Orientation is an organized introduction. It is designed to introduce incoming Mason freshmen to the campus and all of its offices and organizations, but most importantly, to other students. Our unique Small Group program is specifically designed for soon-to-be students to meet a random sampling of their peers, either freshmen or transfer students, who may only share one in thing in common – they chose Mason. However, throughout the day and a half of orientation these students will most likely realize that they share more things in common with one or more member of their Small Group. This establishes more comfort and confidence that they will find their place at Mason. This connection may just last that day and a half, but that memory made – that there are similar folks to you on campus, hopefully even friends – will reappear within the first weeks of being at Mason and ideally start a wonderful transition.
For families, the orientation initiates the new chapter in the student’s life as well as their own. While most of the first day of the orientation delves into addressing their logistical questions and concerns, the morning of the second day may bring up emotions which may have been subdued until that moment. On that second morning, parents and other family members have a chance to reflect and share with others how they are feeling and how they anticipate this new Mason chapter will be like for their students and themselves.
The student orientation guides, or Patriot Leaders, will answer every question genuinely and if they do not have the accurate information will direct whoever posed the question to the right Mason employee. Orientation provides incoming students with some clarity about what to expect when classes start in the fall, but ideally students will continue to learn about Mason and all of their opportunities as students throughout their time attending the university.
by Alexander Durfee