Here are my notes of the panel discussion at the College Bound event held at India Habitat Center today afternoon. Errors and omissions are my own. Credit for good stuff is to all the panelists
Topic discussed: Orientation week and moving in.
Shantanu, CMC - Wilderness trip was great. It helped break the ice and connect with people.
Kush, Berkeley - Reach out to people and you'll realize that they have the common apprehensions.
Nikita, UChicago - O Week at Chicago was so much fun but then classes begin and we know why UChicago is a place where fun comes to die! The RSO is great and helpful so make use of it. My roommate remembered that my birthday was on moving in day and we celebrated in the dorm with a cake!
Tanvi, Columbia - 90 international students were called early but our pre-orientation activities got cancelled due to a hurricane scare. We didn't venture out of campus and mainly remained indoors. This worked out to be fun as we ended up playing indoor frisbee and board games. When the weather normalized I participated in the Columbia Urban Experience program and met with other students I wouldn't have met.
Angad, Stanford - International O week is a time when every one is willing to make new friends. One thing I noticed was that people found it difficult to remember names and I came up with an idea. I would use interesting word associations to make people remember my name. An(ti) God was a close pronunciation for Angad. College experience in highly selective schools is not like 'American Pie' kids are pretty focussed and super achievers. The best way you can attract people is to be yourself.
Varun, Mudd - Stop thinking too much and keep smiling even if it means your jaw hurts. Be open and friendly and people will start connecting with you. Remember college allows you to get a fresh start. One more tip - people like to value more personal and intellectual space so don't expect your roommate or your new friends to be the same as your high school buddies. You can't jump on top of friends and slap them just for fun!
Sid, Brown. International O week is fun and you meet new people but don't limit your group to the ones you've met… over the years try meeting new people in different settings.
Srijit, Oberlin - Skype or chat with your roommate if possible.