The transition from high school to college can be an exciting yet uncertain time for new college students. For many freshmen, the not knowing what to expect often contributes to anxiety.
But thanks to Washburn University’s New Student Orientation, new Ichabods do not have to spend their summer stressing about college life.
Throughout the summer Washburn will offer 10 orientation dates. On these dates summer orientation counselors in bright blue t-shirts can be found all around campus, eager to help. The SOCS, as they are often called, are enthusiastic about their role in orientation because they have benefited from the program themselves.
One of Washburn’s newest summer counselors, Kellin Garcia is a sophomore majoring in accounting and finance. It was just last year she went through NSO. She smiles as she proudly points to the letters on her blue t-shirt to explain.
“I really liked my SOC. I wanted to be part of that,” Garcia said.
Garcia, and the other counselors helped direct both students, parents and guests through the orientation process, which included meeting students and faculty, learning about financial aid, group information sessions, tours of the campus and facilities, and a free lunch.
One of the sessions, College Transitions, provided vital information to help parents feel more secure about their student’s physical and mental health. Jamie Olsen, licensed clinical psychotherapist, from Washburn counseling services and Tiffany McManis, MSN, APRN, BC, of student health services, led the session.
“A lot is changing at the same time. They are excited right now, but once reality sets in they may feel overwhelmed,” said Olsen referring to the students. “If we can teach skills now, it will help them for life.”
McManis stressed how parents can help their students by providing them with immunization records and any other information regarding their health, such as allergies, chronic illnesses and medications.
“Remember that at age 18 the students become the owners of their information,” McManis said.
Olsen reminded parents that even the most independent students can find themselves anxious or homesick during this transition.
“We know that students call their parents. I know I did,” Olsen said.
Because of this Olsen encouraged parents to direct their students to counseling services. Even with minor issues such as dropping a class, counseling services can point a new student to the right place, eliminating unnecessary anxiety.
Michelle Licktiek and her son Jeremy Licktiek drove from Wichita to attend the orientation. Both were pleased with the orientation process finding the NSO informative and the counselors welcoming.
“And energetic,” Michelle Licktieg said. “We came tired, so we are really tired now.”
Despite being tired the Licktiegs found NSO worth attending. They were less apprehensive, especially regarding residential living.
“They helped me know what to expect about living on my own,” Jeremy Licktieg said.
New Ichabods wishing to spend the summer relaxing instead of stressing about fall are encouraged to register for NSO today. The following dates are still available: June 11, June 13, June 18, June 21, June 28 and July 26.