Orientation is dizzying and overwhelming—the days are long and laden with programming, you encounter a wide variety of people and remember very few names, and you travel constantly with your floor. It's a marathon meet-and-greet that will make the first few days of classes seem simple in comparison.
Take advantage of Orientation for what it is: an opportunity to face your peers with a clean slate, to get to know administrators and faculty, and to begin the process of shaping who you will become at Bowdoin.
Don’t worry if you don’t meet your crowd right away; even if you aren’t best friends with your floor, you will always have a special relationship with the random people you hang out with early on. Some of your first impressions will be right, but most will evolve over the next four years as you become more familiar with this place.
Explore the disparate opportunities that Bowdoin offers—just because you go out for varsity soccer does not mean you can’t also audition for a part in a musical.
In four years, you will not be the same person you are today, and the school will have changed with you. The first year housing system is currently under review; the College has plans to build and renovate new facilities; Amtrak has finally arrived in town; and Distinguished Lecturer and former Maine Governor Angus King is poised to win a seat in the U.S. Senate—this year is the first time in many years that he will not be delivering his annual address at the convening dinner. Brunswick and Bowdoin are closely linked, and as the town changes so will the College. Stay apprised of local news and familiarize yourself with the community; you’re just as much a resident of Brunswick as you are your first year brick.
Do not underestimate your role at the College this year—you’re arriving to Brunswick with fresh eyes, which makes your opinions and feedback about how the school works all the more important.
Speak up if you have something to say or a problem with the school. If you want to be heard, go to a BSG meeting; visit President Mills or Dean Foster during their office hours; talk to your professors—maybe even submit an op-ed to the Orient. Be an active member of the community, because this is your home for the next four years.
This editorial represents the majority view of The Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Erica Berry, Nora Biette-Timmons, Eliza Novick-Smith, Linda Kinstler, and Sam Weyrauch.