Meet the Student Orientation Coordinators

August 25, 2016

The Class of 2020 has started their arrival on campus! International students arrived on Wednesday and Orientation for all students begins tomorrow, Friday, August 26. Today we celebrate the work of the students, faculty and staff members who have worked so hard to plan this year’s Orientation—and, in particular, the Student Orientation Coordinators who have spent the summer “collaborating with staff and faculty on campus to create the best Orientation ever!”

Sarah Nzau '18, Jennifer Fang ’17 and Jenna Sjogren ’18 are the student team behind this year’s program, which has something for everyone and is designed to help all new students, including first years, transfers, Davis Scholars, and international students, begin their transition into college and to find a sense of belonging at Wellesley. The most complete and up-to-date Orientation schedule is available through Guidebook

Nzau, a rising junior from Mombasa, Kenya, and Economics major, said the most memorable moments of her own Orientation were during International Students' Pre-Orientation. “I enjoyed all the sessions led by Slater International Center student leaders,” she said. “Their warmth and enthusiasm made me realize that I was in the right place. Wellesley felt like home to them although they were international students, and at that moment I knew that Wellesley would become home to me too.”

Nzau has been interacting with the Class of 2020 through social media all summer and said she is excited to connect with them in person. She will be studying abroad at the London School of Economics this year. “This means that I have very little time with the first years when they get here, so I plan to enjoy every minute with them,” she said.

Sjogren, a rising junior from Minnesota who is studying religion, politics, peace, and the Middle East, said her own Orientation is a blur but she did meet her best friend (and she said they’ve been inseparable since). She said the thing she is most looking forward to is introducing new students to the College. “I've been incredibly happy at Wellesley, and I want to share that with the incoming class,” she said.

Fang, a rising senior from Irvine, California, and a Cinema and Media Studies major, offered this advice for incoming students, “Keep an open mind. You'll find friends in the most unlikely places, and maybe sometimes it won't be during Orientation, but you just have to keep yourself open to everyone so that people get to know you better.”

Nzau and Sjogren each also offered some words of wisdom. Nzau said, “My best piece of advice is to take each day of Orientation as it comes, and to relax. Moving to college and starting classes is stressful enough, so it is important to take time to breath during Orientation. You should not get too stressed about choosing majors and making best friends in the first week because everything works out in the end.” 

She added, “There are so many resources at Wellesley, make use of them. You will learn about most of these resources during Orientation week, but take time during the year to really get to know what is available for your needs.”

Sjogren said, “Give everything, especially yourself, time. You'll meet your best friend, but it probably isn't going to happen on the first day. You'll figure out what to study (and change your mind three or four times in the process). Eventually Wellesley will feel like home.”