The Orientation Experience

Trying to put together words to describe the things a new student goes through during their orientation process at George Mason University is very difficult. The concept is straight forward but each student’s perspective and experience will be different depending on who you talk to. However, I can set up a picture in your mind of what we try to make their experience like.

After finding their way to Lot K or being dropped off in front of the Center for the Arts, students are greeted with music and smiling faces, anxious to welcome them to Mason. When checking in, students and guests are given a schedule of events for the day, and as they head in to the lobby of the Center for the Arts, the fun begins. At Patriot Welcome, everyone learns all about their futures at Mason and what it’s like to be a patriot. After being welcomed by the patriot leaders, we get them up and moving, and also splitting away from their families and guests (just one of the exciting things to happen throughout the day).

Students go through session after session, learning about resources and services we offer here at GMU, and also getting advised on what their college class schedule will look like. One of the most exciting parts about orientation is meeting with the student small groups. Small groups are made up of 10-20 students and one patriot leader to guide the group. Students get to eat lunch, play games and learn more about college life in these groups and are often a nice break from the informative sessions.

After joining the families for dinner, students move down to Dewberry Hall for a fun time watching their patriot leaders perform skits about university services and life at Mason. The students are often pumped about the nighttime events because they’ll get the chance to get information about clubs/involvement at the RAC, socialize with other students and beat their patriot leaders at volleyball and ping pong… or at least they always beat me! Then they head over to hang out at their residence halls and get some rest for the upcoming day.

GMU Whattt wakes students and families up bright and early with more school spirit than ever! Day two is always a blast because students get to spend the day with their small group and experience some of the GMU traditions- such as taking a picture with the George statue, signing the 2018 poster and registering for classes.

Patriot Leaders and everyone else at Mason are so excited to welcome new students and families to GMU. We always hope the students leave with positive vibes about the upcoming fall!

by Skye Lindberg, Patriot Leader

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