Breaking Down the Orientation Schedule
By Kelsey Anspach, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, September 4, 2012
This week is supposed to be fun on paper, but it might seem long and exhausting. You probably have a lot of questions. Are mandatory events actually mandatory? Do I rest up for classes or start schmoozing with profs? The Mirror presents to you your (un)official guide to Orientation Week activities. You’re welcome.
Any event with a free meal sponsored by the College — Plentiful free food + tons of ’16s everywhere = pure bliss (read Myrel’s article for tips on how to indulge responsibly).
Check-in & key pick-up — Announce your awesome presence on campus — but make sure you bring a valid ID with you. We know you’re amazing and trust that you’re going to do great things, but first you need to validate that you’re the same amazing person who was admitted here.
Sustainable Move-In Sale — Go! You can get great deals on used fridges, fans, school supplies and the like while also supporting the future of the earth. Everyone wins, and that’s not always true in life. In all seriousness though, get here early. It doesn’t matter if you’re still tired from your trip that ended five days ago. If you’re looking for a good used fridge that doesn’t need to be soaked in bleach for five days, you’ll want to snag it before someone else’s dad does.
Information EXPO! — Worth it. Look into some cool opportunities outside of classes. A bunch of organizations put up tables around Leverone and stand around so you can talk to them. Take as much candy as you can get away with. Don’t take too many papers or else they’ll just end up on your on your desk, making you feel guilty that you can’t take on 10 ambitious extracurriculars all at once.
Floor meetings — The best! Your floormates may become some of your best friends at Dartmouth — although it’s 116 percent okay if they don’t since there are so many of you. You’ll be living with these people, so start forming a supportive floor community.
Residence hall evening activities — Warning: These events may bring up painful memories of middle school dances, but pretty much everyone goes, anyway. Use it as an opportunity to talk for a bit, meet other people living in your cluster and ultimately find a ’shmob and an alternative social space.
Academic open houses — These offer free food that might just be better than the dining halls. It’s a great chance to talk to some professors in departments that you may be really interested in and to explore subjects you didn’t take in high school (earth science, anyone?). Don’t stress if you can’t make it to all the ones that you want to — lunch with new friends is more valuable than fitting in a fourth open house before noon. Lots of papers will be available for the taking — follow the same rule as with the EXPO.
Academic integrity lecture, alcohol talk, sex talk — Some upperclassmen and know-it-all ’16s will claim that “mandatory” means nothing, but these discussions are worth hearing. Go with other people. You can whisper-talk, and if the side conversations ever lull, you can just go back to watching the lectures — or at least pretending to. Bam, socializing made easy.
President’s reception — You get to “meet” President Folt! As in, shake her hand for less than two seconds. You get even more free food, and it’s yet another opportunity to meet people.
Summer reading lecture — Go if you’re interested. As in, if you actually read the book. You also might find yourself going if you followed a cute guy/girl around for most of the day and ended up in here in the process. You’re more likely to find yourself hanging on the Green or playing charades with your floor.
Student activity fair, auditions and the like — A super fun way to be exposed to a bunch of groups on campus. Also, check blitz to be informed about things like a cappella auditions and the open house for The Dartmouth (wink! Sept. 7!). Unlike in high school, many activities have an application process that you won’t want to miss — but don’t let that intimidate you!
Convocation — This is on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012 at 3:15 p.m. in Leede Arena. Note how this is the one event where I included the date and time. It is unquestionably the most important event you’ll want to attend during Orientation. You get to officially become a part of this community by singing the alma mater with your entire class and by fastening your class pin to the shirt of one of your classmates — which is awkward, but just play along with everyone else and pretend it’s not. You’re in college now, remember?
When in doubt, go with the flow and follow the people you’re ’shmobbing with. Most importantly, have fun — but you knew that already. See? You’re not as entirely clueless as upperclassmen want you to believe you are.