I’m a gal that loves a checklist so here’s one for you.
Firstly, take a breath and chill out (easier said than done, I know.)
You probably have a few questions about what you should be doing the summer before your first year and also some fears about moving to a new place with new people. That’s totally normal- college can be a terrifying prospect. I’ll tell you right now, it will work out. (I’ll keep reminding you of that because it’s easy to forget).
Secondly, Pre- Orientation Programs…
What are they and should I do one?
Pre-Orientation Programs happen in the days before orientation. You come to campus a little bit early (for some programs you’ll move into your dorms early as well) and you have current students as leaders. You’ll be put in groups with other students (often referred to as your family).
For information on specific programs you can go to this link: https://students.tufts.edu/orientation/pre-orientation-programs
Should you do one? It can’t hurt. It can be really scary to go into orientation without knowing anybody. Your Pre-O group gives you automatic friends to go to meals with and hang out with and they make O-week feel less daunting. You may meet your best friend on your trip- friends of mine live with people they met on these trips. The best advice I can give is to be open to meeting new people and try your hardest to be yourself. And most importantly, don’t let the stress stop you from participating because you’ll cherish the memories from these programs for the rest of your college experience.
The deadline to sign up for these programs has passed and you should have heard back from them by now if you applied. But if you didn’t sign up for one, no need to freak out! Orientation Week is one big meet and greet where you will be introduced to so many new people! Plus, you’ll have your hallmates and FYA (first-year advisor) to hang with throughout the week. You will make friends; I promise.
Okay next stress inducing thing- Should I be signed up for classes?? Am I behind??
NO! All freshman register for classes during orientation week after you meet with your advisor. Also it’s okay that you don’t know what you want to major in- you have two years (or one year if you’re an engineer) to figure out what you love to do. If you are bored and want to browse the course catalog, do it! Read the class descriptions, add classes to your shopping cart and let them hang out there until it’s actually time to enroll.
fourth concern: I don’t know ANYONE and I’m worried I won’t have friends.
The crazy thing is, no matter how calm they may seem, every single person is worried about this coming into college. Here’s the truth- you will make friends eventually. You may meet a group people during O-week that you kind of get along with but don’t REALLY connect with and that is completely normal. You will find those ~forever friends~, the people you can’t imagine your life without from your clubs and classes and sports teams. It won’t happen right away but these friendships are worth it! The bright side is that Tufts students are generally REALLY kind and are excited to meet new people. I, for one, cannot wait to have you on campus!!
I hope this helped ease your stress- even a little bit. Here’s another reminder that everything will be OKAY! The summer before my freshman year I spent hours reading every blog I could find about what college was like. I realized when I arrived at Tufts that no college experience is the same and a college experience cannot be encapsulated in a single blog post. But I can summarize a major aspect of my years here into one sentence: I’ve grown the most when I step out of my comfort zone and seek out new experiences. I’m excited for you to do the same!
If reading this didn’t lessen your anxiety, then pictures of a Goldendoodle living her best life on the Tufts campus might - follow my dog on Instagram @harper_the_dood J