Every year during Orientation, I see students that always look so uncomfortable. I mean, granted, being at Orientation can be an uncomfortable experience, what with all the ice breakers and having to talk to and be around people you don’t know. That’s not the kind of discomfort I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is physical discomfort – let’s face it, you’re walking all over campus to different offices and it’s hot and humid and sticky and sometimes, it’s even raining. So, I’ve come up with a list of a few things that I think will help mitigate some of that.
What to bring:
- Sunscreen. The UV rays are out and in full effect during summer. Even though you’ll be ducking into offices and shielded a good bit, you’re still susceptible to sunburn any time you’re outside for more than a few minutes. And, every second you’re outside without sunscreen does damage to your skin.
- Antibacterial lotion/spray. I am so not a germaphobe, but let’s be real. You’re going to be around a lot of people. And you’re not going to know if they’ve bathed or even washed their hands. You’ll also be touching lots and lots of surfaces touched by said people. Just protect yourself, that’s all.
- Umbrella/collapsible rain coat. You might get stuck in an afternoon shower while going from the ID card office to your advising session. Where I live, here in the Florida panhandle, you can pretty much count on it. A travel umbrella or collapsible/foldable rain coat takes up very little space and you’ll be very glad you brought it.
- Something to write with. Most colleges give out those little drawstring backpacks filled with important Orientation information, a keychain, and most likely a pen. These pens are not the best pens in the world and there’s a chance you might not have one in your bag. Just make sure you have a backup. And keep your eye on it – pens disappear faster than donuts!
- A water bottle. It’s hot. It’s so hot. So so so so so hot. Keep yourself from getting dehydrated and keep cool by keeping a reusable water bottle at your disposal and filling it up when you pass a water fountain.
- Comfortable shoes. Leave your cute-but-flimsy-soled shoes at the house. You are going to be walking an untold amount during Orientation. Make sure you wear shoes with good support. You could do athletic sneakers, Chucks, Birkenstock or Birkenstock-like sandals, or Sperrys.
- Easy-to-transport healthy snacks. Granola bars are your best bet. I talked with one student the other day around 3:30 and she hadn’t eaten since noon and she was ready for dinner. Don’t get hangry – put a couple of granola bars in your bag before you leave the house and be happy!
So that’s my list – what’s yours? Have you been to Orientation yet? I’d love to hear about it!