VIDEO: Freshmen reflect on orientation, moving in and first days at UP

By Claire Desmarais | August 27, 2018 9:42pm


Students gathered around Shipstad Hall last Thursday to watch Fr. Mark Poorman launch a confetti cannon into the air. 

by Delaney Vetter / The Beacon

It’s the first day of classes and freshmen might already be exhausted. After days of endlessly repeating their name, where they’re from, their major and what dorm they live in, freshmen orientation weekend can seem like a distant, hazy dream. 

The Beacon asked freshmen what their experience has been like so far and asked returning students what they think freshmen should know. Here is what they had to say about the weekend, meeting new people and what they are most excited for:

By Kyle Garcia and Jamison White 

Jolene Querido, freshman nursing major from Portland, OR.

How’s orientation going so far? 

“When I went to my dorm, people were really welcoming there and that’s the first thing I noticed about UP. Everyone is out there to come talk to you so you’re not nervous or shying away from others...My sleep schedule has been so off because we have so many activities every day so they keep you up, but I don’t even know that I’m that tired when I’m at these events until I get to my dorm room and I’m like, ‘Wow, I’m exhausted.’”

How would you describe the UP community?

“It’s really welcoming. Honestly, I don’t feel like this school will have any stereotypes or discrimination. I also like how we had the Green Dot presentation. It really ensures that I’ll be safe in this community.”

Simon Kriech, freshman environmental science major from San Jose, CA. 

How do you feel about your new dorm?

“Schoenfeldt seems like a great place and everybody is just a great brotherhood and community…There are a lot of people that I’m meeting. Lots of new names and faces to remember.

What is your highlight of orientation so far?

“The highlight was probably the soccer game, getting to see everybody in the stands and cheering for the team.”

Sadie Wuertz, freshman English and music major from Denver, CO.

If you could describe your feelings from orientation in one word, what would you say?

“I guess surreal almost? Because I feel I’m just like a high schooler visiting college right now and it hasn’t sunk in yet that this is, I don't know, it feels like I'm in a movie.”

What do you think you’ll learn this year?

“I think that I’ll learn how to be more open to new experiences I think is the main thing. I’ve never left my hometown and I’ve never even moved out of the house I was in so this is just a lot at once and I like it.”

By Brigid Lowney and Autumn Fluetsch 

Jose Aguilar, junior secondary education and history major from CO. (Workshop Leader)

What do you hope freshmen will take from this experience?

"Your go to resource should be either your workshop leader or your RA because a lot of (freshmen) have initial questions and they get really nervous about it but you have two really accessible resources that can get you the answers that you need.

We went over it for their first workshop group in that the workshop program is there for them academically, socially, and emotionally and I hope they understand that and the resources that we can provide for them to achieve that end.”

By Sam Cushing and Madison Pfeifer

Brendon Seid Phan, freshman biology major from San Jose, CA. 

Why did you choose UP?

“Everyone just seemed really kind, really inclusive. It made me feel really welcome.”

Monica Perez, senior organizational communication major (Transfer Student Coordinator)

What are you most excited about for the semester?

“Everybody is super excited. Being in the purple shirt and the white hat, I’m helping out as many people as I can… everybody is just like I want to learn more and more… and it has been so amazing to see that. We love our freshmen and we are so excited to have them here!”

Katie Thomas, sophomore biology major from Thousand Oaks, CA. (Orientation Assistant)

How was move in day?

“I was checking in students at the check-in table. (Incoming freshmen) seemed eager to get ready for school this year and a little bit nervous to see what’s coming, but for the most part they seemed excited.

What has been your favorite part of Orientation so far?

I have a great group of kids and they all seem like they really want to be here. It’s been great helping them out.”

Ryan Walsh, freshman mechanical engineering major from Sacramento, CA.

What are you looking forward to this year?

“I’m looking forward to the college life and meeting new people.”

Claire Desmarais is the News and Managing Editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at