Ways to maximize your time during New Student Orientation

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo

A lot has changed since officials switched from Colonial Inauguration to New Student Orientation. Here's a look at some of the biggest changes so you can make the most of your first days at GW.

When the Class of 2023 arrives on campus, they’ll experience an orientation that no other student has gone through before.

After putting an end to Colonial Inauguration, officials created a new model that will include more time to spend with family and peers. In more ways than one, the incoming class should know what to look out for when they enter campus and enjoy a brand new orientation.

Here’s how to take advantage of some of the biggest changes between CI and New Student Orientation:

Maximize your spare time

The most prominent difference between New Student Orientation and CI is length. The new model will take place over multiple days instead of six sessions throughout June and August.

Between events throughout the day, use every ounce of spare time to meet with people on the floor of your residence hall room and find your way through campus. Using Google maps is often a necessity for a freshman’s first couple of weeks at GW, but it shouldn’t be a problem now that you’ve already spent time showing your family around school and checking out campus buildings. You could also use your extra time to find your classes so you don’t get lost on your first day of college.

Socialize now, study later

During CI, students would spend a portion of their time sorting out class schedules and frantically registering for classes in Gelman Library on the final day of programming. Class registration was a constant source of stress during a quick two days at CI, but you shouldn’t have to worry this year. You’ve registered months ago, and you shouldn’t stress out before classes have even begun.

International students previously participated in separate programming at the end of August, but making the switch to orient domestic and international students at the same time will give you extra hours to meet people from all parts of the world before classes begin. Most of the programming is geared toward meeting new people and enjoying free food, so take time to make new friends you can lean on when stress picks up during school.

Include your family in the fun

After parent programming was axed in 2017, New Student Orientation will once again include sessions for parents and families to attend. While you may want to flee from your family as soon as you get to campus, savor your time before you part ways.

Some family sessions include a panel discussion for first-generation families, a faculty panel on utilizing academic resources  and a session run by the Colonial Health Center named “Parenting for Optimal Well Being.” Even if the events feel like a drag, your family will appreciate being part of programming created just for them. You can also spend time exploring the city in between sessions at restaurants or the monuments.

Rack up free food

The first couple weeks of classes often mean loads of free food, and first-year students can fill up on a few more days of complimentary bites ahead of the rest of GW. On Aug. 22, you can attend the Dining Food Festival from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in University Yard to taste all of the different dining options available to you. The next day, officials are hosting a community barbecue from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in both University Yard and the Mount Vernon Campus quad to help you get to know your neighbors. Instead of eating at the event, be sure to stuff away a few extra bites that you can eat as a snack in your residence hall room.

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