New Student Orientation (NSO) is a seven-day process designed to integrate new students into Trinity’s vibrant campus life. There are events for meeting new people, learning the important spots on campus and discovering what academic and extracurricular options are available. It’s going to give new students a jam-packed schedule so they will be sure to have a busy, structured first week on campus. It may be an overwhelming experience, especially after a long, lazy summer, but it is an amazing way to phase into Trinity’s energetic environment.

If I could give one piece of advice, as a senior with a bit of distance from the events, it would just be to drink the Kool-Aid. When the Orientation Team is performing funny, awkward skits or everyone’s being shuffled into the gym for a massive icebreaker game, be as positive and open as possible. Choosing a good attitude for this week will most likely result in making more friends and developing a positive relationship with this new home.

Now, here is a quick guide to some of the major activities all first years will be attending this week (a lot of this information, and much more, is available on the TU Life app):

Bell Center Check-in

Date: Thursday August 20
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Place: William Bell Center 115

You drive up to your residence hall after having waited in an endless car line for 45 minutes, suddenly people in maroon tie-dyed shirts are opening every door and grabbing each suitcase, lamp and toothbrush you packed. You are taken up to your new dorm room, which is currently being filled with your precious things. A bubbly individual walks in, forces a handshake and introduces herself as your resident mentor—a title that you don’t totally understand. You look around for your parents before being told to go find the gym for check-in. You walk across a hot parking lot and into a building labeled as the Bell Center where other students are congregating among various booths where people in suits are handing out important documents. It’s all very overwhelming and you feel the anxiety begin to rise in your gut. Then, somebody takes your picture.

While this event can be a bit stressful, it’s very important for finding documents for parking permits, learning about different academic departments and obtaining your Tiger Card. Just remember to smile brightly.

Alcohol, Sexual Assault & Step Up

Date: Friday August 21
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Place: Laurie Auditorium

Here at Trinity, students are incredibly involved with policies that affect them. It is incredibly important to be as informed as possible about administrative perspectives and actions, especially with issues like alcohol and sexual assault.

There are multiple organizations and opportunities on campus to become involved with creating a fun, safe environment for the next four years. This event will give everyone the knowledge and tools to be a force of positivity and development in the evolutionary process of perfecting this school

On-campus Service Project (Be The Match!)

Date: Saturday August 22
Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Place: William Bell Center 115

Students will notice that many of NSO’s activities are geared towards helping students bond and educating them on Trinity’s values and traditions. One amazing aspect of going to school here is the weight both the students and administration place on service. Together, students will work on creating a record number of packets for a charity called Be The Match!, which helps pair ill patients with bone marrow donors. The activity will help students get to know each other while instilling within them the importance of camaraderie and service.

Playfair

Date: Sunday August 23
Time: 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Place: William Bell Center 115

Everyone remembers Playfair because it is basically “the” NSO activity. It will make all first years bond in ways they didn’t believe was possible before they entered the gym. I don’t want to give too much away about the event, but I can tell you that it has the potential to really benefit you if you truly participate and try to enjoy it as much as possible. You can definitely make real friends (maybe even some outside your hall) and have a few funny stories to tell afterward. Just a bit of fair warning, though: wash your hands before.

Student Involvement Fair

Date: Monday August 24
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Place: Coates University/Esplanade

You have all come to this school with the potential to belong to any organization you want on campus because there are about a million and each one is incredibly accessible. Because many of them are small, it’s easy to obtain leadership positions by sophomore year. You’ll also have an opportunity to meet people outside of you suite, which can be harder than it seems freshman year.

Convocation/Tower Climb/Campus Picnic

Date: Tuesday August 25
Time: 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Place: Laurie Auditorium/Parker Chapel Courtyard/Coates University Center/Esplanade

This series of events is one of Trinity’s oldest traditions. All the first years will get dressed up and attend the convocation, which kicks off the academic year. Then everyone will climb the Trinity tower, something that’s only repeated again at graduation, to shake hands with President Anderson.

This will all be followed with a giant picnic. This day also basically signals the end of New Student Orientation.
Hopefully, by this time you have learned a few things about the school, made a few friends and are ready to go to bed early and wake up on time for classes starting Wednesday. Good luck from the Trinitonian! This is gonna be a weird week.