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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

NSC leaders share advice for Class of 2025

Following+a+year+of+virtual+new+student+conferences+due+to+COVID-19%2C+incoming+freshman+and+transfer+students+will+receive+an+in-person+experience+this+year+with+the+option+to+participate+virtually+should+they+choose+to+do+so.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Following a year of virtual new student conferences due to COVID-19, incoming freshman and transfer students will receive an in-person experience this year with the option to participate virtually should they choose to do so. 

Texas A&M’s annual New Student Conferences, or NSCs, kicked off for new and transfer students on May 25 on campus.
After hosting a virtual experience for students last summer, NSCs have returned to an in-person format for incoming students and their families. Director of New Student and Family Programs Emily C. Ivey said the program leaders are excited to host one of the first in-person events for new students.
Though students are offered the opportunity to come to campus for orientation, they can instead complete one of the two online sessions, which Ivey said closely mirror the in-person format.
“We knew we were going to need to offer virtual for individuals who did not feel comfortable coming to campus for safety and health reasons,” Ivey said.
Incoming business freshman Stacy Perez-Maldonado attended her NSC May 26-27, but was surprised when NSC conferences were moved to an in-person format. Perez-Maldonado said the face-to-face component helped her become excited about transitioning to A&M.
“It was nice to be able to get to see the campus and get the experience of the different people helping out and working [the NSCs], you could see their Aggie Spirit and it lit me up,” Perez-Maldonado said. “I was sad about graduating high school but as soon as I went to the New Student Conference, it completely flipped my mindset and changed it and I was 10 times [more] excited to come to A&M.”
Perez-Maldonado said she advises other freshmen to look into their schedule and plan what classes they want to take before the second day of orientation.
The conferences have multiple elements including information and academic sessions, breakout sessions and orientation groups. The first day consists of informational sessions and breakout groups of incoming students and student leaders. The second is focused on meeting with the students’ academic college and creating their first schedule at A&M.
As a first-time orientation leader, international studies junior Jenna Martin said she has seen many new students form bonds during the first sessions of NSCs. Martin encourages students to take the time on campus to ease nerves about the upcoming transition.
“New students should take advantage of all the resources and information that is available at NSCs, but even more importantly, they should try to step out of their comfort zone and get to know new people,” Martin said. “Everyone attending NSCs is going through the same thing, so don’t be afraid to start a conversation with someone you haven’t met before.”
Psychology junior Amy Figurski said she has enjoyed the transition back to in-person compared to her first year as an orientation leader online because of the connections she has made. Though they still had orientation groups at last summer’s NSCs, Figurski said she has witnessed many connections between students in the few weeks of conferences so far this year.
“Facilitating necessary information to students is an important part of my job, but I feel that fostering those connections between students is just as important,” Figurski said. “Students will feel more comfortable on campus when they see a familiar face, and hopefully they’ll even start the school year coming in with friends they’ve made at their New Student Conferences.”
Regardless of whether incoming students make the trip to Aggieland in-person or virtually, they are encouraged to come to their NSC prepared to learn about their new home and Aggie family, Martins said.
“Come to NSCs with an open mind and excitement for the future. Texas A&M will be home for the next few years, so try to get to know the campus and the people during NSCs,” Martins said. “Everyone here is ready to meet the new students.”

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