The hot days of July bring much activity to our campus in Philadelphia. Locust Walk buzzes with summer program participants and students visiting campus during their vacation breaks. Faculty and staff in departments across campus are busy preparing for students to return in just a few short weeks. For the class of 2022, their Penn journey will begin even sooner, with the start of New Student Orientation (NSO) in late August. NSO offers a series of activities for students and families to lay the foundation for a successful transition to college. Taking place just before the start of classes, this busy week introduces students to the many resources across campus that will equip them for a successful first year of college and beyond.
For incoming college freshmen, orientation activities mark the official start of their college experience and the culmination of many years of hard work. For students, your dedication in high school to your academic and extracurricular commitments have led you to a successful launch of your college career. Now that you will be living independently, managing your own schedule and facing a greater array of options of how to spend your time, it is important to remember the time management and healthy study habits that brought you here. At the same time, beginning college is an opportunity to start new, with a clean slate, and to begin your next academic chapter free from any bad habits that may have crept in towards the end of high school. There is so much ahead of you, and so many people are awaiting your arrival at your future college home.
For students, make the most of these transition weeks to college. Pay attention to the items to complete before your arrival on campus (ensuring you can register for classes on time, have a place to live, have completed all necessary financial aid forms, and much more) and keep a checklist handy (take a look at the ‘Penn10’ checklist here). Take ownership of these tasks – this independence will help you when you arrive on campus. Learn about the people and processes that are here to help. Your faculty advisor, residential life staff, peers, support staff and many others across campus are here for you. Know who these people are, where their offices are located, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. Some students may participate in summer bridge programs designed to provide mentoring and an early academic and social transition to college. At Penn, the Pre-Freshman Program offers students an academic and social introduction to Penn and Philadelphia, also encouraging students to meet and bond with each other. All of these activities are designed to help you find success as you begin this next chapter.
The transition into college is a big one, but you can do it. Don’t forget that there are many people who can’t wait to meet you and to offer their help as you make this transition. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be confident in your talents and strengths that have brought you to this point. We can’t wait for you to get started.
Be sure to tune into The Process on the last Friday of every month from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, on SiriusXM Stars Channel 109, and call in with your questions at 888-94-STARS (888-947-8277). The next show is July 27, 2018 and will feature staff from Penn’s New Student Orientation program. We look forward to hearing from you.