Olu Adejuwon, Orientation Leader

I warmly welcome you to the University of Michigan-Flint. I am an international graduate student from Nigeria. I wanted to come to the USA to get a feel of how other people live and learn more about other cultures. I was a pretty playful student and when I finally came to the university, I was ready to jump into anything and everything that seemed interesting to me. It did not take very long for me to realize that I had overextended myself, as I began to spend more time on extracurricular activities than my education and my grades reflected that. I had not given myself time to get comfortable with my classes and class schedule before getting involved on campus. Although getting involved is important, I want you to know that juggling academics, social life, and work can be daunting. It is important to learn how to manage your time effectively to have an all-around college success. Get out there, develop lasting relationships, and make your time here memorable.

Jimmela Byrd, Orientation Leader

High school was a blast, but the next four to five years at the University of Michigan-Flint will be a time you cherish. Don’t be that student that just takes classes, works, and goes home. Break out of your shell and embrace the many opportunities this campus offers. College doesn’t have to be this boring place; make your experience great by doing great things. Join the clubs and organizations that truly interest you, do some research, and most importantly, major in something that you love and have fun. In many ways, your major determines what career you’ll go into. This is huge because if you decide to go through with a major that is not interesting to you, you could be trapped into having a job that you absolutely hate. I’ve changed my major a few times because I realized that I want to do something that makes me happy. Being involved on campus is the reason why I changed my major in the first place. All in all, this chapter in life is about you growing and learning from your college experience. I can’t wait to see you!

Aaron Duncan, Orientation Leader

You need to remember that the ball is in your court; you control your life from here on out and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you don’t feel like the major you picked is for you, then don’t be afraid to change it! When I was in high school, I was very dependent on my parents in the sense that I always looked to them to tell me what I should do in certain situations. I was afraid to do anything major without their guidance, so when I came to the University of Michigan-Flint, I was expecting my parents to tell me exactly what I should do with the rest of my life. I was shocked when they left me to make my own decisions. I had to do some soul-searching to figure out what my passion is, but it was all worth it in the end. I am now majoring in Business Management, which is something I truly love. I hope that you will be able to find what your passion is as well and act accordingly. This college experience is going to be the foundation for the rest of your life, so make it strong!

Kathryn Farkas, Orientation Leader

Hello, I'm Kathryn, a senior majoring in public administration and women and gender studies. I hope you are as excited to be here as we are to have you. In my opinion, you get out of your time here what you put in to it. My first recommendation would be to get involved on campus. Joining organizations helped me to get to know my way around campus and to get to know quite a few people. When I first came to the university, I was not exactly sure how to make new friends because I came from a high school where everyone knew each other.  Getting involved on campus allowed me to make connections with other students more easily than usual. I would also recommend finding a job on campus. Not only will you learn a wealth of knowledge about the university, but your employers will also be extremely flexible with your class schedule and extracurricular activities. I hope that you’ll choose to enjoy your time here as much as I have and find yourself along the way.

Carol Gao, Orientation Leader

Hey guys! I’m Carol, a senior majoring in Business Accounting. Entering a new world away from home can be tough, but now is the time for you to try new things and find what’s right for you. I recommend for new students to connect with a faculty member by the end of their first semester. This is very important because when you make new connections, you build a network of people that will be willing to help you when you need them most. As a first year student, I was able to connect with a math professor soon after classes started. I was able to go to her with homework questions and when I just wanted to talk. It was extremely nice to be able to go to someone I trust not only as a professor, but also as a friend, when I had questions on campus. Get out there and make new connections! Your adventure to success starts now.

Veronica Garza, Orientation Leader

Embarking on a journey for a higher education is both smart and exciting. Before we get into the details, let me introduce myself. I’m Veronica, a senior studying nursing. The University of Michigan-Flint provides you with the best resources for you to succeed with your educational goals. My best advice I have to offer you is to use as many resources that you may need to thrive in your classes. Looking back at my first year on campus, I wish I knew more about the tutoring services that are offered for free to all students. At the time, I was struggling with one of my classes and I was afraid to ask for help from my professor. It wasn’t until I realized the free tutoring service on campus that I was able to fully understand the material. Now I feel more confident in taking my education more seriously and I appreciate the free services that are offered to students. It is your job now to discover these resources and how they can help you and I wish you the best luck in your studies.

Mary Lenhart, Orientation Leader

I am a junior and my major is Health Sciences. Our faculty on campus are always ready to assist you in any manner, whether it is in or out of the classroom, and they are always prepared to help make your experience as best as it can be. My favorite faculty member was dedicated to making his class more interesting and relatable for students. He would start each class by loudly playing music so everyone could let loose and get pumped up for class. Although this was one minor act, it helped everyone to be more relaxed and open for class. So take the time to get to know your faculty members while you pursue higher education here at the University of Michigan-Flint. They are very intriguing people with so much knowledge to offer you. Again, we are very excited to have you join our growing campus. I wish you the best with your studies and I hope that you find your time here to be very rewarding.

Aujene' Madden, Orientation Leader

Now you are entering college life full of excitement and new adventures and you may feel like a weight is lifted off of your shoulders. You may be scared or nervous, but I am here to help you. In high school, I was the type of student that did not try their hardest in class and on classwork. I gave almost no effort and my grades reflected that poor attitude. It wasn’t until I actually came to the university that I was able to change my mindset. One of my professors made it clear that in order to be a scholar, you have to want to be a scholar. It was then that I realized that my work patterns needed to change and I acted on it immediately. Now I make regular visits to the tutors and the writing center that are offered to all students at no charge. I stop by and speak to my professors during office hours. Most importantly, I stay motivated by reminding myself that I am the only one that can be held responsible for my education. I encourage you to keep my experience in mind as you continue your education here at the University of Michigan-Flint.

