While today is the “official” new student orientation, many of our students arrived early and already have a head start on classes.
WE’re in Motion, part of RIT’s Women in Engineering program, hosted more than 100 female engineering students and their families this past weekend. They spent most of Monday meeting faculty members and working together in the labs in the college.
It’s been more years than I’d care to admit since I participated in college orientation. When I traveled from Rochester to Chaminade University of Honolulu, I stepped off the plane after too many hours flying and headed to the campus on a mountainside with a view across Waikiki, and overlooking Diamond Head volcano. It took my breath away.
But there was still a little trepidation—what would this college experience be like—and can I manage it? I can’t imagine our newest students not thinking very much the same thing.
What made my experience promising, (even more than being in Hawaii)? My first roommate was from Watertown, N.Y., my next-door neighbor was from Elmira and the floor RA was from Queens, N.Y. (and had the accent to prove it!) You have no idea how amazing that was—to find a little bit of New York so far away.
The pre-orientation and orientation programs going on all this week at RIT are much the same—this is our way of setting up the students for success and building a sense of community. Sure, they’ll do all the formalities: schedule classes, learn faculty and advisers’ names, get an armload of books and navigate the hallways to classrooms.
Yet, sometimes, just having an early peek at what is going to happen takes away the trepidation and makes that first class something to look forward to.
And while classes will be intense, having these pre-class events provides the students a chance to meet others who are also just starting this adventure called college—a few days before they “officially” start.
So here’s to a new academic year – Aloha, E Komo Mai and Pomaika’i (hello, welcome and good luck!)
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