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

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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


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


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?









About the author
Mara Agner
Assistant Lifestyle and Features Editor

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I don't know. by Mariella Ysabel Amatus

I don’t know what to do. I feel lost. I don’t know what to do. I feel alone. I don’t know what to do. I feel abandoned. Dreams are things we ought to have. Without them, we might never know where will our future take us. We seem to be trained to have them. I want to be a nurse. I want to be a doctor. I want to be an engineer. I want to be a lawyer. Those are the lines children tell in front of people. It seems simple to dream. To have an ambition. Well, I thought it is. But, now, as I put a book on my lap, thinking about where my fate will lead me, it isn’t.

I feel drowned in the responsibility of knowing what I wanted. The season of college entrance tests are coming. Yet, I feel nothing but doubtful. I studied, but now, I am not doing such a thing. I felt so engrossed the last time I checked myself months ago. Now, I am unsure of what I want to do. I have to study. Yes, I know. However, I feel so dismissive to do something. I can’t even point out what’s the problem in me.

What am I doing? I must go, open some books, and study hard. But, I am never doing it in this present moment. Instead of challenging myself with tons of knowledge, I am here writing this passage with my mind resonating with unspoken words and truth. I seem insane, right? What will happen to me if I keep on doing nothing? Well, simple. I will never be successful - I know that. Then, what must I do?

Asking myself such a question will never suffice what I really need. Because, I’ve been asking myself questions all the time. Yet, I’ve never come up with answers. I don’t know what to do. I feel like being pained. I don’t know what to do. I feel like being tortured. I don’t know what to do. I feel like being misunderstood. I don’t know what to do. I don't know.

A Stranger "Things"

strangers can be not strangers, they can be someone else

Isn't it intimidating to interact with strangers? Majority will say "yes" certainly. No doubt, parents also come up with their very classic "Don't talk to strangers" smart advice for their children. But come to realize to take the opposite approach of it as we grow older, there's a tangled idea in our head it it is beneficial or not.

Finding comfort to someone we don't know is like finding a needle in the bunch of hay. A blurry-blurry thing, a no-percent no-possibility to happen. But not to compare, for others it's like their way of finding comfort, way to socialize, way to widen their circle of acquaintance, that's why psychologist somewhat agree with it. If the person didn't give you a ghastly vibe, why not give it a try to interact. It's kinda weird thing to open doors for strangers,but at the same time, its interesting. Think of this, why its easy for others to share secretes of them, or to have pretty intimate conversation to random person? Cause they say, "No judgement".

Why its okay to ask help to person we dont know if we are in unfamiliar place? Cause they can help us, and same goes in other way. Bottomline, Strangers are not just strangers or a person we dont know, or a person that our parents taught us not to talk to. They can be someone else who can help us in times of unfamiliarity of places or thing. They can be the person who sit next to you in the bus who ask for a little help for direction and end up having a great conversation.

They can be a lot more we didn't expect to, and you can tell by yourself that your best of friends you have today are once a complete stranger to you yet you end up having a strong bond of friendship. They are the person we completely don't know, we dont know their upbringings or what, but sometimes the can be more helpful to us than the others we know. By simply having a casual conversation with them, we're not noticing that they are giving us a diffirent approach to different aspects in life and unfortunately, this idea overpowers by just word "stranger". Hopefully, maybe now or then, we're very thankfull that we took the opposite approach of "do not talk to strangers"

marj carbonel 3 hours ago
Nyla David 4 hours ago

Hi Candy! I saw a repost of your IG story from one of my good friends who happens to be your candy rookie, Margaux Nonato, about students who started their business this quarantine season. I wanted to submit my own story as well but didn’t have the guts to do so, until I read the stories of some students who happen to share the same experience as mine!

Telling my own story might be a little overdue, now that you’ve already published the article but I wanted to give this a try still if it means inspiring other people as well. I am an incoming third year medical student from De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute and I have also decided to do something productive (aside from studying my backlogs of course) and something unique that may help me to challenge myself into exploring new things aside from human anatomy, pathology, and all those medical greatness.

Kudos to everyone who decided to start their online businesses! I must say it isn’t easy at all so we all deserve a round of applause for doing great and getting this far! I’ve always been a fan of baking since I was a kid. I remember making my own chocolate chip cookies when I was in second year high school and back then, I only baked with a microwave (since our oven was whack) and used choco choco as the chocolate in my cookies ???? they are not as bad as they seem! Trust me!

Since then I’ve always dreamed of finding the perfect recipe. I took Biochemistry in college and went straight to studying Medicine so my plan in finding the perfect recipe was always postponed since studying for my future patients will always be my number one priority. (Naks) Then Coronavirus happened. I just finished my last semester for 2nd year Med last June and I’ve decided to finally come up with the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, then tried selling them for extra allowance to help in our expenses. In addition to my chocolate chip cookie recipe, I’ve also managed to bake chocolate crinkles and different varieties of brownies! Who would’ve thought that a super busy medical student would have the chance to bake and create her own online business as well? (While in Med School!!!)

So then I started my online business, named “Harina Manila”.You can also find it on instagram and facebook @harina.manila!! I like to call my baked goods “paboridough” because the ones that I bake are indeed my favorites and I‘d like to share it with everyone. Kaya sa mga broken hearted jan, dibale nang hindi ka niya pinili, sa Harina Manila, ikaw ang aming paboridough ???? (hahaha corny!) From deciding what to name your business, to buying ingredients almost every week, and finding the right packaging that fits your style, starting your own online business really takes time and dedication! But as they say, kapag may tiyaga, may nilaga!

This goes not only to medical students like me, but to all students who are struggling to keep themselves sane this quarantine season. Amidst the pandemic that we are facing right now, I hope that we may not forget to take good care of ourselves both physically and mentally. May we find the courage to remain optimistic and try new things that could help us grow and become better. Sharing with you my story this quarantine season, I hope I may be able to inspire other people into believing that they too, can do something amazing, heck there’s no limit to what we can all achieve! As long as we work hard for it, malayo ang mararating natin! I thank you, Candy Mag, for spreading good vibes and inspiration to everyone by publishing good stories! To all the lovely readers who took their time to read Candy’s article, if this ever gets published, I hope you remind yourselves today that you are capable of doing amazing things and that there is no limit to what you can achieve. Fighting! Dont forget to visit, like, and follow my page on Facebook and Instagram, Harina Manila (@harina.manila) and try out some of our baked goods! We got you covered, my paboridough! Thank you! ??

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