Unless you have friends or older siblings who have gone through orientation at Dal, you don’t really know what to expect. This is when you first really experience Dal student life, meet people you could still be friends with years from now, and get ready to take on the next two, three, four or more years of your life! So to prepare for a great first week of your university experience, follow these handy tips.
1. Find out which orientation is best for YOU
Dal offers a handful of different orientation sessions, so it’s important to know a bit about each one before September so you know which sessions are right for you! Still unsure? Take our orientation quiz to help you identify which sessions are right for you.
DSU O-Week offers events for everyone, allowing you to choose the types of events you wish to attend. Whether it’s sports, concerts, or board games, you’re sure to have a great time. For an orientation session focused more on helping you succeed academically, check out Start on Track. If you are a student requiring accommodations, look into ABLE@Dal’s orientation. Dal also offers unique orientation sessions for diverse communities. Check out the 2019 event schedules here: Start on Track, International student orientation, AC Orientation, ABLE@Dal orientation, Black Student Advising Centre orientation, Indigenous Student Centre orientation, and DSU O-Week.
2. Get to know your leaders
You’ll be meeting a ton of new people during orientation, but the orientation leaders are likely your first friends on campus. You’re going to be assigned to a team and that team will have current students (they loved their orientation so much they came back) to guide, coach and motivate you. They volunteer to welcome new students into the Dal community and want to be the friendly face you see around campus. They can also answer most (if not all) of your campus life questions so be sure to introduce yourself and speak up.
You can also look for volunteers on campus during the first week wearing “Ask Me” t-shirts. Go ahead, ask them anything. Looking for your classroom? Ask them. Wondering where to get a bite to eat? Ask them. And if you don’t see anyone to ask, you can Tweet #DalAskMe and some Dal-knowledgeable person will try to answer your question or point you in the right direction.
3. Introduce yourself to everyone
Say hi to everyone. Introduce yourself. If you see someone you want to meet, find a way to connect with them. Grab their number, add them on Facebook, follow them on Instagram. Everyone at Orientation is new and nervous just like you. This means that you already have something in common. Go from there! After all, nothing beats a friendship that starts with dance-offs and water fights.
4. Go to as many events as you can
You regret 100% of the events you don’t go to. OK, so that’s not how the saying goes, but you get the idea. Even if an event sounds interesting but you’re unsure, check it out! If you love it, great. If you don’t, at least it’s a good laugh. Each event in orientation is set up to showcase a new aspect of the Dal community or campus life, so test the waters and find what you love.
5. Prepare for a marathon, not a sprint
You probably shouldn’t pull an all-nighter on your first night because you’re too excited to sleep. You might not want to lose your voice from cheering on the first day. Pace yourself, find your groove, and enjoy all the festivities all week long!
6. Stay hydrated and don’t go hungry
With that in mind, don’t forget to drink plenty of water or go hungry from all the excitement. Hopefully it will be hot and sunny, so make sure you carry a reusable water bottle. You may want to bring a banana or granola bar to morning or afternoon events as well. You’re also going to have a few breaks throughout the day—take advantage of them.
7. Take lots of pictures
And finally, you’re going to want to remember this week and look back on how much fun you had. Make sure you take pictures! And share them. Throughout the week, tag @DalStudentLife. If you’re in Halifax, also tag @DalhousieStudentUnion or use #DSUOWeek2019. We can’t wait for all the action shots!