Orientation program coordinators offer pearls of wisdom to new students

From left: Tatiana Alvarado, Victoria Gomez, Kat Jenkins, and Meera Patel.
By Ashley A. Williams

From left: Tatiana Alvarado, Victoria Gomez, Kat Jenkins, and Meera Patel.

Orientation program coordinators offer pearls of wisdom to new students

By Ashley A. Williams
As ’Cane Kickoff student staff members bring energy and enthusiasm to orientation events all week long, the four student leaders of the group share their recommendations for students just beginning their journeys at the University.

Next week, on Tuesday, Jan. 18, the University of Miami will welcome new, transfer, and returning students for the Spring 2022 semester.

Led by the Department of Orientation and Commuter Student Involvement (OCSI), the orientation program staff is a group of high-spirited ’Canes who support the transition of first-year and transfer students into the University. Comprised of 18 Orientation leaders, four program coordinators, and 12 commuter and transfer assistants, OCSI supports new ’Canes and their families in their transition to the U.

Throughout a week of programming, incoming students and their families will meet other ’Canes, learn about the history of the University, receive a ’Cane identification card, and prepare for their fresh academic experience ahead—thanks to the student staff’s behind the scenes efforts.  

This semester’s orientation for students began Jan. 11 and runs through Saturday, Jan. 15. The highly anticipated spirited event, University Welcome and ’Canes Take Flight, will virtually take place on Thursday, Jan. 13, from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. 

The Spring 2022 orientation program coordinators are among the many new faces incoming students can expect to see this week. In the following comments, they offer some advice to the incoming ’Canes: 

Tatiana Alvarado, a junior double majoring in business law and political science, manages communications and social media for ’Cane Kickoff.

“As a former spring admit myself, I understand how intimidating it may be coming into the University in the middle of the school year. You may not find your place right away but keep exploring and do not ignore the unconventional path. College is an exploratory time in your life and there is a lot of room for error—but it will all work out in the end. Every student on campus was once in your shoes, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. ’Canes really do care for ’Canes.”

Victoria Gomez, a junior majoring in biology, oversees the logistics.

“This spring semester might look a little different than we all had expected and hoped, so I would say it’s absolutely essential to stay positive. Just like with any time of transition, this spring will have its challenges, but I’m confident that we as ’Canes can make the best of it. My best advice is to focus on all the great things about being at UM and in the city of Miami and enjoy—safely—all of the amazing opportunities your college experience has to offer.”

Katarina Jenkins, a junior double majoring in public relations and media management, directs training and morale.

“Do not be afraid to take things slow. Go at your own pace. Take time to explore new opportunities, make connections, and find what fulfills you. Try not to compare your timeline to that of anyone else, you have the unique opportunity to build your own.”

Meera Patel, a junior studying microbiology and immunology and public health, is responsible for strategizing and leading events and programs.  

“As you transition to the U, one of the best things you can do is get involved. Not just with student organizations but with what campus and the off-campus life has to offer. You’re going to undergo a lot of transitions during this time that may challenge you in ways you haven’t experienced before. But like Ted Lasso once said, ‘Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse. If you’re comfortable while you’re doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong.’ ”

For the complete, up-to-date Spring 2022 ’Cane Kickoff schedule, download the free UMiami app from the App Store or Google Play.