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KSU teaches new students the ropes in final session before classes

By Bethany Knipp

Kansas State University has placed more of an emphasis this year on making incoming freshmen more comfortable as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

On Friday morning, the last group of incoming freshmen and new students went to orientation and enrollment. It was the last of 15 orientation and enrollment sessions during the summer, scheduled right up to the start of class on Monday.

Kiley Moody, a New Student Services coordinator, said this year the orientations had sessions at which students could ask questions about anything from financial aid to housing to student life, a new portion of the program.

Moody said New Student Services emphasized the easy transition measures so that students can have a better sense of feeling connected.

Adam Wilkerson, a New Student Services speaker and a senior civil engineering major, said to a Forum Hall of freshmen that attending K-State’s kickoff activities during its Week of Welcome was “absolutely essential” so students could get started being a part of the community.

He and fellow speaker Courtney Claxton briefed the students in Forum Hall at the K-State Student Union about what they needed to do to be successful at K-State.

“To make it even easier, we have a checklist for you,” Wilkerson said to the students. “Make sure you take initiative today to get everything done.”

Wilkerson and Claxton gave tips about meeting with advisers and using the online student information system and reassured students about giant lectures, breaking down the difference between lectures, recitations and labs.

“I remember freshman year I walked into my first lecture hall with my biggest class in high school being about 25 students, and I walk in, this lecture had almost 100 students in it and I was incredibly intimidated,” Wilkerson said. But he said he also had a recitation for the class in which he was able to get to know his professor and ask the questions he needed to.

As students were busy checking schedules, meeting with advisers in their colleges and listening to the tips, parents were by their sides. Having a student go off to college was a transition for them, too, and some parents appreciated an organizational ease to orientation.

“It has been an extremely painless process,” parent Randall Walker of Topeka said.

His own advice for his freshman was for him to just “Do the work. Get it done,” Walker said. He wanted his son to gain a sense of self-sufficiency his freshman year.

Wilkerson said after his orientation presentation that one of the most important things freshmen and new students at K-State can do is to “make K-State their own.”

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