For the First Time, Again: In-Person Orientation At UNH
The University of New Hampshire is filling back up with freshly graduated high school seniors this week, as the school holds its first in-person freshman orientation in nearly two years. The school opted for a virtual program last year due to the pandemic.
Main Street teemed with nervous energy Tuesday afternoon as students made their way across campus for welcome meetings and lunch, following orientation leaders clad in bright yellow “UNH STAFF” T-shirts.
"I'm really excited about friendships and having kind of a big community, because my school definitely got separated because of COVID," said Hayley Cunningham, from Holyoke, Mass. "People that I used to be best friends with, we didn't talk any more — so it was kind of weird."
And the return to a bustling campus wasn’t just nerve-racking for new students. Dariya Steele, a rising junior who was helping with the welcome activities, said it was surreal to see campus come back to life for the first time again.
“It’s kind of scary considering I’ve gotten used to sitting in my room alone,” she said. “But knowing that everyone’s able to come and everything’s going to be open up for them is really cool, and I’m really happy that they’re able to do this.”
Hailey Moores, another UNH junior helping out with orientation, looked past the initial anxiety and was excited to help a new class feel at home on campus.
“It’s been really awesome being able to give them a little tour of the place, sharing some fun facts, bringing them into some traditions we have of school and just getting that kind of UNH hype and vibe of the place,” she said.
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