Today is one of the most fun days of the admissions year – the start of orientation! With a few exceptions, it’s the first time we’ll meet our new students face-to-face, after having spent the better part of a year working with them virtually as prospective/admitted/enrolled students. Our friends in the Registrar run the arrival and check-in portion of the day, though we eagerly staff the check-in tables for the opportunity to put faces to names with which we’ve been working on paper for the better part of the past year. My guess is that it can sometimes be a bit surreal for students to arrive at Fletcher for the first time and be greeted by one of us as if they’re a long-lost relative. What can I say? We’re excited to have our new students here.
As I’ve written about before, there’s lots going on this week. For those of us in Admissions, our formal responsibilities are fairly limited – I’ll do a financial aid session later today, and will lead a small group in some mingling and icebreaker exercises tomorrow – but for most of the week we’ll be popping in and out of various sessions, and generally making ourselves available to answer questions, help people find their way around Fletcher, and make everyone feel welcome. Thus far today we’ve had welcome remarks by Dean Johnstone, Executive Associate Dean Sheehan, our Director of Student Affairs, and returning MIB student Babar Taimoor. Most of the rest of today consists of large group sessions, in fact, but tomorrow these newbies will be split up into smaller groups with whom they’ll spend most of the rest of orientation. If we’re lucky enough to have decent weather throughout the week, lunches outside in the Blakeley Hall courtyard are always a great opportunity to sit and chat with new students. My personal goal by the end of the week is to have internalized at least a healthy handful of names, with the knowledge that I’ll be seeing a lot of our new students in the weeks to come. More orientation updates later this week!