It’s that time again: that all familiar feeling of getting ready to go back to school. But this time it’s different. You’re going to COLLEGE.

“I’m nervous about moving away from home.” “College is so much different than high school. “College is going to be so hard.”

Relax.

Before you actually begin school at UCI, here are some things you should expect at your orientation.

To begin, what is SPOP?

The Student-Parent Orientation Program, otherwise known as SPOP is the University’s way of introducing you to the UCI campus and helping you get acquainted with the academic advisors that will be counseling you through out your years here at the university. The purpose of the advisors at SPOP is to help you register for the classes you will need to fulfill your general education courses and register for the courses required for your major. Overall, it is a way for you to see the path necessary for graduation in regards to your desired field of study.

Enough with that, what should you really expect?

Well first off, it is understandable if you are a little nervous prior to the big day, mostly everyone is. Being surrounded by a large group of strangers can be nerve-racking. But then again, nobody likes being a stranger, so talk to as many people as possible. Making a friend can be as easy as holding a door open for someone. Just remember that your fellow SPOPers will be just as nervous as you. If you fail to find a friend right off the bat, don’t worry, you will have plenty of opportunities throughout your two day stay.

During your stay, you will be grouped with SPOP staffers and other SPOPers into a building or “hall” where you will stay overnight. But be prepared not to sleep, the SPOP staffers will have you entertained all night. I’m serious. You probably won’t sleep at all. I can’t give away too much information though. You will just have to wait for the surprises ahead of you.

Overall, your SPOP will be an unforgettable experience. In addition to the amazing SPOP staffers, you will meet a ton of new people, who together you will embark on the college journey. My advice would be to just be your self. As cliché as it sounds, remember that you are beginning a new chapter in your life. You have no reputation. Be yourself and you will find that people will accept you for who you are. Most of all enjoy the moment. Your first year will go by faster than you think. Make the most of living at the dorms and being able to spend time with all the people around you.

I wish you all the best of luck and welcome to ‘Eater Nation!

P.S.: You will be receiving a photo ID card during the day. Make sure you put on the best smile for the camera, or you will be haunted by your picture for the rest of your life at UCI.

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