Monday, August 1, 2016

My College Orientation Experience

The view outside of my dorm

Although I went to CalSO(Cal Summer Orientation) three weeks ago, I thought that I would still write a post on my experience.

My dad and I flew into Oakland the night before my orientation and took BART to Berkeley.  We were staying a little ways from campus, so we had dinner in West Berkeley at La Mission.  I got the Grande Veggie Taco, and omigod you guys it was really big, I had to eat it with a fork.  Overall I thought that it was pretty good, although something in it was quite spicy(but then again I'm a wimp when it comes to spice.)  I think my dad got the mole enchiladas.  After dinner we walked back to the hotel and looked over my self-proposed schedule again.

La Mission, via Yelp

The next morning we had to wake up early so that we could make the half-hour trek over to Unit 3 for check-in.  When we finally arrived at Unit 3, I noticed that I was the only one with a suitcase(I had just gotten a suitcase and I flew on a plane), so yeah don't bring a suitcase to orientation I guess.  But seriously some of these people only had a backpack, like what, anyways a small tote or duffel bag should do.  I checked in, got my room key, and headed up to my dorm.  Surprisingly, I was the first one there so I decided to take the bunk above the two desks.  Soon after one of my roommates walked in the door so we went down to breakfast together.  We met a girl along the way and we all entered Cafe 3 the wrong way, when we finally figured out the right way to enter I preceded to look for oatmeal, thought that I had located the oatmeal, got a bowl, opened the lid to discover maple syrup(oops), so I just settled for Honey Nut Cheerios(#adult).

The rest of the day consisted of many presentations, some getting to know you games, lunch, and more presentations.  We also got to meet our academic advisor and work on our schedules.  Then we had a dinner way fancier than anything they would actually serve in the dinning hall(like they serve ahi tuna poke) and got a campus tour.  In between the two I went back to the dorm and took full advantage of being the only one in the room by taking a few snaps of the view.  Then we did this defying stereotypes activity and then there was a night rally and they made us do the time warp.  And then there were night activities.  Throughout all of this I had stuck with a group of girls from my CalSO group, but then I sort of lost them, so I decided to go cafe-hopping, which was really just free cookies or go to this restaurant area a block away.  The line for cookies was really long, so I decided to look for boba.  Long story short I didn't get anything and ended up in my dorm room by 10, and to my avail I was the first one back.  My roommate and I planned to go to workshops(optional) in the morning.  We finally met our other roommate as I was about to fall asleep.

I had to take a picture of the view from the dorm because, I mean, you can see the campanile
The next day I went to two workshops and the main reason of going to CalSO: going to your advising appointment to get your registration hold lifted.  Of course on the way to the L&S advising building I got lost, but that's okay I asked someone where it was and she nicely pointed it out to me.  After that I went down to the computer lab to register for classes, which took two seconds since I had already put everything in my shopping cart.  Then I went to another workshop and met up with my CalSO leader who so kindly took us to get free cookies at Pacific Cookie Company(they post the secret words on their Instagram.)  Unfortunately for me it was a Chocolate Mint Chip cookie, and I hate mint, but I was so hungry that I ate it, except for the mint it was really good.  Lastly there was yet another presentation and then we got our Cal ID cards and the On the Same Page book.  I then found my dad in the student union half asleep.

Pacific Cookie Company, via Spoon University
Before we took BART back to the Oakland Airport I wanted to get lunch, so we went to Smart Alec's since it was super close to campus and to Unit 3.  I got a half order of the sesame tofu salad with a slice of wheat bread(I should have gotten cornbread, it has rave reviews on Yelp.)  It was quite big for a half order, I thought that it was okay, the tofu was a little bit over cooked.  Then we walked to the BART station and flew home.

basically what I had for lunch, via Yelp
Overall I would say that my CalSO went pretty well.  I did not have the most amazing time ever, but I also didn't feel like it was torturous.  I think everyone will have a different experience.  I did not become super close with anyone, nor did I make any enemies.  It was successful in the sense that I learned more about all of the resources on campus, and that I registered for classes.  But I don't think I made any amazing friendships.  My advice to other people attending college orientation is to be very open-minded, talk to people, and take advantage of all of the information you can get.  And good luck to you!



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