More than 2,000 new students will trek to the College of Charleston campus this summer with their families for orientation as they prepare to begin their journeys as Cougars. Running through Aug. 19, 2022, orientation offers a starting point for new students to register for classes, get familiar with campus and learn about student life and services.
And orientation interns like Isabel Causey and Jalen Newell are there every step of the way, guiding and supporting our latest members of the CofC family as they get ready for the start of the academic year.
“My No. 1 tip is just to talk to as many people as you can during orientation,” says Causey, a rising junior majoring in arts management with a concentration in music industry. “Take advantage of the fact that we host in-person sessions! It’s a great way to meet people and not feel so alone when you move in later this August.”
“Students coming to orientation should come with a positive and open attitude to meet others,” adds Newell, a rising sophomore double-majoring in biology and international studies.
The College Today caught up with Causey and Newell to find out how incoming students can get the most out of orientation and what they should keep in mind as they start their time at CofC.
What are some of key campus services new students should make sure to learn about?
Newell: Students must know about the Center for Student Learning (CSL) – because it is a free tutoring service that offers a variety of support in numerous subjects. It also provides students the opportunity to meet other students in their classes and perhaps form study groups in the process.
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What’s one thing new students often ask about during orientation?
Causey: Because of my involvement, many students will ask me about Greek life and how the recruitment process works. I tell my students that the journey is different for everyone, but that it is a great way to get involved, build leadership skills and make friends! Students will also ask about how to create the perfect schedule. I usually tell them that there is no perfect schedule freshman year, and first semester is a lot of trial and error. The responsibility is on you to get up and go to class, communicate with your professors and find the balance between your social life and time to study.
How can new students prepare for registering for classes?
Newell: To prepare for registration, I recommend going on the College’s website and looking at the course catalog for the major you’re most interested in to get an idea of the courses you will have to register for in that specific major. I also recommend looking at general education courses separate from your intended major just to get an idea of what gen-ed classes seem interesting to you before registration time to fill in those graduation requirements.
What are some of your favorite spots on campus new students should check out?
Causey: Some locations on campus that I love are the outdoor seating areas around Rivers Green, which make great places to study with friends. I also really like the second and third floors of the Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center: There are some great spaces to study and they are usually very quiet!
How can incoming students get the most out of orientation?
Newell: Although you are at orientation to get a general idea of what services are offered at the College, you are also there to meet other students and build those friendly connections before you come to the College in the fall.
What are some of the best ways to meet people when the fall semester starts?
Causey: Some great ways to meet people as students begin to move in in August are the College’s Weeks of Welcome events as well as the Involvement Fair. Sign up for clubs that sound interesting, because you may surprise yourself and find something unexpected that you really enjoy.
Any tips for preparing for the first day of classes in August?
Newell: I recommend walking to all the buildings your classes are in before the semester starts just to get a general idea of where your classes will be the first day. In addition, it’s always a good idea to learn your schedule so you can determine what time is best for you to go to lunch, etc.