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Summer Orientation

MeKimberMeKimber Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
We just returned from orientation and I wanted to comment on how smoothly it went and how well organized the process was. I was very impressed with the amount of information that was provided, the resources that were available and the student orientation leaders were all very nice and quite candid in answering questions from parents.

The campus is different than I thought it would be, but we were pleased none the less. It was very clean and well kept and my son is very much looking forward to getting there in August!
Post edited by MeKimber on

Replies to: Summer Orientation

  • wahinewahine Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    We also got back from orientation! Advisors were AWESOME with the parents! maybe could have been a little more "guiding " for the kids! Dtr got first choice dorm.. Maxcy! although they could only show us a "handicap" room which is def bigger than the ave room. owell we were happy!

    recommendations ...those of you from up north!!! dress for comfort and HOT Humid weather! I can only imagine how hot it will be for those of you orientating in July (and we only came from Charlotte!)

    Bring quarters for meters! esp for testing day ...meters only take quarters and for some reason in Columbia 30 minutes = 25 minutes! I caught the meter man just in time to put more $$$ in!

    Best advice for students...go to as many events during the school year a you can and BRING A FAN! heat and cool is really only controlled by one thermestat in your hall...and if your room mate snores you can drown out the sound !! :-)

    Hope you all enjoy orient. look forward to meeting some of you, what a fun adventure our kids have ahead!
  • cathymeecathymee Registered User Posts: 2,384 Senior Member
    S lived in Maxcy freshman year. Room sizes are all over the place since the building is so old and was refurbished as a dorm, not built uniformly from scrath with cookie cutter sized rooms,you won't know the dimensions of the room until its assigned .S had the absolute smallest room there (beds could only be bunked,no other choice) but still loved living there.He was on the first floor on the side where the lounge with the fish tank is.Air is controlled in the room but they did use fans as well.I dont think they ever needed to use heat!!
    Move in day will be unbelievabley hot and humid but they hand out lots of water bottles. The building will feel hot that day as all the outside doors will be propped open to allow easy moving.They also facilitate car parking on move in day so you wont need quarters.After unloading we were able to just park around the corner on the public street side.
    I'm glad Orientation is going well for everyone.McKimber I'm curious, what was unexpected about the campus? The public streets running through the side of campus where Orientation took place? That threw me off at first when i saw it too.But the "Horseshoe" side is so quiet and lovely.Its an interesting juxtaposition.
  • MeKimberMeKimber Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    Originally when we first went to South Carolina it was to visit Clemson. It was a short visit so we didn't make it down to Columbia to see the USC campus. We live in a fairly good sized city here in CT(60,000 or so) but it is still very suburban. Clemson was pretty compact and isolated with all the buildings, stadiums etc pretty much right there with a small town surrounding campus. I was surprised by the city streets for sure and the big buildings in the outer areas of campus. For its size though, I thought the campus and immediate surroundings were very clean and I felt safe. I would not feel that way walking through the Trinity Campus in Hartford, CT that's for sure! I was extremely impressed with Greek Village, the fraternity/sorority housing around here pales greatly in comparison. The Fitness facility was impressive beyond description and I hope my S gets to enjoy it. We have UCONN sports here and we are fans, but the level of interest in College sports in SC was intoxicating. I'm happy that everyone is so involved, it gives the kids something fun to do that keeps the students connected with a common interest. Everyone we encountered was very friendly and polite (that southern hospitality I guess), it was yes, ma'am and no sir all day. Here people almost get mad if you call them ma'am! It was refreshing and we are all very much looking forward to his new life as a Carolinian.
  • JRWriterJRWriter Registered User Posts: 205 Junior Member
    Haha trinity you cant walk 50 feet outside its edge without getting shot. SC is a big culture change from CT but I love it
  • fendrockfendrock Registered User Posts: 3,139 Senior Member
    DD arrived in Columbia last Sunday for Monday orientation. (She went on her own.)

    She took a cab to Russell House (student union), which is closed on weekends during the summer. So it turned out that was not a great place to wait until it was time for her language placement test.

    Since it was so hot, it would have been good if she had brought some water with her from the airport. She did get somewhat dehydrated before going for lunch.

    She enjoyed her night at Capstone, and hit it off with her one-night roommate (from South Carolina). There was an ice cream social in the evening which she missed (she was napping, having been up at 3:30am to catch her flight.) During lunch at orientation, her table had kids from New Jersey and Maryland as well as her home state of Massachusetts.

    If your student will be in a living community, you may want to find out if there is an associated course. My d's advisor at registration did not inform her of it. (However, when I contacted the program director, she responded within hours and registered d for the course herself.) Also, my d did not understand that dance courses would be part of her academic load, and the advisor did not provide guidance on this point. Again, this was easily taken care of as d logged into VIP at home and changed her schedule.
  • fendrockfendrock Registered User Posts: 3,139 Senior Member
    Forgot to mention that students learn which dorm they will be in at orientation, and can go on a tour of said dorm.
  • MeKimberMeKimber Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    Fendrock is right it about the heat, it was very hot! Being from CT where the temps are still in the 60's this week the 95 degree heat hit us like a ton of bricks when we left the airport. I also did not bring water the day of the language placement test and didn't know where to go to find a vending machine to purchase one. Definately bring a bottle of water when you go. Most everyone I saw was dressed casually in shorts and flip flops (men included), I wore Capris since it was cold in CT when I left and I was dying for shorts when I got there!

