Freshman orientation excites new students for their introduction to college


Donuts and coffee greeted incoming freshmen as they prepared themselves for Central Michigan University's Orientation Day and the start to a new chapter in their lives.

Check-in closed by 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, marking the start to a carefully packed day for students and parents alike, who were separated into different groups by 9:30 a.m. Parents were treated to seminars about student life, campus safety and financial advising. Students were divided into teams that participated in group activities, learned about classes and met with Academic advisers.

Michelle Howard, executive director of academic advising and assistance, said 299 students arrived for orientation today, one student short of CMU's goal to have 300 students attend each of the 12 orientation days this summer.

Amber Dalian, a incoming freshman from Troy, picked CMU for its education programs.

"I really like art, but my mom is kind of nervous about me going off as an artist on my own," she said. "I figured if I taught I could do that and then have my own art business on the side."

General academic advising ended at 11:15 a.m., when students were given a choice to attend one of several informational meetings on Academic and Tutoring Services, the Honors program, the ROTC program, the Study Abroad program and Residential Colleges.


"I went to the Honors thing, and I thought they did a great job," said Sarah Rich, an incoming freshman from Rochester Hills. "I was a little iffy about what the Honors program meant, and that really helped."

After the meeting, students were treated to a meal in the Down Under Food Court and were given a moment to sit, relax and gather themselves before attending college advising meetings and final advising to set their fall schedules.

"Everyone seemed really excited. My sister went here, so I feel really comfortable," Rich said. "I went to three of the Sibs Weekends, and let's be honest, that's pretty much like brainwashing."

Students picked CMU for a variety of different reasons.

Alexandria Fonzi, from Bay City, picked CMU because it offered a number of different majors, including Physician Assistant, which she is the most interested in, and its proximity to her home.

"(CMU) had the full range of aspects that I wanted as far as the social aspects," said Mark Tratt of DeWitt. "It was a good size, and it had what I wanted in terms academics and athletics, too. I plan to play lacrosse up here."

Nicole Felty from Comstock Park is also excited about the variety of majors offered at CMU.

"I'm completely undecided, and (CMU) has so many programs. I'm just hoping to just get out there and find what I like," Felty said.

Although orientation made some students nervous, it was an exciting experience for many.

"There was all these cars here, and I thought, 'Come on ... Can there really be that many freshmen in one day?' And I guess there is," Fonzi said. "That kind of scared me that there is so many kids, and just not knowing anyone"


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