Looking back, the last few days went by in a blink of an eye. But it sure did not feel that way when I was in the midst of it. The hours of campus-touring, the scorching heat, and the endless nights socializing with friends made the freshman orientation draining and fun at the same time.
The first day of orientation, we were split up into groups according to our major. I was put into a group of about six people, who were either physiological science or neuroscience majors. Being around people of similar interests and goals made it easy for me to socialize and engage. Also, there was an adviser per group that assisted the group throughout the orientation to answer any questions and help with enrollment, which was very helpful.
The three days were fully packed with countless workshops informing about my major, internship/volunteer opportunities, social life, safety/well-being, financial aid, and the list goes on. It was definitely a little overwhelming to take in so much information in such little time, but with a bit of note-taking, I was able to keep my mind from wandering off.
There were multiple placement tests going on throughout the orientation. Math and music placement tests were held the first day, followed by French and German placement tests the next morning. I didn’t need to take any of the exams, which meant I had more free time to spend exploring the campus. So I took a trip to the gym, John Wooden Center. The center was much bigger than I had expected. The spacious three-story building consists of a basketball/volleyball court, racquetball court, rock wall, gymnasium, several dance rooms, game lounge, and conference rooms for meetings. The main hallway contains machines, such as treadmills, ellipticals, weight training equipments, and etc. The center also has certified personal trainers that can evaluate fitness levels, teach different techniques, and provide exercise programs customized for each client. There are trainers that specialize in all sorts of exercise from strength training to life-style coaching. Towels and locker rooms are also provided, which makes it very convenient. I am definitely going to visit there again during the school year.
After long days of sitting through workshops and meetings, we were given free time at night to either go off-campus to visit Westwood, attend shows hosted by the staffs, or play various games with other students. I went to the show Cabaret and it was pretty hilarious to see my adviser on stage singing and dancing. We all had a good time.
One of the energizers that got me through the entire orientation was the amazing food on campus. The dorms have all-you-can-eat buffets that give many options to choose from. I especially appreciated the strawberry frozen yogurt that saved me from the heat.
The orientation was a little bit tiring but I am really glad I had a chance to meet some great people and familiarize myself with the campus. I am definitely excited for the fall quarter.