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A Rite of Passage: Orientation

Transitioning from high school to college is not always easy. Some students leave their homes from all over the country and in some cases, across the world, to attend college. As a small, private college, Rollins has an extremely diverse student body and exudes a feeling of home no matter how far away home actually is. As the fall semester begins with the largest first-year class in years, orientation was filled with activities and distractions as students said goodbye to their parents and hello to their futures.

As cars began to pull up to the residence halls, students eagerly jumped out of the car to begin unloading their belongings with the help of peer mentors and resident advisers.

Despite the excitement of their children, parents were not as quick to unload their vehicles and questions concerning their child’s safety arose with the first upperclassman they saw. While the first-years eagerly moved into their rooms, met their roommates and began adjusting to their residence halls, the transition into college was already proving to be easier than anticipated.

At the end of move-in day, parents went home or to hotels nearby as students began the first day of orientation. Filled with numerous information sessions, free stuff and fun activities at night — including comedians and hypnotists — first-years were never bored.

When the time came for parents to go home and the students to say goodbye, tears were shed and hugs were exchanged with promises of seeing each other soon and keeping in touch despite the busy orientation schedule. Still, the numerous activities helped ease the goodbye process. With how busy we were the first weekend, it is no wonder we went to the first day of classes exhausted!

During orientation, some students complained that they did not have free time to relax, while others eagerly invited the busy schedule of events. Comedians, hypnotists and age-old traditions including Candlewish and Convocation proved to be nothing but fun and helpful in adapting into college life.

Whether you are an upperclassman or a first-year, think back on your Convocation ceremony or on Candlewish. Do you remember sitting in the chapel and holding your candle as you said, “Let it Shine!” or sitting in Convocation listening to President Duncan speak and welcome you to campus?

Regardless of your status here at Rollins, first-year orientation is a memory you will cherish forever. It was a time when you met new friends, experienced new traditions, and accepted your responsibility not only as a student, but also as an adult living on your own.

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