Group activities not to be missed in college orientation

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Last week I enjoyed… well, no.

I suffered… uh, not exactly.

I endured (yes, that’s it!) The parenting part of my daughter’s in-person university orientation.

It was two and a half hours in an auditorium, listening to principals praising the advantages of school.

A representative of student affairs. Financial aid. Housing and dining room. They were all wonderful pros doing their job of allaying parent fears and providing at least one sports metaphor every 10 minutes.

Overall, the orientation was a bit helpful (although I wasn’t sure what a Hail Mary pass has to do with completing scholarship applications).

The best part? (Besides the free bottled water and Sun Chips?)

I came out of introverted Hell unscathed. That is, no one said the words “turn to the person next to you and…”.

Let me explain. For an introvert, spontaneous group activities should be avoided at all costs. It’s not that you don’t want to be friendly. It’s not that you’re a bad athlete. But “Turn to the person next to you?” It cools the blood. This phrase could just as easily be followed by “and prepare to die!” “

During the last college orientation I attended, five years ago, I had to turn to the mom and dad next to me and introduce myself. It was bad enough.

Then came the instructions: “You have five minutes to build an imaginary food truck together. What will your truck contain? What I wanted to jump from my seat, run to the door and Uber 900 miles from my house. I don’t remember the awkward and embarrassing things that came out of my mouth. (Another fun introvert fact: Sometimes, when pushed beyond our comfort zone, our brains panic and we start babbling inconsistently.)

So luckily there weren’t any games to get to know last week. There was no icebreaker. Just me and my thoughts, sitting in a freezing auditorium, listening to sports metaphors about college.

But eventually it ended.

In a few minutes, I found my daughter (who by the way is not introverted). She exchanged phone numbers with children in her student counseling group. They were all laughing and smiling, rummaging through their new bags of merchandise.

“How was it?” I asked as we walked to the car. “Did you have to make icebreakers?” “

“Nothing too scary. Who drove the farthest, who’s what major, stuff like that. We walked around the campus and…. “

My daughter went on to describe a delicious afternoon. I listened, but still felt a little nervous, half-expecting an excitable college RA to jump in and ask us to describe ourselves in four words, or reveal which fruit best sums up our personality. , or if we were a fish, what kind of fish would we be?

It wasn’t until we got back into the car that I really relaxed. And it wasn’t until we were on the toll road that I understood the football metaphor.

Charlotte is a columnist for The Times. You can reach her at charlottelatvala@gmail.com.


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