Chicago Shady Dealer

Getting Starting: Five Things I Learned from Online Orientation

The College rolled out some shiny, new orientation programming this year, to the delight of us first-years. And those online Canvas/EverFi modules didn’t disappoint — our Phase I orientation experience was practically a rollercoaster ride of useless information (most of us wanted it to go faster, and we all felt a little nauseated by the end). Whether completed from the comfort of a couch at home, on the flight to Chicago between pretzel bag distributions, while actively hauling bedding up the stairs to a dorm room, or not at all, each of us was sure to gain some valuable lessons from this year’s online orientation (including how to skip the videos).

If you’re a first-year suddenly panicking (Say what now? Online orientation programming?!?), or simply a curious upperclassman wondering how the administration managed to find yet another nefarious use for Canvas, never fear. Here’s a handy summary of five nuggets of wisdom I gained from the experience.

  1. Option E. All of the Above is a trap. As a diverse community of bright and hardworking individuals, UChicago students are always expected to go the extra mile. Simply opting for option E, then, is never enough. What the university is actually looking for with these multiple-choice questions is conviction. If options A through D are individually correct, they deserve an individual acknowledgement of their correctness, in addition to the collective acknowledgement provided by option E. In short, if you don’t check the box beside A, B, C, D, and E. All of the above, what can we say? You’re wrong.
  2. If you ever need help with research for your paper on the socioeconomic and religious implications of the frequency of Belarusian conjunctions in eighteenth century Slavic poetry, Megan Browndorf is the librarian for you. Just shoot an email to [email protected], or call 773-702-8456 to say добры дзень.
  3. There are students who don’t drink. A whopping 36% of students haven’t had alcohol in the past year, and EverFi wants them all to swap phone numbers to plan socially distanced bowling nights. The nondrinkers who declined have learned to cope with swigs of Red Bull. Those who signed up quickly turned to drink.
  4. 18% can be a passing score. So what if you can’t remember the name of the mandatory O-week communication workshop, or the peer-based tutoring program for UChicago undergraduates, or the name of the librarian who can help you with research for your paper on the socioeconomic and religious implications of the frequency of Belarusian conjunctions in eighteenth century Slavic poetry? There’s a chance you’ll need that information eventually, but for now, we’ll round your 18% on that Canvas quiz up to the nearest hundred.
  5. The LIFE Introduction video lasts as long as 1.105 “Call Me Maybe”s by Carly Rae Jepson, half a game of Microsoft Solitaire on the easy setting, and the amount of time it takes to eat eleven medium-sized broccoli florets at a responsible chewing pace. Just sayin’.

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