Transitioning to Life at Furman

Have you ever wondered what the transition to college entails? I didn’t think about this much before coming to Furman, but in my first few weeks, I realized it was an important part of my college experience that set the tone for my first semester. Moving away to college is a big transition in life and can feel hard at times. However, Furman builds in different levels of support for new students in their college transition. I’ve served on Orientation Staff for 3 years now, so I’m going to tell you guys a little bit about what your transition to Furman will look like in the next few months!

First, you have summer orientation. There are multiple sessions throughout June and you’re able to pick the one that works best for your family. Summer orientation lasts for two days and you’ll spend the night in the south housing dorms with your new classmates. You’ll attend sessions about your transition in the fall, talk to professors who will help you pick the classes you’ll take in the first semester, and get to know current students who are your orientation leaders. It’s a great chance to ask anymore questions you have about what life is like at Furman. Along the way, you make memories with friends that you’ll get to see in August! I became great friends with my orientation leaders and those friendships have continued since they’ve graduated, too. 🙂

Here is Freshman Colleen with my Orientation Leaders, Mike and Meg! They were some of my first friends at Furman.
Here’s a selfie of me as an orientation leader the summer after my freshman year! I got to know so many incoming students that summer and we’ve continued to be friends throughout our time at Furman.

Then, you’ll come back to campus for fall orientation when you come back in August! Fall orientation staff members will be there to help you unload your car so that you can unpack and settle in as quickly as possible. Fall orientation begins with your parents; they get to attend the welcome session and meet your academic advisor. Then, after saying goodbye, you’ll be busy getting to know your hall-mates and classmates. There are tons of activities going on throughout the weekend, like a varsity soccer game, a hypnotist, and even a carnival on the field in front of south housing! With so many things to do in your first weekend, there are tons of opportunities to meet members of the freshman class and make new friends before classes start.

Here’s me and my sophomore roommate at the carnival at the beginning of our sophomore year. Although the carnival is designed for freshman, students of all classes come out to reconnect with each other before classes start!
During fall orientation, one of the activities you get to do is go to White Oaks (President Davis’ home) for a picnic and tour. It’s a tradition that orientation staffers tell you all of the histories and stories from each room. Here’s Andrew and I telling stories in the Urn Room.

During your transition into life at Furman, your Resident Assistant (RA) and First Year Advisor (FRAD) are also really helpful. Because they live with you on your hall, they are a built in part of your community that helps you access resources that you’ll use throughout your time at Furman. Whether they help you make an appointment with a peer tutor or show you how to access the counseling center, your RA and FRAD can help you understand where to go on campus if you ever need help!

Leaving home and moving to college can be scary. Knowing that there are so many levels of support here hopefully makes it less scary! Orientation is designed to help you have the smoothest transition to live here as possible. Hopefully you’ll feel that support when you arrive to campus in August. 🙂

Until next time,

Colleen

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