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  • Writer's pictureClairene Tan

This is why you should join NUS' Freshmen Orientation Camp

Updated: Aug 25, 2022

Hello everyone! We hope that all of you are doing well so far, especially with the ongoing COVID-19-measures, and the many unlinked cases in the community. Even though the spike in cases also means that the annual Freshmen Orientation Camps (FOC) will be held online, we still hope that you will feel more convinced by this article to sign up for the available freshmen camps and make lots of friends to help you through university.

I'm sure you are going through the same thought conundrum I did not too long ago - to join FOC, or not to join?

Why is FOC so important? I just want to go university to study...

FOC is the annual event that happens in most schools for year 1 students who are matriculating in the academic year. It is entirely optional, but it is a highly recommended activity for you to join. It is a reprieve before the start of your university life, before you have to wrack your brains on registering for modules and tutorial slots for the first time.

If you are someone who loved orientation programmes in your previous schools, and you are super enthusiastic about interacting with people and making new friends, then you will definitely enjoy making friends in the FOC! However, if you are someone who is generally apprehensive about meeting strangers in a fixed physical environment, then the online aspect of it would be a great fit for you as well. In essence, there is something for both introverts and extroverts.

Okay... but how can participating in an online FOC be fun?

To be honest, it was quite disappointing when I found out that the FOC 2020 (my freshman year) would be entirely online because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, and I seriously considered withdrawing my application. Ironically, the reason for this was because of my innate social personality, which caused me to be fearful that I was not able to make friends online as easily. The main problem was the online setting where everyone could, and I quote my friend, "off cam mute mic" which would severely limit interactions.

However, there was a little voice that nagged at me, encouraging me to continue on with the camp, and that was the best decision that I made in 2020. With the help of the super friendly facilitators and the overall comfortable vibe, I made an incredible group of orientation friends. We helped each other acclimatise to the new environment of university relatively quickly, going for suppers together, and even walked to each other's first CCA session as an encouragement. We even continue to Zoom till today!

During a potentially online semester, it is especially important that you utilise every opportunity to make friends. Where else are you going to meet similarly clueless batchmates, or seniors who have gone through at least two semesters of online lessons? These are people who will help you through the first year of university, and can also be friends who you take modules with in the future. The possibilities are endless, but you will have to take the first step to join FOC!

If you are still unconvinced, here are a few testimonials from my friends about their experience at ARTS FOC 2020:

shoutout to r3* for all the fun we had even after orientation <3

*In ARTS camp, there are four houses - A, R, T and S; typically, each house will be divided into 4-5 smaller orientation groups of around 30 people, a comfortable size for interactions!

I mean... I guess? But, how to sign up, and what to sign up for?

There is a myriad of camps that are available for you to join - and if you are matriculating into CHS as an arts student, then there are two camps that you should definitely look out for: ARTS Camp 2021 and major-level camps.

ARTS camp is for incoming freshmen who intend to undertake majors from the humanities and social science, and it includes hundreds and hundreds of fellow students studying different disciplines. It is also where you will possibly make your first contact with your batchmates. This year's camp will be held fully online from the 22-24th of June. You will be greeted with friendly and enthusiastic seniors, a superb welfare pack (including a house shirt, a tote bag, stickers and many more) and interesting freshmen batchmates!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up here!

The other camp that you should consider, would be a major-level camp, which is a smaller-scale camp for you to interact with fellow freshmen who are interested in the major. This is important, as you can find potential friends to take modules with in the years to come. Furthermore, the facilitators of the camp are seniors, which means that they are able to provide tips on which mods to take and/or avoid, or share their past notes and experiences.

Here in the CNM community, we understand that a lot of incoming year 1s will most probably be confused with many technical aspects of university life - which is why we present to you...CNM Open Day 2021! This will be a day of dialogues with staff members such as our HOD, alumni and seniors where we aim to equip you with the necessary knowledge as you embark on your freshmen journey. Furthermore, there will be time allocated where you can interact on a deeper level through icebreaker sessions and interactive games with the seniors and your batchmates.

Brought to you by CNM seniors, we highly look forward to having similar awesome-minded people join us on the 3rd of July. Even if you have yet to lock in your choice of major (and you don't have to do so until much later), we welcome everyone with open arms at CNM Open Day to explore and see if this is the major for you. This is your opportunity to gain deeper insight into what we do here in CNM and make a couple of friends, so don't hesitate in coming for the exclusive open day!*

*We will be updating the article with the sign up link as soon as possible, so do keep a lookout!

Okay, sign me up!

Is a statement that I hope pops up in your mind after reading this article. Experiencing FOC as a freshman is a once-in-a-university life experience. Even though this year's FOC is much like last year's - online, the experiences and friendships you get out of it are fundamentally yours, and here on CNM Types, we will always be supporting you in spirit.

For more information on other amazing major-level FOPs, check out this webpage:

Have a great summer everyone!

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