UNI new student orientation: The journey begins

New student orientation at the University of Northern Iowa is the start of a whole new chapter in a student's life. The two days incoming students and their families spend on campus is a sneak preview of college life and a time to make new friends -- and it's been in full swing since the start of June.

UNI orientation staff members have spent weeks greeting fresh faces and making sure each and every student has the time of their lives.

"New students can definitely expect a welcoming atmosphere, I would hope that's the first thing that they notice," said Chris Bowden, a UNI senior majoring in communication studies and an orientation staff member. "I know that as a staff, we're all really excited to have people here."

"Incoming students should expect an amazing time at their orientation," said Alicia Jessip, a UNI senior majoring in Spanish and electronic media and an orientation staff member. "We as a staff have worked and trained very hard to ensure that each student is entertained, informed and shown a great time while transitioning here to UNI. Students should expect to be surrounded by a group of peer leaders, professional academic advisers and other amazing Panthers that are here to really help ensure they transition as best as possible to the university. "

Orientation at a glance:
- Meet with an academic adviser
- Register for classes
- Become familiar with campus
- Get your student ID picture taken
- Consult a financial adviser
- Check out the Student Involvement and Student Services Fair

But, orientation is so much more than just checking items off a list. It's a time where students can connect with UNI faculty and staff, have a little fun in the state of the art Wellness & Recreation Center, spend the evening at Pantherpalooza, and most importantly, start a new chapter in their lives as a Panther.

"I've really enjoyed this [orientation] experience," said Keegan Bosch, an incoming student from Plainfield, Ill. "It makes me feel a lot better about August knowing that I've already made friends, both other freshman and some well-established alumni in the orientation staff."

"It was really great working with an adviser because scheduling was hard to understand when figuring it out for the first time," said Lucy Jenkins, an incoming student from St. Louis, Mo. "My adviser told me what classes I would need and also helped me get into classes I wanted."

"As I'm sure incoming students can contest to, high school went by extremely fast, I mean, they're already at summer orientation getting ready for college," said Jessip. "Think how fast college will go!? Things might seem a bit overwhelming at first with all the opportunities offered, but take the time to sort them out, and really take in everything this institution has to offer."

More than 1,700 students will go through orientation by July 10 and the UNI campus community eagerly awaits their arrival in August when they officially join the Panther family and launch the next chapter in their lives.

For more information about UNI's orientation, visit http://www.uni.edu/orientation/.