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University of Colorado senior and tour guide Devin Moeser talks to high school students from left to right, Chris Miller, Tanner Benoit and Brandon Rodriguez as they take in the CU campus on Wednesday. Miller is from Lakewood High School and Benoit and Rodriguez are from Elizabeth High.
PAUL AIKEN
University of Colorado senior and tour guide Devin Moeser talks to high school students from left to right, Chris Miller, Tanner Benoit and Brandon Rodriguez as they take in the CU campus on Wednesday. Miller is from Lakewood High School and Benoit and Rodriguez are from Elizabeth High.

Orientation schedule

Orientations begin Thursday and run through Aug. 18.

For a schedule of orientation dates by college, visit colorado.edu/orientation

Boulder High School student Jennah Schein roamed the halls of the University of Colorado’s University Memorial Center on Wednesday dreaming of life on her own.

Visions of dorm days and late-night cram sessions quickly spilled into a nervous frenzy as the realization hit her that adulthood is approaching.

On Thursday, CU will hold its first of several orientations this summer, filling the campus with hundreds of anxious students like Schein, anticipating their freshman experience.

“I still have some time to decide where I want to go and to prepare for college,” Schein said. “But there is so much pressure and so many questions, I’m already getting nervous.”

Luckily, Schein has another year to prepare for her introduction to college, but for the 350 students who will crowd the campus this weekend, their days as kids are limited.

CU’s freshman orientation is required for all incoming students and is designed to help students tie up the loose ends before fall classes begin on Aug. 23.

“There are really three main purposes that we hold orientations,” said James Rosenthal, director of orientation. “We have a student development portion, major advisement and class registration.”

Student development includes an introduction to the university and to becoming a college student. Sessions like “What would you do?” help students get acclimated with the social and academic environment at CU-Boulder.

Other student sessions include campus tours, classes on university policies and an introduction to the diverse student population.

Parent sessions will also be available to prepare adults to help their students through the college experience, Rosenthal said.

About one-third of incoming freshmen will enter orientation with an open option major and will be advised on basic courses, while the others will meet with advisers in their chosen college. Most students will also register for their fall courses during orientation.

Despite the broad range of information given to students during orientation, there are still some questions that can’t be answered in typical fashion. That’s why current students like junior Dorian-Michelle Smith are hired to teach sessions and assist students on a more personal level.

“We’re able to give advice that really pertains to (the incoming students),” Smith said. “I feel like advice from peers comes across better for students than when you’re just getting it from adults so it’s on a more personal level for them.”

College life is not something that can be explained, Smith said, it has to be experienced first-hand. But that doesn’t stop her from trying.

“I get a lot of questions about dorms and getting involved in campus activities,” Smith said. “I try to answer as many questions as I can but it’s a hard thing to explain to them. They’ll find out how great CU is soon enough.”

For students who are anxious about their freshman year, Smith had a few words to help calm those nerves.

“Don’t worry about it this summer,” Smith said. “It’ll be a great experience and you’ll make so many friends in the dorms and through getting involved.”

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