Orientation prepares freshmen for new year

Students+gather+at+the+end+of+orientation+week+for+a+celebration+in+Westowne+Square.

Photo by Claire Gallagher

Students gather at the end of orientation week for a celebration in Westowne Square.

“Homesickness is something I struggle with insanely,” Jillian O’Meara, a freshman in the College of Health Sciences, said.

When she arrived at Orientation this weekend, O’Meara had concerns about living in a new environment. She said she initially felt that her Orientation group was shy. However, once her group attended the YOU @ MU pep rally on the first night of Orientation, they were able to feed off the excitement of the Orientation leaders.

The goal of Orientation is to introduce new students to Marquette traditions as well as introduce them to each other, according to the Marquette University Orientation page. Accompanied by about 100 Orientation leaders, the students participated in events like the Golden Eagle extravaganza, which entailed a live band, food and the annual square dance.

Orientation spanned four days. On Thursday, Orientation groups held meetings and attended YOU @ MU, where new students and Orientation leaders participated in games on the floor of the Al McGuire Center. Friday brought a group excursion in which the group leader chose a Milwaukee destination to take students. In the evening, Late Night Marquette event included escape rooms, blow up games and trivia. Saturday allowed students to participate in excursions such as a Milwaukee boat or bus tour, a Brewers game and a service opportunity through Urban Connection. The students wrapped up the weekend with a group lunch, and they had the rest of the day to prepare for the upcoming school year.

O’Meara said culture was a factor in her decision to choose Marquette.

“I chose Marquette definitely for the urban environment and their Catholic values … (it’s a) medium-sized school and a tight community,” O’Meara said.

Along with O’Meara, other students expressed their excitement to be on campus and at Orientation.

“I think (Orientation is) a fantastic opportunity,” Pedro Silva, a freshman in the College of Engineering, said. “I love the group session. It’s a great opportunity to know people who have similar interests as you.”

Silva said he chose Marquette because of the community and the campus environment. He said he doesn’t feel like just a number on campus but instead a real member of the community.

Rachel Mehail, a freshman in the College of  Engineering, said she feels similarly.

“At Marquette, I am who I am,” Mehail said. “I’m not a number, … (but instead) I am accepted.”

Roommates Jack Kister and Nathaniel Rouse, freshmen in the College of Arts & Sciences, said they looked forward to the different events during Orientation. Rouse said he enjoyed meeting his group, and Kister said it is  nice to know familiar faces on campus.

Orientation inspired many students to think of their aspirations for the coming school year.

“I’m hoping to not only grow in my education but in my faith as well,” Mehail said.

While Kister said he is excited to make new friends and join new clubs, Rouse said he is especially excited to try intramural sports, specifically soccer.