Getting Lost in Portland

Orientation Week for the Class of ‘22

Reed’s Orientation Week is a busy one, filled with enough events, info sessions, and activities to make any student, let alone a freshman student, dizzy. This myriad of events, however, serves to help students become familiar with the campus’s academic and cultural expectations, which may be quite different from what the new first-years have experienced previously.

One of the first events that new Reedies attended was the Convocation ceremony, which welcomed new students and their families to Reed. Convocation also introduced students to many Reed faculty members and administrators, including Acting President Hugh Porter; Milyon Trulove, Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid; and Jan Mieszkowski, Professor of German and Humanities. Following this, all 363 bright-eyed new Reedies gathered for the Class of 2022 photo.

Throughout the rest of the week, first years tackled difficult yet important topics through information sessions on diversity, equity, sex, and consent at Reed, and the Honor Principle. These lectures and the discussions which followed got Reedies thinking about the different backgrounds and viewpoints they have and how these can best be utilized to create a safe, inclusive community.

Departments ranging from psychology to physics hosted information sessions, easing folks into the school year with resources and major options amidst an array of other academic activities. Other academic sessions discussed topics such as grades at Reed and strategies for conference participation. These sessions were meant to help Reedies get ready to meet with their advisors and prepare for their first week of classes.

Not everything new Reedies participated in during Orientation Week, however, was focused on academics. Free food dominated many of these other events. The Night Owls grilled hot dogs and familiarized new folks with Community Wellness and its purpose, and the Center for Life Beyond Reed also offered hot dogs and desserts meant to cheer up folks’ orientation spirits and introduce the resources they have available for employment and internships.

As Orientation Week also made clar, life at Reed is not just about academics or staying in the Reed bubble. Folks explored outside campus and gained insights into local Portland culture. The first stop on many new students’ tour outside campus was the beautiful and well-traversed Woodstock neighborhood. An adorable and peaceful environment full of interesting things to do and to see, Woodstock delighted the folks with its hidden gem, Cloud City Ice Cream. Best known for its diversity of food, Division Street satisfied everyone’s taste buds and impressed folks with the unique Portland food truck popularity.

Apart from the city’s amazing food culture, the natural scenery of the surrounding area served as another highlight regarding Portland’s charm. Hiking is one of the most common activities enjoyed by local Portlanders thanks to the well-preserved forests, and trips to Forest Park  introduced folks to the natural beauty of the city, proving that Portland is a compatible combination of both urban and rural characteristics. The off-campus journeys proved to be successes that contributed to the colorfulness of the orientation events.

With its glimpses of the academic culture new students will be immersed in at Reed in the coming year, the expressions of care for students’ well-being through campus resources, offers to explore the Portland community, Orientation Week at Reed equipped its new community members with excitement and confidence regarding their college experience.

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