So you’re 48 hours into orientation. You’ve been welcomed and introduced and ice-breakered. You’ve met and spent time with the amazing CA staff, SGA members, and COOT leaders. You’ve seen the awesome “In Their Footsteps” video produced by Berol Dewdney ’13 and featuring a ton of great advice from Colby students, etc. You’ve been to First Class – parts I and II – and C2It. You’ve seen “Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation,” and done some campus explorations and hung out in Pulver and started to figure out how to negotiate the serving areas in Dana and “Bob’s” at meal times. And this evening you’ll spend time preparing to head out on your COOT tomorrow.

We know that orientation is a hectic time.  We know that we throw a major wonking pile of information at you in a short period of time and that it’s not likely that you will actually remember everything we tell you this week. We know that orientation includes a pretty wide range of programs and activities and discussions, and that some of them will speak to you in more meaningful and enjoyable ways than others. And we know that it’s more than a little tiring.

But we also know that being really busy during these first few days is WAY better than just hanging around and waiting for classes to start. We know that while some of the ice-breaker games and activities can be kind of goofy, meeting and getting to know even a little bit about a lot of your classmates makes the corny stuff worthwhile.

We know that spending some time actively engaged in the academic endeavor makes you better prepared when classes start for real. We know that participating in service work in Waterville and the surrounding towns exposes you to a bevy of opportunities for enriching your Colby experience through civic engagement. We know that beginning thoughtful conversations with you about diversity and making good choices (about alcohol, sexual safety, etc.) and building positive residential communities is an important component in creating and maintaining a safe, caring, and intellectually rich campus climate.

We know that orientation can be disorienting. We know that most of you will really like parts of orientation and really not like other parts of it. And we know that identifying the parts you like and the parts you don’t like will prove to be immensely valuable to you as you shape and define your Colby experience.

Orientation is about STARTING to learn about life at Colby. It’s about BEGINNING to better understand the academic journey on which you are about to embark. It’s about INITIATING conversations about important issues that will continue in classrooms and dining halls and dorm rooms throughout your time here. And, orientation is about INTRODUCING you to the ways of accessing and claiming the almost limitless possibilities that Colby holds in store for you.

So use this time as it was intended – to help you start your path through Colby – and have fun.
Jim Terhune
Dean of Students

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