Thursday, August 9, 2012

College Prep: Pre-Orientation

A group of incoming freshman gather before beginning a
2-mile hike on their pre-orientation trip.

While some colleges have orientation spaced out during the summer, Georgetown (always looking to be different) holds New Student Orientation in the days right before classes begin. So where some kids go to class already having friends from orientation back in July, that is not the case at Georgetown…unless…

You do a pre-orientation program. I would highly suggest it. At Georgetown there are dozens of them: Outdoor Education, Leadership, Service, etc. I went on a trip with 15 other freshmen to the British Virgin Islands for a week of sailing. We learned how to read the sails, execute a tack, lay an anchor, and get sunburned. And we made some really good friendships. Living on a 43 foot boat will do that to you.

It was a great experience. And not just because of the beautiful surroundings. (Although that didn't hurt.) It was such a diverse group of kids: we had a varsity swimmer, a nursing student, a student doing vet work. In between snorkeling and sailing, we sat on the beach and discussed NATO and NAFTA. It gave me confidence that the speech they give you about "deep conversations happen casually in college" is actually true.

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