College is nothing like freshman orientation: Here’s why

Matthew Duncan

Meeting people during college is easier. Yet, also harder.

Whether it’s getting involved in student organizations or just meeting people in classes, making friends during the semester is much more organic than during orientation. It is, however, more work to actually talk to people during school. No one will force you to do activities with people you don’t know outside of orientation. Even group projects typically keep strangers from being familiar in most classes. Sorry introverts, it’s up to you now. No more icebreakers.

You get more attention during Freshman Orientation than any other part of your college life.

During orientation, everybody wants you. UT and President Gregory Fenves welcome you. Orgs line up their tables and beg for you to join. You have one of the few opportunities where the university gives you some of your money back and is generous enough to dedicate a few days to you. Unless you’re someone extraordinary, you’re just one of over 50,000 Longhorns on campus once classes start.

Freshman Orientation is much less stressful than normal college life.

Orientation is fun for most people. It’s a couple days long. But, it’s during summer break, so it’s not supposed to be stressful. Not long after classes start, projects and commitments will pile up, leaving your summer excitement for college with your orientation leaders. Stress and fun are not mutually exclusive, though. Most West Campus activities capitalize on replacing one with the other.

Normal college days are much less planned out and restrictive.

It’s the middle of the semester, 7:55 a.m., and you’re on your way to your dreaded 8 a.m. in sweats and a UT shirt you got from some people tabling on Speedway. You would’ve skipped class today, but you did that on Monday and there was an iClicker quiz. Oops. Once classes start, the only places you need to be at certain times are your lectures. And even for some people that’s not certain.

Class registration during Freshman Orientation is more stressful than during the rest of college.

The most exciting day of orientation for most people is the day they register for classes. This day can be stressful. Some First-Year Interest Groups have that mandatory class that seems to fit nowhere with the rest your schedule. Everyone around you is panicking about trying to get the perfect schedule. It can still be a worry during later registrations, but at least you’ll be able to do it on your own time when no one else can see you panic.

But, some things never change.

Being bored in lecture halls

Whether it be a droning professor or overly excited orientation presenters, those lecture halls seem to be akin to beds for many UT students.

Singing “The Eyes of Texas”

This song will always be chanted at events and stuck in your head.

Getting free shirts

Your wardrobe will grow despite your bank account remaining empty. Numerous student orgs will gladly supply you with UT-themed swag.

Tabling outside of Greg and down Speedway

Let’s all crowd up the most trafficked areas on campus for a free Kind bar.

Getting lost

You may find out where Speedway and Jester are, but does anybody really know which building Burdine Hall actually is?