Drew Marsh, Orientation Leader

Your decision to come to Flint is the first of many that will change your life. I’m Drew, a junior studying Public Administration. This campus is based on the concept that you get out of it what you put in; if you go to classes and then go home, you won’t get much. However, if you get involved, the opportunities are limitless. In fact, getting involved allowed me to become an Orientation Leader. When I was a first year student, I had a rough time balancing academics with my extracurricular activities. I did not realize how much effort it would take to stay on top of it all. Now that I have figured out the best way to manage my time, I am involved in numerous organizations. I am sure that you will be able to find something worth dedicating your time to here at the University of Michigan-Flint. I look forward to meeting you and helping you on this new journey of college life!

Avery Mitevski, Orientation Leader

The next chapter of your life is beginning – you’re finally starting college and I am so happy to welcome you into the University of Michigan-Flint family. My name is Avery. I’m a sophomore in the honors program studying Biology and Psychology. This college experience should be fun, but it is necessary to keep your attention on academics. As a new student, it is important for you to realize how much time and effort college courses actually require. I was a very successful student in high school and I didn’t have to put in a lot of effort to study at all. When I came to university, I had to learn to go to the library and learn to study more efficiently.  As a student attending the University of Michigan-Flint, you will encounter many new and exciting opportunities and I encourage you to take the chance on every one you can. I wish you the best as you make new memories, have fun and make this experience entirely your own.

Jaslyn Morris, Orientation Leader

Hello everyone! My name is Jaslyn. I’m a sophomore in the honors program studying Health Sciences. I’m here to help make the transition to university life easier for you. High school was easy for me; I never really had the interest or the need to study. As a college student, I’ve had to take a step back and assess which areas I would need to work harder on and act accordingly. My advice is to open your mind to new possibilities. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and speak up when you need to be heard. You will learn to manage time and you will grow accustomed to college life sooner than you think and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed by everything at first. This is a time to better your education, find yourself, and make new connections that can last for a lifetime. Take advantage of your experience here at the University of Michigan-Flint and good things are bound to happen.

Azmi Qubty-Kandalaft, Orientation Leader

My name is Azmi, and I am a senior here pursuing my undergraduate degree in History. I’ve lived in Flint all of my life and I was dreading my decision to continue my education here because all I wanted to do was get out and get away from this city. However, my opinion and attitude completely changed when I actually set foot in the University of Michigan-Flint. This university welcomed me with open arms and offered me chances to better myself through liberal education, community outreach, and civic engagement. For the first time in a long time, I was able to meet and surround myself with new people that were ambitious and more focused on learning than attaining good grades. Opportunities are served on a silver platter for all who attend this school, and you have been given the ability to take advantage of them. So be open-minded about your surroundings and stay involved in things that matter. Most importantly, go make history.

Carrie Riley, Orientation Leader

Before attending the university, I felt uncomfortable in Flint and I felt that the city was boring and lacked life. These feelings definitely transferred over to my academic life and because of that, I felt skeptical about classes during the beginning of my freshman year. I took Intergroup Dialogue as my First Year Experience course and I was not excited about it. I had the unique experience to speak with other students with different backgrounds about topics that affect us as young adults. It was an eye-opening experience to hear about how others felt about certain things. This ended up being one of my favorite classes and through it, I grew to love my city and what it has to offer. What I’m really trying to say is that you should have an open mind when you walk into the university. There are so many different things and ideas to discover and if you choose to be closed off to new understandings, you may just be closed off to life as well.

Nakshidil Sadien, Orientation Leader

Bonzour, I’m Nakshidil! I am a senior studying Sociology, Political Science, and French & International Studies. After countless hours of pondering over whether or not you got into college, you’ve finally made it! Take it all in and relax because this is about to be a rollercoaster ride filled with emotionally stimulating and riveting ups and downs. The University of Michigan-Flint offers you an array of resources that will enable you to make the right decisions to achieve your goals and objectives. I learned this when my favorite faculty member forced our class to think outside of the box and undertake a case study in International Relations. Although it was difficult at first, we were pushed to focus and fully understand the concepts being learned. So, do not be afraid to ask for help and always ask questions! Most importantly, know that the sky is the limit. You’ve got a blank canvas in front of you and it’s up to you to paint a beautiful portrait.

Jimmy Soukamneuth, Orientation Leader

The transition from high school to university is different for every single person, including me. I’m Jimmy S., a junior majoring in Industrial and Operational Engineering through the 2+2 program, which allows me to spend two years here at the University of Michigan-Flint and then two years at the Ann Arbor campus. I was expecting the Flint campus to reflect the reputation of the city: broken and dangerous. However, my perspective was changed when I actually came to college; the campus was booming with life and learning. Since my expectations and mindset were completely wrong, I had to readjust to the new surroundings. I had to build up my social confidence and learn to get involved on campus. I’m telling you this so that you will be able to make your transition to campus life a fantastic one. Remember, keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to take chances. Good luck and Go Blue!

Daniel Stohlin, Orientation Leader

In high school, I was at the top of my class, outgoing, didn’t need to study to do well, and I had poor time management. I was under the impression that I would not have to work harder to get the same good results in college. Boy was I wrong. My first semester on campus, I quickly became drowned by assignments and papers that I continuously put off for later. It was not until I turned to a faculty member that I finally learned how to manage my time effectively. That faculty member sat down with me and explained specific concepts and helped me overcome others that prohibited me from excelling. In the end, I was able to change my attitude towards studying and things of the like. My advice is to remember that time management is vital. If you find that you’re having trouble figuring it out on your own, don’t be afraid to ask a faculty member; they are here to help you.