Features
Here's How ADMU, UST, and Other Universities Welcome the Freshmen
It's part of the schools' traditions!
IMAGE Pope Flores, Documentations and Publications Committee of Orsem

Being a freshman in college can be equal parts exciting and nerve-racking. So to help ease its students into the college life, these universities go all out in making sure that the students feel welcome on campus. Here are a few stories from students on how their schools do it.

Adamson University

"Adamson's week-long activity to welcome the freshmen starts at the ST Quadrangle where a short program is held. There are booths set up by different orgs and there are performances from various performing groups. There's also a concert at the end of the celebration, but the highlight of the welcome week is the Tatak Adamson tradition. Students are asked to come in white shirts, in which the president, with the help of the university officials, leaves a blue handprint at the back of every freshman. —Mielle, 22

Ateneo de Manila University

"OrSem (Orientation Seminar) is kind of like that friend of yours who's incredibly energetic at all times. It's also much like a party, where everyone is dying to meet you and have fun with you, all while learning the basic ropes and routes around Ateneo. You'll have a lot of "older sisters" and "older brothers" that will dance around the ENTIRE DAY (they're not allowed to show any signs of tiredness, much like in Disneyland), and they'll definitely show you how fun it is to be an Atenean. The word "orientation" will never be the same again after you experience Ateneo's OrSem." —Kaye, 22

College of Saint Benilde

"Interaktiv" is Benilde's orientation for the freshmen. It feels intimidating seeing the upperclassmen parade around like it's a fashion show, but the orientors make sure we feel welcome, making our first day in school less intimidating. As freshmen, we're required to take CSB Life which teaches us the basic rules and history of Benilde. Then a little over a month the school holds a concert for the freshmen called "Unite." All Lasallians are invited to the event to welcome the freshmen. —Alex, 19

De La Salle University

"LPEP (Lasallian Personal Effectiveness Progam) is a two-day orientation where you meet your block mates inside the campus and you'll do activities like getting to know each other and have DLSU-related games. There are people called LAmbs (Lasallian Ambassadors) that tour the students around campus and guide them." —Karla, 18

"There's a batch-wide program orientation wherein students meet different key people around the school and learn the different cheers to familiarize and pump up their school spirits during games, welcoming them to the life and culture of a Lasallian student. You get to be welcomed by the different school organizations too—all members lined up handing out freebies while shouting 'Welcome to La Salle!' at the top of their lungs." —Trisha,20

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Far Eastern University

"FEU has been welcoming its freshmen for a long time now with a weeklong celebration hosted by the upperclassmen of the university. Tatak Tamaraw is an event you wouldn't want to miss especially when you're a freshman. It showcases a lot of different activities every year from painting the freshmen's faces with FEU's logo, the introduction of the school's varsity teams and its players, and lots of other fun-filled school activities! At the end of every celebration, a concert is held at night for students to enjoy and sing their hearts out. Events like these are indeed part of every Tamaraw student bleeding green and gold." —Nicka, 20

Mapua Institute of Technology

Mapuans welcome freshies by having a university week. They'd have food stalls in place as well as non-food stalls for the students to enjoy. Organization recruitments can also be seen during the university week. —AJ, 19

Polytechnic University of the Philippines

In June 2015, I was a freshman of PUP and I remember being welcomed by a flash mob at the freedom park in our main campus. I was overwhelmed by the massive crowd and several reporters from local networks on the first day of classes. Now that I am in my third year and working with the organizations around the campus, we set a date to gather all the freshmen and give them the warmest welcome as they begin their college journey. The performing orgs such as theater, cheering squad, dance group, and chorale give the freshmen some entertainment. University officials orient them on some things they have to be familiar with but leaving them enough room for curiosity. As people in my college always say, it's for the freshmen to figure out! —Wynona, 18

University of the Philippines - Diliman

"In UP Diliman, campus tours and jeep guides are given so you won't get lost since the campus is quite big. It's necessary so that you won't be part of those unfortunate freshies who ride the wrong jeeps and get a free spontaneous tour of UP instead.

Every freshie gets an upperclassman as a buddy to help him survive the first year. This is really helpful 'cause you automatically have a friend when you enter the college, and they can be really helpful with their advice, their own stories, and experiences." —Chrystel, 18

University of the Philippines - Los Banos

"UPLB welcomes freshies by holding a campus tour a day before the first day of classes to help them be familiar with the new environment. The following day, an AlmOSAlan is held by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) followed by an opening convocation afterward. The convocation helps the new students get to know the university's administration and the university rules and regulations. Lastly, "Freshmen Night" is held wherein freshies from all courses and colleges get to enjoy a night of food, music, and performances from the different organizations in the university. This helps them get to know their coursemates/bloc mates better." —Katie, 18

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University of the Philippines - Manila

"Every freshman is welcomed by their own freshmen block coordinator (FBC) per course that serves as their guide for every question and problem that they encounter in their whole stay in UPM. They each have their own buddy where they are given buddy files to help them in studying for the course. A lot of fun activities like Mr. and Ms. Freshie are also prepared for the batch wherein everyone can participate. UPM is a very friendly community that welcomes you with open arms where you'll really be exposed to social issues that will prepare you for the adult life." —Yana, 18

University of Santo Tomas

University of Santo Tomas definitely hosts the warmest welcome for their freshies. It is a week-long occasion wherein the freshmen get to meet new friends and acquire that sense of home. Being the Catholic University of the Philippines, the week starts off with the Misa de Apertura or Mass of the Holy Spirit. The following day kicks off with a concert at the Quadricentennial Pavilion where the freshies meet the Salinggawi dance troupe, the university-wide student council, and a lot more. Days after is the most-awaited and the highlight of the week—the traditional Thomasian Welcome Walk. The freshmen of different colleges/faculty march into the Arch of the Centuries with Thomasian pride and belongingness. It is said that if you pass the Arch of the Centuries on your way out while still a student of the university, you won't be able to graduate. This traditional walk serves as their passport to the different Thomasian activities and Thomasian bragging rights. —Nikki, 18

What are your university's traditions to welcome the freshmen?

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Mara Agner
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