What’s It like to Have University Orientations Taken Online

Virtual School Orientation Onboarding Zoom

Our local universities are known for their orientation activities for their freshman. But how different are things when freshman orientation is done digitally this year?

As a new batch of freshmen enrol into our local universities, they’ll have a wave of things to look out for. From orientations to classes and getting lost on campus, the early stages of being freshman isn’t easy. In light of COVID-19, things were done a little differently. Instead of a freshman orientation programme on campus, students logged in on their Zoom accounts to bond with their classmates instead.

You never know what to expect when entering a new school year. Being in a new environment with people you’ve never met before, you’ll be on guard. Freshman orientation programmes are one of the ways for new students to bond with their classmates and familiarise themselves with the school grounds.

To know a little more about what the virtual orientation was like, I asked Juliana Tan about her orientation experience. Juliana recently enrolled into a local university and attended her freshman orientation programme via Zoom.

When the news was announced that the orientation would be held online, Juliana had mixed feelings about it. Knowing the interesting reputation about our local university orientations, she was apprehensive about attending the event. Cue the sigh of relief when she found out the orientation would be held online this year.

With the nature of an online event, there was an expectation that bonding and making friends through Zoom would be difficult.

“In physical orientation camps, we usually make friends by having small talks in between meals or while waiting for a game to start. It is difficult for us to have small talks on an online platform,” explained Juliana.

As an introverted person, Juliana explains that an “online orientation, albeit its limitations, can be fun too and more comfortable for introverts like me.”

During the orientation programme, the Zoom meeting was hosted by the seniors and they encouraged the freshmen to talk to each other. The class would also have their lunch and dinner meals with each other via the call.

To bring in a gamification element, online games such as Skribbl.io, HaxBall and Werewolf were played. The seniors also used slides to play a drawing game with the freshmen.

Overall, the orientation was enjoyable and ran smoothly. Most importantly, Juliana’s expectations for this event, as a freshman, were met.

“I got to learn more about what the school offers and what I am able to join. I got to make new friends even through online orientation!” she recounts.

Special shoutout to Juliana for telling me more about what it was like during her orientation programme! I wish you all the best during this school year.

If you’re looking to organise a virtual orientation programme, consider contacting a live stream provider to manage the technical aspects of the programme! This can help ensure that technical difficulties are minimised for a smooth orientation programme!

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