“Orientation week was so wild!” he exclaimed. “There were parties every night!”
These were the thoughts a friend of mine expressed after I told him that I’ll be an Orientation Leader this year.
“Really?” I responded. This certainly didn’t sound like the Orientation Week I remembered.
I recently told a friend that I was going to be an orientation leader this year, and his response emphasized to me how different Orientation Week is for each student. While many freshmen choose to spend the week exploring U of T nightlife, my own experiences consisted of campus tours and seminars. With Frosh Week on the horizon, today I’ll be sharing some tips on what to expect and how you can prepare.
Don’t be intimidated by talks of crazy parties, and drinking to excess. It’s easy to steer clear of parties in fraternity houses if you aren’t interested in being involved. So easy, in fact, that during Frosh Week I was neither aware of the existence of fraternities at U of T, nor the parties they hosted. University of Toronto’s O-Week is “dry,” meaning no-alcohol, and punishments for those found with it on campus.
Furthermore, no two Orientation Week experiences are exactly alike, and you can tailor your agenda to suit your needs and interests. Every college or faculty’s orientation is full of exciting programs and activities to make you feel at-home on campus and with your new peers. Despite this, you may come across events on the program that you aren’t keen about. Don’t stress or feel obligated to attend events you know you will make you uncomfortable. Attendance is in no way mandatory, and if you are ever too tired to participate in an event, you can feel free to skip out without consequence. Knowing this makes O-Week much less stressful! Of course, it is great to maximize the number of events you attend to meet more of the new people you will be spending the next four years with!
My third piece of advice is aimed at residence students, and those renting apartments. It’s easy to feel a bit homesick during your first few days on your own. By making your room feel like home right away, it’ll be easier to acclimatize to life on campus. I made sure to unpack decorations from my old bedroom, and put a sachet at the door for a familiar scent. While no candles are allowed in dorm rooms, sachets are a great way to make your room feel more like home, without creating a fire hazard.
Do you have any O-Week tips? What are you most looking forward to during Orientation Week? Leave a comment below!