Alright, so, you applied to UD. You got in. You graduated high school. Or at least falsified that you graduated high school. Nice.
At some point during the summer before you started UD, you jumped in the car with the ‘rents, and made the trip to Newark, DE for what is commonly known as New Student Orientation -- or what UD started calling “DelaWorld” in the Summer of '99. And then reverted back to being call New Student Orientation (NSO) in 2010.
The title of this chapter is not meant to be a slam of how UD handles New Student (Dis)Orientation, rather, when you first show up, do you have any semblance of where you are geographically on campus? Unless you’re a Newark native, probably not. You don't know the lay of land yet -- that crash course is during your first week of school.
I’m (re)writing this chapter in July, 2013…which means I attended orientation 22 years ago. The previous sentence was quite a thrill to type out. I feel like I just kicked myself in the nuts. Anyway, I just have hazy recollections of orientation -- can you blame me? It's been a while, but here's what I recall, and my retrospective analysis. I know, very clinical:
Was in Christiana Commons. Not sure if all orientations at the time were held there, or just "special" ones -- okay, yes, I was in the Honors Program. We had our own orientation, I think. They like to keep us nerds caged together.
When I first saw the Christiana Towers, I was like, "Whoa...I want to live in these things!" Which I never ended up doing. But remember hearing that the Towers were for upperclassmen...being a sophomore seemed SO far off at the time.
Actually registering for (or maybe being conned into) an 8 AM class. We’ll talk about this in another chapter, but I had an 8 AM my first semester at UD. Never again. Now, why the hell did I go for this even the first time? Probably because high school started that early, and it didn't seem like a class that early in college was gonna be that bad. It was.
Getting out of my first “exam.” Yep, at orientation, I already found a way to skip a test...but I was in the right! I remember there was a foreign language placement test that everybody was supposed to take, except Business majors...which I was. No requirement for Business majors to take a foreign language at all, at least at the time. So, they sat me down to take the test (don't even know why it got that far), and I was like, “Um, do I like, have to take this?” Nope, and I got the fuck out of there. I don't have the best foreign language aptitude, so that was a relief.
“At DelaWorld in Summer '03, they had the incoming freshmen sit in the multi-purpose room of Trabant. They dimmed the lights, and the orientation leaders ran around the room with flashlights to the theme of Mission: Impossible. They were over-enthusiastic and terribly annoying, and it didn't make a single person in the room excited to be at Delaware. My dad leaned over to me and said, 'You know, it's never too early to transfer.'”
- Veronica, UD '08
“I remember orientation pretty well. How could I forget? I had three of my impacted wisdom teeth removed days before orientation. Thanks mom, for that splendid idea to get them out before orientation.
So, it was hot -- that Delaware hot -- and I looked like an uncomfortable chipmunk, with swollen cheeks. I then realized that in the months since high school ended, I actually got worse in math, as I had to take a math placement test and I actually tested below what I had just done in high school. Passed Calculus in high school with respectable grades, and then I placed myself right into remedial Algebra or some shit. I blame the teeth.
I had to take my Student ID picture with those swollen cheeks, and I know I still have it somewhere. I did meet some cool people that hot summer day, and I learned that people will talk to a sweaty chipmunk with bloated cheeks.”
- Jeff K, UD '98
“I remember sitting in Trabant, listening to President Roselle talk about study habits. He said that students should study three hours out of class, for every hour in class. So, if you were taking 15 credit hours, you should study 45 hours a week. I looked at my mom, and laughed.”
- Chuck A, UD '07
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