From the Head Orientation Counselors

Credit: Courtesy of Ashtyn Hemendinger Credit: Courtesy of Ashtyn Hemendinger

Hello, Class of 2015+!

I’m Ashtyn, one of the seven Head Orientation Counselors (HOCs) who are working hard to make your first seven days at Carnegie Mellon as memorable and as fun as possible. The other HOCs — Jen, Billy, Aaron, Veronica, Dan, and Sean — and I are very excited for all of you to become a part of the Carnegie Mellon community.

When deciding on a theme, we wanted to highlight two things. The first was that we wanted to to take Orientation back to its roots — back to its Tartan tradition. We want you to be as “Mad for Plaid” as we are. The second was that we wanted to emphasize the importance that college has in one’s journey of finding oneself. During Orientation we want you to start finding your thread. We want you to feel unique (the ‘i’ in “iPlaid”) while also feeling a part of the larger Carnegie Mellon community (the ‘Plaid’ in “iPlaid”).

Orientation is designed to help students familiarize themselves with the Carnegie Mellon community. It is our goal, and the goal of the Orientation Counselors (OCs), to help you begin the journey of finding yourself. During Orientation week, we will give you all the advice you need for your first year, ranging from the best places to study to the nicest places to eat. We are here to introduce you to your home for the next four (or five) years. Everyone on campus will be working to create a seven-day Orientation filled with awesome events; interactions with fellow first-years, upperclassmen, faculty, and staff; and free food. You’ll learn just how awesome that is as you continue your education at Carnegie Mellon. I’d like to take this time to get you pumped about some of the activities that we have planned for you during Orientation.

From forming close bonds within your housing communities to participating in Playfair — one of the biggest icebreakers in the world — the possibilities to meet new people are endless. Not only will you get to know a wide variety of first-years, you will also be able to meet some of your future professors and some faculty members of Carnegie Mellon.

Orientation activities are not limited to the campus. Explore Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Oakland, and the South Side with your OCs and classmates to find all that Pittsburgh has to offer.

Come together with your fellow classmates at Convocation to be officially welcomed into the Carnegie Mellon community, and celebrate by dancing the night away on the Clippership Cruise.

The week culminates with all the houses battling on the Cut for the coveted Carnegie Cup. Dress up, show your house spirit, and get ready to experience one of Orientation’s greatest traditions.

Whitewater rafting, biking, and rock climbing are just some of the activities offered as part of the Pittsburgh Connections program that you can enjoy during Orientation week. After that, end your Orientation by watching your fellow classmates showcase their hidden skills in the Talent Show.

Coming to Carnegie Mellon, you may feel nervous, excited, hopeful, sad, hesistant, and plenty of other emotions. Questions may be running through your head, such as: What if I can’t find my classes? Will people like me? What do I want to do with my life? Do people really wear capes? You aren’t alone in your fears and questions. Every first-year before you has felt this way. This is what makes Orientation week at Carnegie Mellon so important. For many upperclassmen, Orientation was the most helpful transition imaginable. It is our job to help you feel the same.

We have so much planned for you and we are very excited for you all to be here. So get excited, and get ready to have the time of your life.

Welcome home!