by the water, etc...

Anyway. All of our freshmen are moving in Thursday to begin that most hallowed of college traditions, orientation. Or as I fondly remember it, the very first time I thought to myself, "Oh, dammit, maybe this school was the wrong choice."

Here at SMC, the new kids are warmly greeted on move-in day by O-Leaders, a pack of neon-clad upperclassmen with entirely too much perkiness and school spirit. Per SMC orientation tradition, all of the O-Leaders have loud, shrill whistles, and use them non-stop. Seriously. All the time. I'm amazed that it doesn't result in half of Colchester calling in noise complaints.

The rest of orientation at St. Mike's unfolds like it does at most other schools. Lots of ZANY and FUN icebreaker games that are supposed to help you make friends. Some larger assemblies, like a hypnotist show, to promote class unity. And, of course, a hilariously over-the-top lecture from a Student Life representative on "responsible decisions" that dissuades nobody from partying. This all culminates in a dance party for the new students and O-Leaders alike (after which comes many first-years' first regretful morning of college).

Now, freshmen/freshwomen/first-years, listen closely here. Your O-Leaders will tell you that the friends you make at Orientation will stick with you for all four years. They might be right, but more likely you'll find your best friends through clubs, classes, service trips, and anywhere else where common interests are the basis for a friendship. They'll also tell you that orientation is the best weekend you'll have in college.  Well, gee, in that case, it's all downhill from there, isn't it? Luckily, they're wrong about that too. If you think orientation is fun, just wait for the weekends you have with friends you know well, and without an itinerary of silly activities you have to go to.

So don't worry, new kids. Orientation might feel like summer camp for 10-year-olds, but it'll be over quick. And then the real fun begins.


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Jon Taylor

This is so dead on. SMC's obnoxious orientation was the worst part of being a freshman.

You won't stay friends with anyone from your group (I barely remember any of them) and the events are a gigantic waste of time. A tip they won't tell you: You don't have to go to any of the events. There's no roll call, you do-gooders.

So stay in your room and hang out with your roommate and floormates — these are the last four days of true freedom you'll have again.

Tyler Machado

Jeez Jon, good thing you're not bitter.

I kid! You're right. People should go to the library orientation session though, that's actually quite helpful. Although it's happening right now, so, I'm a little late.


I'm sorry, it's probably just my immaturity coming through (or the subject matter I work most closely with), but... O-Leaders? Really???

Those Catholics... what will they think of next?


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