Making a right choice
International graduate orientation – “Attendance is mandatory. If not, your registration for courses will be on hold”. All of us are familiar with these words. I was shocked as I glanced at the timings. “OMG! What am I going to do all this time?” This was a quick thought that flickered in my mind. I decided to attend the orientation as it had a heavy tag on it – ‘mandatory’.
The D- day arrived. I reached the conference center. Smiling faces in red t-shirts; the student workers at the international services – it was a beckoning call to me. I heard lots of whispering as though a Pandora box was opened. A few of them include: “I don’t know why it is compulsory?” “Can’t they finish it earlier?” ” I know it’s all the same information”. Believe me; the session answered every whisper. It opened up the door of do’s and don’ts. Anecdotes shared described what could go wrong and how do we seek help. A note on campus life, tips on keeping up the academic credits, US culture and campus resources created a great sense of confidence in me. To be honest, we were not bombarded by information one after the other. I really appreciate the moments reserved to ‘loosen up’. Knowing each other is a great art and I believe the orientation gave us a taste of it in the form of a wonderful game.
Reflecting back, I feel happy that the orientation is mandatory. If only I had missed it, I would have missed the value it added on my understanding of my legal status, the awareness of helping hands available on the campus and the fun element. It would have defeated the very purpose of my presence here. I wish all the international students attend the orientation with a right spirit and take home a greater understanding.