Those still on campus for the summer may have noticed that it’s abuzz with three-day bursts of panicky, fresh-faced nervous energy lately.
Those without much else to keep themselves entertained are already aware ““ it’s
summer orientation!

If you’re like me, you were rejected when you applied to
work orientation (twice!) but also wish you could prepare others for certain
aspects of the freshman experience. To my naive surprise that inaugural summer, I was not Van Wilder
and neither was anyone around me. Nobody prepared me for how lonely it can be to meet several thousand strangers at once; small talk and introducing myself came to burn like the fires of a thousand unlucky first-week-of-college
VDs.

Here are the orientation additions I’m scheduling for Three
Years Ago Me, and hopefully I’ll stop hiding in my dorm room long enough to
participate.

“Fun” Ice Breakers for Your Orientation Group!

Ice breakers will get old so fast you’ll think they’re
tanning booth regulars. I’m not saying I hate all ice breakers, but I don’t
think they’re natural and I don’t want one in my family. If you politely put up
with them, down the road ice breakers will be the one to invite themselves to
your wedding, shitfacedly offer drugs to your recovering cousin and yell “I
object” when you’re at the altar because
that is the kind of thing they think is
funny.

So here are some exercises I suggest if you’d like to glean
actual useful information from”¦ ugh”¦ ice
breakers.

Go around the circle, reciting name, major, and hometown (you will get so sick of saying these three
things, you don’t even know) then include whether you:

- Came to college with the conscious mission
to make up for all the partying and some-getting you didn’t do in high school
(it’s helpful if everyone around you can brace themselves and/or get your
number now).

- Are the long-term relationship
turtle who’ll hole up with a phone and Skype until you emerge to re-meet
everybody after the breakup this summer (it’s helpful if everyone has one less
name right now to worry about remembering).

- Are the guy who will keep beer in
his room to make friends.

Someone say something out loud, anything friendly. Everyone
else ignore the speaker and refuse to make eye contact. This is what meeting
certain groups of other nervous freshmen is like.

Everyone, together, count to zero. That’s how many of these
people around you, on average, you’ll still know in three months.

Everyone memorize the phrase “junior year.” That
is about when you’ll get a comfy group of nice friends and feel like you’re
getting serious about whatever’s coming after college (unless you’re, like,
undecided or an English major or something. Then I dunno). Just”¦ Hold on til
then.

A Word From Your RA

                                                              

Hi, I’m your RA. I’m here because I wanted free housing and
I interview well. If you like ice cream mixers (lots of ice cream mixers) and
don’t feel the need to harass minor authority figures, we will get along great.

If you don’t and do, respectively, you’re not as adorable as you think you are
and remember that I have homework to deal with on top of you and your high friends. It’s worth both our time for you to learn to party quietly,
or preferably somewhere else, until you move out of student housing.

It’s possible to overstay your welcome when you’re crying
and refusing to confront your roommate about how you think they’re stealing
your socks or whatever. I exist to help you take care of yourself, not to take
care of you.

So take a deep breath and eat your store brand ice cream.

Optional Academic Seminars

Letter Grades Don’t Matter – If You’re Not Going to Grad School or Have Financial Aid Contingent
Upon Them

Uh, Mr”¦Prof-”¦ David? ““ It
Always Feels Weird To Use Their First Names

How To Identify Who Takes Good Notes – Also: Who is Nice Enough To Give Them To You

Kids Who Take Good Notes: How To Hide Your Identity – Thank You For Being The Force Of Order That
Keeps Society From Ruin

Class Registration: Be Realistic About the Time You’ll Wake Up – Seriously, Anything Before 11AM Is Like Fuck
That (No Matter What You May Think Now)

How Not To Be The Person In Discussion Everyone Wants To
Kill – Though That Person Gives Everyone
Else A Reason To Be Friends


Ways Your GEs Can Enrich Your Education And Life ““ But They Probably Won’t

As far as the final important things I wish I could shout to
myself on move in day (which has had mixed results when I try to do it for
other incomers), I’d want to take away the pressure that I should be meeting
lifelong friends immediately. I’d say it’s OK to be a mess for a while. I’d say
just join a club, hang on to people who make you feel good, and it’s obvious he’s
not interested so leave that poor boy alone.

Godspeed, new kids. Godspeed.