Whether it’s a new city, job or school, starting something new is frequently accompanied by the juxtaposition of excitement and fear.

As excited new students filled the Collin College campuses last week for the first days of school, students who attended one of the college’s new student orientations say they felt secure and ready to take on the new challenge of college work.

Jordan Jacobs, an incoming freshmen studying business and technical theatre, said the opportunity to speak directly with professors during the faculty round table event at his Preston Ridge Campus orientation eased much of his anxiety.

“It gave me a unique perspective of college life and what it would be like,” Jacobs said. “Asking them questions about time management, office hours, electronic policies and their lack of a bell schedule really helped me be more confident and prepared for classes.”

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While Jacobs is a traditional student, outreach coordinator Katherine Narvarte said the college caters to all types of students and their families through specialized orientations, including non-traditional student orientation, for students who’ve been out of school more than three years, veteran orientation, international student orientation and even parent orientations.

“During their orientation, students receive an overview of engaging and informative presentations from college departments often visited by students,” Narvarte said. “This year, some of the visiting departments were student employment, financial aid, the dean of students, counseling and academic advising.”

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Another element of orientation Jacobs recalls enjoying was the opportunity to make new friends.

Icebreaker games created by orientation leaders, current Collin College students who serve as the driving energy behind the events, helped Jacobs and his peers to loosen up.

Narvarte commented that seeing a familiar face in a completely new stage of life helps students feel more comfortable. It is a goal of the orientation team to facilitate interactions that lead to new friendships at all orientations.

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In addition to the opportunity to welcome students to Collin College, Nabiha Ahmed chose to become an orientation leader to gain leadership experience.

“I was always known as the quiet one, and I wanted to do something completely different to change that,” Ahmed said. “I was always so scared to meet and talk to new people. Being an orientation leader gave me the opportunity to socialize with different types of people.

Now, I don’t have the fear of talking in front of a crowd full of people. It has definitely changed me in so many ways.”

Students interested in serving as future orientation leaders should contact Stephen Rogers, coordinator of programs for new students, at srogers@collin.edu.

Welcome Week

Ahmed, who after completing an associate degree at Collin College, is preparing to transfer to Texas A&M University, said she would encourage all students, especially those who missed orientation, to attend Welcome Week events.

Welcome week events run from Sept. 3 through Sept. 7 and include free lunch, opportunities to meet new friends, informational tables and sign ups for giveaways.  See the schedule below for times and locations.

11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 3 at the Central Park Campus Atrium
  • Wednesday, Sept. 4 at the Preston Ridge Campus Cougar Den
  • Thursday, Sept. 5 at the Spring Creek Campus Atrium

10:30 am – 1 p.m.

  • Saturday, Sept. 7 at the Spring Creek Campus Atrium

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