Why You Don’t Have to Be Nervous About CUSTO...

Why You Don’t Have to Be Nervous About CUSTOMS

It’s finally here, the time you’ve been waiting for so long: COLLEGE!

It all starts to feel real when you sign up for new student orientation. And here at MTSU, our student orientation program, CUSTOMS, provides all the tools you need to start college on the right foot.

Because it is such a big step for your future, student orientation can be a pretty nerve-wracking experience. Maybe a couple of notes from a CUSTOMS survivor like me will help you with your butterflies!

A Student Orientation Ambassador gives CUSTOMS students and their parents a tour of MTSU's campus. Groups are assigned to a specific "country," and these students develop friendships over the course of the CUSTOMS orientation experience. (MTSU photo by Kimi Conro)

A Student Orientation Ambassador gives CUSTOMS students and their parents a tour of MTSU’s campus. Groups are assigned to a specific “country,” and these students develop friendships over the course of the CUSTOMS orientation experience. (MTSU file photo by Kimi Conro)

Everyone is nervous!

Coming to college is pretty scary. I was in the same shoes not even a year ago. A lot about your life is going to change, and you’re going to change too. You will probably be overwhelmed with all the people you’ll meet, all the buildings on our campus and all the extra studying you’re gonna have to do. But it’s okay, because every other student at CUSTOMS is probably equally as nervous as you.

Connect and network right away

You get to meet people who may become close colleagues and friends. Between the other students in your group and your student orientation ambassadors, or SOAs, you can hear about so many opportunities, ideas and ways to get involved before you even start your first semester! I encourage you to talk to your CUSTOMS leaders and find out their majors and what their college experiences have been like.

Talk to them about some of your collegiate goals, because they can offer some advice and point you in the right direction to get there. Talking to my SOAs was something else that got me super excited about starting college. They were so helpful and so happy to be MTSU students that it really made me feel confident that I had chosen the right college.  

Meeting your adviser for the first time = breathing a little easier

At CUSTOMS, you get to meet with your adviser for the very first time. Even if you aren’t sure exactly what your major is going to be, it’s really helpful to hear about your options. I made sure to tell my adviser some of my goals for my time in college, and she was able to point me in the right direction for the classes I need, the organizations I should look into and the people I need to network with.

After this, you get to sign up for your classes while SOAs help you through the process. And then, voilà! Your fall semester becomes a reality before your eyes. For me, holding the piece of paper with my schedule on it really made everything feel that much more real.

You might meet your new best friend

Okay, I know it’s a cliché when people talk about meeting friends at freshman orientation, BUT I met one of my closest friends when I went to CUSTOMS. She and I instantly clicked, and when school started we went to so many new things together. We just signed an apartment lease to live together next year!

Think about it: you’re getting thrown into a group of people who are going to be in the same college as you are. You’re bound to find someone you have something in common with. It’s definitely something to look forward to as you prepare for CUSTOMS.

Get excited because … COLLEGE! WHOOP!

Your whole life is about to change, so get ready. My first year of college was absolutely amazing, and MTSU has already provided so many opportunities for me I didn’t even know were possible a year ago. (Ew, that was gushy … but it’s truth).

You’re going to be so excited about the welcoming atmosphere at MTSU. Whether you are from five minutes down the road or a five-hour plane ride away, there’s something for everyone here at MTSU. The friendships, connections and experiences here will make you feel at home no matter where you’re from.

Good luck to all our incoming freshmen! We are so excited you are a part of the True Blue family!

P.S.: Don’t forget to take a picture with the Blue Horseshoe in Walnut Grove at CUSTOMS. Starting off college with a little extra luck is always a good thing! 😉


Author Caitlin Davis is a sophomore at MTSU with dual majors in the School of Journalism in advertising and public relations and in the School of Agriculture in agribusiness. The views and opinions expressed above are her own and don’t necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of Middle Tennessee State University.