As the fall 2023 academic calendar rolls around, the halls open up, Caf lane fills with students and Bobby B’s eyes are filled with joy.
This year’s New Student Orientation (NSO) Week was filled with new activities, as well as returning traditions. From an ice cream social to the surprise trip to SeaWorld, new students were given the opportunity to connect and meet one another. Communal living can be nerve-racking for some, but many students voiced those anxious feelings were put rest after NSO.
Third-year political science major Audrey Flores transferred from Imperial Valley College and was grateful to meet fellow new students at this year’s Sea World event.
“I got to truly meet and connect with the new girls in my pod from the transfer dorm Goodwin,” said Flores. “There were no feelings of being alone or uncomfortable because everyone was going through the same feelings, all trying to find a place here on campus.”
Michael Marino, a third-year psychology major and transfer student from Questa Community College, claimed his two favorite activities were Bobby B’s Birthday Bash and the Goodwin Residence Hall Annual Barbecue.
“I got to meet a lot of people to potentially hang out with and it felt cool to be integrated with new friends in the community,” said Marino. “It is really cool and a lot easier to level with people who have all been through the initial ‘moving away from home’ sharing experience. Coming from Redondo Beach myself, it is really neat to see where other transfers came from.”
Along with these new faces, AJ Ellerington, a first-year student media communications major, is a resident in Hendricks Hall. Living in the “social hall,” as Ellerington puts it, makes it feel as if first-year students are not really adults.
Ellerington said that the first-years have to put in a lot more effort with upperclassmen because “It is almost as if our experience is amplified. Us freshmen meet through isolation because we don’t have cars. We are not as independent, so we are forced to rely on each other.”
As a result of moving to France to continue her highschool education, Ellerington claims she can relate to transfer students more based on the similarity of other students not knowing where they are coming from.
“It takes more of a social battery for the ‘whens’ and ‘whys’ of repeating the same backstory a million times,” said Ellerington.
She felt refreshed after meeting several transfers and fourth-year students.
“Talking to people who have an idea of who they are is refreshing and super valuable, especially with experience outside of high school,” said Ellerington.
Derek Linck, a first-year health and human performance major, transferred to PLNU in his early 30s. As a commuter student, Linck drives an hour to and from Point Loma for classes. “It’s an easy and simple drive really, unless you get stuck in the naval base traffic,” said Linck. “I feel like I am meeting quite a few transfers here at Point Loma.”
NSO ran for one week and included new students from every background such as first-year students, transfers, veterans and commuters. Some resources new students can look out for in the upcoming school year would be the Transfer & Commuter Student Services, as well as the Wellness Center.
The Transfer & Commuter Student Services are located in the hallway of Nicholson Commons. This is a free space for students to connect, relax, eat and catch up on work in between their classes. Along with that, the Wellness Center is a useful resource for new and old students to utilize free healthcare. The center offers counseling, nutrition advice and urgent-care-like resources. It is located in Taylor Hall and is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.