The first days of college are a time of big changes and exciting possibilities for students, particularly those who are living away from home for the first time.

At Fordham, all first-year (and transfer) students take part in New Student Orientation (NSO), a three-day program designed to help them connect with each other, make the most of academic and campus life at Lincoln Center and Rose Hill, and start to feel at home as a Fordham student in New York City.

In advance of Opening Day on August 27, we reached out to four of Fordham’s 200-plus student orientation coordinators: Joe Brawdy, a rising junior from California majoring in political science and minoring in urban studies; Jayden Curtis, a rising junior from Illinois majoring in environmental science and minoring in French; Maja Gunz, a rising senior from Germany majoring in chemistry and minoring in philosophy; and Grace Yearwood, a rising junior from Maryland double majoring in humanitarian studies and environmental studies.

Just two or three years ago, they came to Fordham from across the country—and across an ocean.

“We all shared the same nerves of entering a new place and environment,” they said by email, and the NSO team “went above and beyond to make us feel welcomed in our new home away from home.”

Now, they’re committed to doing the same for incoming students. Here are some of their tips for first-year students.

  1. Take advantage of all New Student Orientation has to offer. Orientation is a great opportunity to meet new people and get to know about life at Fordham before your classes start. The program is three days long—there’s Opening Day, Academic Day, and Student Life Day. Throughout the program, you’ll get the chance to meet with a small group of your fellow new students. Two of us orientation leaders will guide you through various activities to help you get to know your classmates, your school, and your campus. And we always end the day with a fun night event!
  2. Be open to trying new things. You don’t have to be involved in all the same things that you did in high school or at your previous institution to find your people. For example, Joe and Jayden had never played Frisbee before joining Fordham’s Ultimate Frisbee club team. It allowed both of them to meet so many new and amazing people, and it gave them the confidence to get involved in even more new things—like being an orientation coordinator!
  3. Don’t be afraid to say yes. If someone asks you to get coffee or join them for lunch or to be your study partner, say yes. Doing so will help you move out of your comfort zone and meet so many new people. This also goes for the club fair—just say yes and sign up for the club or clubs that really spark your interest.
  4. Join First-Year Formation. First-Year Formation (FYF) is a once-a-week class designed to help you with your transition to college. In each session, we’ll cover a different topic—from time-management strategies to the history of Fordham and the Bronx. Each FYF class is taught by a Fordham staff member and two upper-level students. FYF also sponsors free excursions throughout New York City.

Learn more about New Student Orientation at