A morning scavenger hunt, fun games, and informative sessions about life at Florida Polytechnic University welcomed about 100 incoming freshmen to campus on Monday, July 15, during the first pre-orientation session of the fall semester.
“This is a great idea because you know you are going to have somebody to lean on now,” said Amanda Reilly, a graduate of Hernando High School in Brooksville, Florida, who attended the pre-orientation session with her mother. “One of the things I like most about this school is people here care about you.”
She said she was excited to learn about the activities available at Florida Poly and relieved to see the supports that are in place to make sure students are in a safe environment while they pursue academic success.
“I’m getting more relaxed. It’s really cool here and I’m starting to warm up to the idea of everything,” Reilly said.
Get Ignited, Florida Poly’s orientation, is broken into two parts this year: voluntary pre-orientation and mandatory new student orientation scheduled for Aug. 18-20.
“We are making sure our new students are getting all the information they need to adjust to college life while also making sure they make lots of new friends,” said Tonya Chestnut, director of student development at Florida Poly. The next pre-orientation sessions will be July 26 and Aug. 2.
After arriving on campus and joining their smaller pre-orientation group, students created team names and fun handshakes before embarking on their scavenger hunt tour of campus.
“I was really glad they had so much interacting with other students,” said Emilie Evans, who graduated from Jupiter High School in Jupiter, Florida. “One of the things that I was very worried about was not meeting a lot of students, so today it was good having team bonding so you at least know someone when you come to school.”
Florida Poly senior and electrical engineering major Bobby Acacio is an orientation leader who enthusiastically encouraged his group to immerse themselves into college life and embrace the opportunities and challenges that come their way.
“I try to show it’s possible to be active on campus, a good student, positive and knowledgable in things that aren’t just STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math),” said Acacio, from Exeter, Pennsylvania.
While students explored the Florida Poly campus and learned what they should expect as new students, their parents had their own orientation sessions to discuss topics such as financial aid and setting expectations for the college experience. The daylong session left many students feeling reassured and ready to head into the next phase of their lives.
“I was definitely anxious, and I tried not to show it,” said Evans, who plans to major in computer science. “I wasn’t sure if I was ready for college, but I feel a lot better after today.”
Director of Communications