I remember my first day of college. You start all over as a nervous freshman. It feels very much like your first day of high school. But, the stakes are higher. You're on your own to make decisions. You get to decide how to spend your day and how much you'll get out college.
If you're moving in, you're nervous about living in a new dorm room. You're nervous about finding your classes and figuring out the dreaded cafe. Your insecurities won't go away those first few weeks. You just hope you figure out college quicker than all the other freshmen. Most people don't like to make a fool of themselves in public as the girl-that-doesn't-know-where-to-sit.
For all of the college and universities' staff that are welcoming these students, keep this in mind. Help them out if you bump into them and they look lost. Assure them that they are no trouble to help and that they're welcome on your campus. It will silence those insecurities for the day and make them feel like they belong.
As orientation/welcome weekend/new student day comes up for your organization, keep these tips in mind.
- Be welcoming with a smile
- Suggest to take a picture of students hanging out together so they'll always remember this
- Sit down with students in the cafeteria for a few minutes to see how their day is going
- Recommend a student event to go and meet people
- Encourage them to email you/seek you out/visit your office if they have any questions
Also, if your opening session needs movable staging equipment to create a secure backdrop, we're here to help. At my university, we would do an opening dance to a popular song with all the student leaders. It was awesome and the highlight of our time. Having a movable stage would have been even more helpful to use.