Quite a bit happens to my merry band of freshpersons prior to their arrival in my classroom. They say buh bye to their high school friends, siblings and pets (for many the pet seems to be the most missed, but perhaps that is another post). They shove their gaming consoles, new sheet and towels and shower shoes in the car and ease on down the road to the university.
They move in. Mom cries. Then, they get wrecked.
Freshperson orientation seems to consist of
1. Playing stupid ice breaker games with a group of 19 other newly liberated souls.
2. Learning who the kid who has the best fake ID to go to the local libation dealer and bring back social lubrication so that the newly liberated can practice their liberty through secret intoxication.
3. Hearing important tips from the upper-classperson orientation leaders such as
*That required freshperson class is the easiest A you'll have in college
*Don't worry if you didn't do the common reading. Proffies never ask about it.
*Frat row has the best parties with free beer for girls
*Proffies don't care if you book your trips over university holidays with just a couple of extra days on each end.
*Don't let the RAs catch you drinking. But everybody drinks. All the tea-partying time.
4. They confusedly buy their textbooks. Our bookstore (a Silos and Peasants branch) has now stopped carrying textbooks in the store. You have to go in and order them and come back another day after they have paged them from the warehouse. So you can't look for used books with the kind of notes/highlights that might actually help you.
There's a big freshperson gathering where they mill around on the sportsball field holding those candles with the paper bibs on the bottom while not hearing some guy on a stage talking about integrity or morality or tradition or something. They show in my class the next day. with the idea that college is a party (I had a student describe it as being like summer camp), professors are pushovers and as long as you show up (most of the time) you should be just fine.