NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

A Look Behind New Student Orientation

Kelly Nguyen

Every Highlander has heard about the NJIT New Student Orientation, or NSO. The program, meant to assist first-year students in learning about the university, is led by NSO director Kristen DeGraff and first-year programming manager Joana Marmelo, along with the NSO Student Lead Team consisting of third-year architecture major Kelly Nguyen, third-year computer science major Ethan Ho, fourth-year biomedical engineering major Danielle Grunwald, and third-year biology major Rashi Matha.  

NSO is the first contact that the incoming first-year class has with NJIT after receiving their offer letter. There are two parts to the program — NSO 1.0 in June and NSO 2.0 in late August. NSO 1.0 is when students get acquainted with their academic colleges.  

The program also hosts in-person and virtual events throughout the months of July and August, such as game days and movie nights. This is to get the students excited for the upcoming semester and allow them to interact with their fellow newcomers.  

NSO is not always fun and games, however, as the transition from being a high schooler to a college student is by no means linear or easy. One of the ways NSO helps ease this change during the summer is by getting students registered into the NJIT system by uploading medical and vaccination history, along with getting their insurance set up. They also instruct first-year students on how to upload profile pictures to the NJIT portal so that they can receive a student ID in a timely manner.   

Although they meet new students in June, the Orientation Leaders work around the clock to make NSO a success. They dedicate their entire summer to help the new students feel welcome at their new home for the next couple of years.  

Nguyen, a third-year architecture major, is a member of the NSO Student Lead Team. “I always liked to help people, so when I saw the application, I knew I had to apply. The best part is hanging out with the team,” they said. “The most rewarding part comes at the end of the summer, when you get to NSO 2.0. Seeing all the first-years on campus after an empty summer is really fun, and the hard work pays off.” 

Nguyen’s introduction to NSO was on a whim, although they have currently finished their second year of being a leader. They always had a penchant to help people and that is when she realized the job was for her and applied.  

“Last year was my first year as an leader and I found myself always wanting to stay longer to help. I don’t do any of the fancy technical stuff, I’m truly bad at it — rather, I mainly focus on the social media and design part of the job. If you see a video on our Instagram, it was most likely made by me,” explained Nguyen.  

When recalling a favorite memory, Nguyen said, “This year I got the wonderful opportunity to be Waldo during NSO 2.0. It was fun getting chased around by first-years and taking photos. I got in so many steps that day!” 

Joseph Hovick is a third-year electrical engineering major who joined NSO to help welcome new students to college life here at NJIT. “Adjusting to college life was difficult for me coming into an environment right at the end of transitioning from online learning back to in-person learning, so I wanted to assist incoming students however I could,” he commented. 

Hovick mentioned that he likes the opportunities at NJIT that he can spotlight as a part of NSO. “I also liked being able to host fun events for new students as a way for them to connect with each other and form friend groups,” he added. 

“As an avid introvert, introducing myself and talking to others was a struggle for me at first,” said Hovick. “However, after working with NSO for two summers, I can definitely say that it has given me the opportunity to break out of my social shell and open up more.” 

Orientation Leader Ewan Lee is a second-year computer science major with a minor in theatre arts and technology. “I joined NSO mainly because I was interested in becoming an outward figure here. I remember at my orientation, I saw the headers and thought that I could do that,” Lee recollected. 

“What I like about NSO the most is being able to connect and communicate with so many different types of people,” Lee commented. “NSO helped me to get along with people from diverse backgrounds. Also, the best part of the job would have to be the fellow orientation leaders, as they’ve all been great friends that I probably would not have made otherwise.” 

“The only parts of NSO I disliked were situations of miscommunication that caused a little bit of chaos, but those were circumstances outside of anyone’s control,” commented Lee. “My urge to be the point of attention for crowds of people and just perform and inform in front of the masses drew me to join, but the people I met made me enjoy the job even more.” 

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Vaishnavi Kodali, Staff Writer
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