Orientation Week (or O-Week as it is informally called) is only a few weeks away, and it is one of the biggest events of the year!
Orientation Week is a week of events filled with parties, trips, and educational sessions organized to welcome incoming students to York University. Every student is affiliated with a College, and you will spend the whole week with that College, meeting fellow classmates and upper-year students. It’ll probably be the beginning of many a friendship and definitely of a network to assist you as you travel your university path. Your College’s website will have all the information you need on where to buy your so-called Frosh kit to start O-Week! What’s a Frosh kit, you ask? Read this helpful post that our colleagues at SC&LD (Student Community and Leadership Development) put together last year.
Orientation Week of course starts off with York Orientation Day on Tuesday, September 8. While that day will feature some pomp and circumstance to initiate you as a true York Lion, you will also get to share a free lunch with your peers and, maybe most important of all, receive your Academic Orientation: professors, staff and upper-year students will provide tips and tools for you to excel in your program.
Your attendance at York Orientation Day is expected, so make sure to register if you haven’t already done so. Social Orientation, the week-long event I described above as O-Week, is optional for students. Keep your eyes peeled for a post by my colleague and student ambassador Sunera in which she provides answers to new Lions most popular questions about York Orientation.
To whet your appetite, I talked to the president of Founders College, Kaitlin Malfara, to give you a glimpse of what to expect from O-Week and what it has to offer incoming students.
Kaitlin Malfara, fourth-year Environmental Studies major
R: Can you take me back to your Frosh (Orientation) Week? What was your favourite moment?
K: I was super nervous coming into Frosh Week because I came by myself, without any of my friends. But just the community that Founders has here, and York as a whole, was so great, I felt welcomed as soon as I arrived. I never once felt alone, so that was fantastic, even from the moment I stepped into the building.
Orientation was definitely an eye-opener, in the sense that I got to explore the campus. From all the clubs York has, the athletic events, the student council, and all the social and fun aspects of the university.
In the sense of a party, I’m going to say that the Founders Double Quad party to this day it’s the only party that I remember thoroughly from start to finish [because it was so amazing]. In a quieter, more intimate way, I probably most recall the Dodgeball game we had. It was pretty cool; it lasted a couple of hours, and it was a big tournament that definitely got us all closer together and started that whole team-building aspect.
R: What encouraged you to stay involved at Founders?
K: I was never involved in my first or second year, especially in council. I was just a constituent who liked to hang out. What made me come back was definitely the experience I had in Frosh Week. I met a ton of people who were inspiring, welcoming and friendly in general. Founders became a safe haven, like my second home because these people were just so great.
R: Do you have any advice for incoming students who are nervous about coming to Frosh Week?
K: The week is filled with things from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, and it’s not necessarily parties or events that cater to outgoing people versus introverted people. During the day, we have smaller, more intimate events that don’t have loud music or a thousand people. They are usually smaller and College-based. We have events that cater to everyone’s needs and that’s something we make sure we have because we want everyone to feel comfortable and for everyone to have the fantastic university experience that I had.
Expect to make new friends. Expect to have good times and to make good memories. Expect O-Week to better your university experience.
Sounds awesome, right? Once again, you can find your College affiliation here and sign up for York Orientation Day here. If you are an upper-year student who would like to get involved with O-Week, become a YU Belong Ambassador! The Red Zone is also offering volunteer opportunities to help out with Parent and Family Orientation Day on September 5.
Go out, have fun and get involved! Tell me how it goes at @yorkustudents or leave a comment!