An Orientation Guide for the Class of 2021

Editor’s note: The following is a work of satire. The College Voice does not recommend that new students utilize this guide as a reference material.

Welcome, first-years, to Connecticut College! You are about to enter a very exciting chapter of your life. You will experience new opportunities, meet new people, and form new relationships—Connections©, if you will. Orientation is designed to assist the beginning of your journey by touching upon all of the crucial bases.


First, a quick note: Connecticut state law requires college newcomers to list their name, where they are from, and a quirky personal fact no less than 100 times within the first 24 hours of move-in day. If not completed, the College could face a hefty penalty of $67,440 per student.


You are all here because you have gone above and beyond. You are not settlers, you are reachers. Each of you has exceeded expectations and standards; it’s the character of a Conn student. You’ll see this quality portrayed during orientation as could-be thirty minute presentations are extended to a full hour or more! We strive to achieve above and far beyond that which is both expected and necessary.


Ever heard the phrase “don’t beat a dead horse?” Here at Conn, we don’t believe in horses and their Connections© to elitist society. At Conn, we beat dead camels. Recent predictions report that within the next six years, camels will be a nearly extinct species due to how often the College runs their name into the dirt. You will soon become more familiar with the dromedary mammal than you ever wished to be.


For many of you arriving from across the country, or even the world, New London may be foreign soil. We will ensure you become acquainted and feel “at home in New London” with an information session. Your success at Conn for the next few weeks, and years, rests upon the crucial understanding of how parking garages came into existence in downtown New London. This question has surely tortured you ever since your “Conn Said Yes!” folder appeared in your mailbox. Fear not, we will address this issue at great lengths in Palmer Auditorium.


Even though you are all adults, ready to take on the world and make your mark, we are all still kids at heart. This orientation program will allow you to indulge in your childish impulses. Flashback to middle school mixers—except, instead of your school’s gymnasium, this bopping blast will be hosted in the bright fluorescent lights of our very own Cro! Similar to those nostalgically cringeworthy tween shindigs, there will be hesitant and awkward conversation, Twister, the Electric Slide, and a variety of suspicious rodents.


We are so, so excited to welcome the class of 2021 to Conn this year. To date, not only does this class include our highest number of trained magicians, “20 minutes outside of Boston” acceptees, and people in top 100% of their graduating class, but the class of 2021 is among the first to embark upon the ambiguous road of our acclaimed Connections© curriculum. Here are some of the most common questions we receive about this fantastically vague new program, and the answers we hope will best aid your understanding:


Q: How does Connections work?
A: By reinventing the liberal arts education.
Q: What makes it different from previous curricula at Conn, or others across the collegiate United States?
A: Students get to orchestrate their education and self-navigate their own pathways.
Q: What do those mean, exactly?
A: By exploring the five different Modes of Inquiry, students will gain a more wholesome and rounded educational experience, putting the world together in new ways.
Q: How many credits are required for the different requirements?
A: There are no requirements with Connections©; students experience the liberal arts through Modes of Inquiry.
Q: Right, but what does that mean?
A: Students engage in Creative Expression, Critical Interpretation and Analysis, Quantitative and Formal Reasoning, Scientific Inquiry and Analysis, and Social and Historical Inquiry.
Q: So, art, reading, math, science, and social studies?
A: No. Creative Expression, Critical Interpretation and Analysis, Quantitative and Formal Reasoning, Scientific Inquiry and Analysis, and Social and Historical Inquiry.
Q: So how will I know how to best schedule my courses to ensure I check all the boxes?
A: By reinventing the liberal arts education.


Your experience at Conn will be one full of questions and fresh knowledge. We encourage you to take advantage of every learning opportunity in your time here, in and out of the classroom.


This is college. You are here to ask questions, and question your answers. Maybe you will walk out of the post office one day with $650.00 worth of Amazon Prime textbooks bogging you down, and a fellow student will hold the door as you exit Cro. Appreciative of their attention to your situation, a question will surface in your mind: “was that my Camel Moment©?”


After these first five, frenzy-filled days at Conn, you will be ready to begin your college experience. It will be difficult, perhaps. But you are ready. You certainly will not have any remaining questions, for we have answered the important ones several times during this orientation program: “How does the Camel Van© work?” “How exactly do we complete SEA forms and tax paperwork?” “How do we use the Career Services office?” “Why is our mascot a camel?” “Why does the upholstery in Palmer hurt my legs?”
Welcome home, Camels.


P.S. We neglected to mention this fact on tours or at any point during orientation, but the campus has a mildly jarring and out-of-control skunk problem at night, so tread lightly.