Beginning a new semester can be quite intimidating for an incoming freshman. It can even be intimidating for seasoned university students if this is their first time attending a new school.

RIT Orientation seeks to soothe any and all anxieties that a new student could find themselves facing, all while making sure they are able to navigate the first few weeks of the school year.

However, this semester will be the ultimate test of RIT’s orientation capability. Students will be returning to school in the fall after months of dealing with the COVID-19 viral outbreak that swept the globe.

With students nationwide required to transition to online classes beginning in the spring of 2020, many students are left to wonder how RIT will conduct their Fall semester.

Orientation is always an exciting and equally worrisome time of the year. However, this year’s Fall semester will need to help faculty, parents and students readjust from the worldwide calamity of COVID-19.

RIT may have to continue or revert to an online forum if the COVID-19 virus continues to endanger health throughout the remainder of the year.

Thoughts, Advice and Experience

Daphine Postl, a third year Psychology major, said her first fear about the Fall semester was the possibility of students not being able to return physically to the school, citing the difficulty online classes can cause in lieu of in-person classes.

“It’s been a struggle doing classes from home. I feel like there’s just as not much structure and I always feel like I’m missing something,” she said.

Jackson Glozer, a third year Photographic Sciences major, concurred that he had similar worries. Glozer noted that he does his best learning in the classroom, where he isn't bothered by the plethora of distractions from his home environment.

Aside from the negatives, there were also some positive thoughts about what effects returning to campus could have on the student body.

“I am already looking forward to the Fall semester. I’m very excited just to be back with my friends and just be in that environment again.”

"I am already looking forward to the Fall semester. I’m very excited just to be back with my friends and just be in that environment again," Postl said.

In parting, the students had advice for any incoming freshman about succeeding despite whatever the future might hold.

“Balance your time. For the most part, you’re on your own. Your parents aren’t really there to watch over what you’re doing, and time management is key,” Glozer said.  

Postl noted that it’s important to go in with an open mind.

“Try not to lose yourself in all of the schoolwork. Make sure you’re making time for yourself and to see the people you love,” she said.

COVID-19 caught everyone off guard in early 2020. Regardless of what the fall has in store, the Tiger community’s faculty, staff and students are ready to embrace the incoming freshman class, no matter the challenges.