Don’t Be Nervous: Tips and Tricks for NSO from a Peer Advisor

Don’t be Nervous: Tips and Tricks for NSO

Hello First Years and Transfer Students, and Welcome to Wes!

My name is Rachel and I am a rising senior and Academic Peer Advisor at Wes! The other peer advisors and I are very excited to meet you this fall during orientation, and we hope you are excited as well! New Student Orientation (NSO) is a great program instilled to allow new Cardinals to explore the range of academic and co-curricular opportunities available at Wesleyan. NSO is also a great opportunity to meet some of your fellow classmates, become familiar with your campus and resources, and assimilate oneself with college in a comfortable and welcoming environment.

The NSO Program offers informative presentations, open conversations, and plenty of opportunities for questions throughout various events that represent aspects and values of the Wesleyan body. The types of events stretch across a large sphere: from meeting hallmates, RAs, and introductions to your advisor, to tours and academic information sessions, to student panels and meetings with campus resources like peer advisors! These are just some examples of the types of sessions that are offered during NSO. I remember my experience with NSO to be extremely helpful, as I found myself overwhelmed at first with the transition to college. The small group activities with my hall and RA allowed me to feel comfortable in my living environment, and the larger seminar events introduced the culture of Wes to me. Overall, my experience with NSO helped me significantly with my transition to college, and we hope to create the same experience for you! Here are a few tips and tricks I came up with to help you make the most of your experience with orientation this fall:

❖ The most important thing to remember during NSO: everyone else is new too! Even if you feel nervous at times, just remember that you are far from alone. Your fellow first years and transfers are just as eager to make friends and learn about all Wes has to offer, so don’t hesitate to start conversations with unfamiliar faces!

❖ Do your best to attend everything that you are able to go to! Each event is unique and designed for a different purpose, so just being present at the events is super important–you never know what you might get out of something.

❖ Explore your interests! There are some more specific events, for example a Health
Professions Overview information session, which could be beneficial to any students considering studying health or medicine. Feel free to explore the more focused events like these, especially if it stems from something you are passionate about!

❖ Middletown can be pretty hot and sunny during the beginning of the fall semester, so I
highly recommend you carry enough water with you (a refillable container is best) and wear comfortable walking shoes during the day. Sunglasses or a hat are always a good idea as well!

❖ If you find yourself with some free time, try exploring main street! It is walkable distance from campus and packed with all types of restaurants, in addition to Wesleyan’s own RJ Julia Bookstore (where you can find some new Wes merch)!

❖ It can be helpful to carry a small bag such a light backpack or drawstring bag during the day. There can be lots of events that you may find your eager to go to, and some are scheduled back to back. This may mean you don’t have time to stop back at your dorm. A small bag with some essentials like water, a snack, a notebook, your phone and ID, or whatever you find yourself needing, can be super helpful and time-efficient!

❖ Conversation starters: simple questions such as “Where are you from?”, “What kind of
(academic or socal) interests do you have?”, “What dorm are you in?”, “Do you know what you’re interested in/what department is your advisor in?”, “Do you have any classes in your schedule that you’re set on taking?”. These can be easy conversation starters with new peers. When meeting advisors, RAs, or professors, introducing yourself with a smile is a simple enough gesture to begin a conversation.

❖ Take advantage of all the resources exposed to you: for example, create a running list
of contact information for different offices or personales that you’re introduced to during NSO. During NSO, I learned contact information for many of the main resources on campus, such as public safety, RAs, peer advisors, academic advisors, health and career centers, upperclassman with similar academic interests, and more! These connections can be extremely beneficial to you as a student in the future. For all of these meaningful experiences and interactions, notation to your future self is something I personally recommend!

❖ Extra snacks? If you ever find yourself at an event where there is extra food or snacks,
it’s always a good idea to snag some to store in your dorm room or carry with you throughout the rest of the day!

Hopefully, this helped you get excited for New Student Orientation and will allow you to start off your experience at Wes on a positive note! For any other specific questions about orientation, feel free to contact the orientation interns at! You can also contact the peer advisors at or email me directly at with any questions, concerns, or even just to chat about life at Wes! The other Peer Advis0rs and I are eager to meet you this fall, so get excited and see you soon!

Rachel Curran Class of 2020