When LSA freshman Rachel Pultusker arrived for orientation on June 26, she did not know what to expect. She was nervous about getting lost and falling through the cracks at a University of 38,000 students.
But she met friends and found there were many incoming students who shared her concerns – they were all in the same boat.
“We were all confused about how to look through the course description booklet, none of us knew how to open a checking account or where we were going,” Pultusker said.
She added that the advisors and students leading the orientation helped make orientation a positive experience and let her know she was not going to get lost in the crowd.
“I walked into my academic advisor’s office and she knew what I was looking for, what classes I wanted to take before I even said anything to her,” she said.
She added that meeting people and getting a taste of campus life made her even more excited about attending in the fall.
“I was only there for three days and I met people with completely different backgrounds and experiences than me,” she said. “I had the best time at orientation. I came in not knowing anyone and we had a great time together,” she added.
Pultusker is one of the 5,484 students who will take part in orientation and join the predicted class of 5,100 entering the University in the fall.
Over 600 students take part in the program, which is led by five current students, each week. In addition to taking placement exams and touring campus, participants learn about everything from M-Cards to Wolverine Access and how to register for classes.
They also watch a performance by ResRep, a summer theater troup that addresses campus issues and resources available to students.
Over 50 current students from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and hometowns with different majors are involved in the orientation process and in trying to make the transition to college as easy as possible for incoming freshman, said Katie Bondy, orientation assistant and coordinator of student and parent programs.
“We try to have a diverse staff because we try to represent what the community of the University’s campus is. We want any student that comes in to orientation to be able to identify with and relate to any of the current students we have on staff.”