    For parents who will be attending with your students FYI the language placement testing started at 2:30 and did not end unil just after 4pm. We didn't realize this, it was a lot of waiting around. Might want to hit the bookstore or something while you wait.

    For any parents of engineering students we took a bus from the Koger Center to the Swearingen Engineering building. There and back to Russell House where we had lunch (which was very nice by the way). It would have been quite a walk from the Koger Center in 95 degree heat. The longest walk we did was from the Russell House at the end of our day to the Parking lot for the Koger Center and that really wasn't bad at all. Our advisor was very good and did address the Capstone requirements and registered my S for what was needed. No changes were required when we got home. Luck of the draw I guess, so like Fendrock said you might want to take a look at the website for your department and their requirements ahead of time so you have an idea what to expect.

    We did find out my S dorm assignment but not all the dorms are open for a tour. Capstone is not available to tour. Neither were several others. But they will tell you which dorm has rooms that closely compare to the dorms you can't see if wanted to go tour the ones that are available.

    Great thinking by Wahine to remind people to bring quarters for the meters. We parked in the Capstone parking lot which is across the street from the Int'l Business building that holds the placement tests. All of the parking there was metered. Didn't have any trouble finding a spot and the lot was very shady!

    The only other thing I can think of is for people who may be flying in, be sure to leave space in your suitcase or be able to take a carry on bag when you return home. You are given a great deal of informational booklets and other goodies as is your child (including their summer reading book). Thankfully, I was able to fit my purse into the bag and took the whole thing as my under the seat carry on for the return flight. Hope everyone enjoys their orientation!
  • fendrockfendrock Registered User Posts: 3,139 Senior Member
    Re how students were dressed -- d told me "all" the girls were wearing sundresses -- she has been lobbying for purchase of these dresses in anticipating of all the hot weather!

    Another thing is that for those traveling alone and thus without a car -- there is no place to leave your bag. D's roommate was kind enough to put d's bag in her car for the day.
  • MeKimberMeKimber Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    agreed Fendrock, some of the girls did have sundresses but there was a good share of short shorts too. And I'm talking short! I think the sundresses would be very cool and comfortable and to add to your daughters lobby, I did hear from several people say that the girls wear these sundresses and kitten heels (saw a lot of kitten heeled thong shoes) to the Football games.

    In comparison to the way the girls dress around here (my d included), I thought it was nice to see them look like beautiful young ladies. Good luck to your daughter in her freshman year, is she planning to go greek? My S is undecided.
  • cathymeecathymee Registered User Posts: 2,384 Senior Member
    Fendrock and others
    It turns out the Bookstore and therefore the Starbucks within it opens at 12 on Sundays (the day Fendrocks D couldnt find anything open at the Russell House). I have a feeling since she arrived on the very first Orientation Day (prior to it to take the test) that Capstone wasn't equipped to hold a bag.Maybe now that orientation is in full swing they are running things smoother and could hold luggage.
    If you arrive at the Koger Center thirsty and cant find anything open, theres a Wendy's almost directly across the street and a CVS drugstore as well.
    The BA building (testing site)has a coffee/sandwich cafe in the basement but it might not be open in the summer.
    If you are on campus at lunchtime the McKutchen House(I'm sure I'm spelling this wrong!!!) on the Horseshoe has a great outdoor (shady)patio open.Its where hospitality students hone their skills and the lunch fare is excellent and reasonable. If you have a student living in Maxcy next year, its right next door.
  • fendrockfendrock Registered User Posts: 3,139 Senior Member
    MeKimber, d mentioned that the fraternities and sororities made their pitch during orientation.

    Her father and I are not keen on the idea of her pledging, but she thought she might want to rush just to see what it's all about.
  • greenvillegreenville Registered User Posts: 300 Junior Member
    If your d does go through sorority rush, be prepared for her to want to pledge! My d went to Clemson (son is at USC) , but d did pledge and loved it. It was a lot of fun for her, and she made friends for life. My son had no interest in Greek life, but it was perfect for my daughter and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
  • fendrockfendrock Registered User Posts: 3,139 Senior Member
    Were sorority activities time consuming?

    We are worried about her being distracted from her studies.
  • greenvillegreenville Registered User Posts: 300 Junior Member
    If your daughter was an involved high school student and still maintained strong grades, I'm sure she will be fine. My d was very involved in her sorrority and graduated with honors. Actually, Greeks usually have a higher GPA than non-Greeks.
    Rush week is extremely busy (and fun!), but most of the activities after that took place on weekends. My d loved every minute of it, though. Sororities each have a charity focus, so there are events for that (d tutored at an elementary school, they planned parties for those students, did fund-raiser walks, etc.). Also, Clemson had "Greek week" competitions with all sororities and frats involved. They also made floats/displays for homecoming, and of course there were the semi-formals and formals. Her boyfriend (now husband) was in a fraternity, so some of it runs together for me!
    Here's a link to one of the sororities at USC (Tri Delta's).
    Untitled Document
    If you click on the various links it will give you a good idea of the activities: "Photos" and "Philanthropy" might give you a glimpse of sorority life.
    One great piece of advice that another mom gave me before my d pledged was that she would need a lot of dresses for formals and semi-formals --and they were absolutely right!
  • PA MomPA Mom Registered User Posts: 975 Member
    greenville- I sent you a pm
This discussion has been closed.