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The First-Year Experience Program

The majors fair at First-Year Orientation for fall 2021

The First-Year Experience Program provides opportunities for you to better get to know Smith and yourself through events and happenings. We ease the transition to college life by helping you find the support you need to adjust to life at Smith and to make connections with classmates, faculty and staff. Events also help you foster friendships with students from other houses and throughout the Five College community. We aim to make your first year enriching and fun, promoting your overall success at Smith.


First-Year Experience Program Schedule

The First-Year Experience for fall 2022 runs from September 6 to October 22, 2022. The schedule is now available, organized in blocks by week.

The First Year Experience

The First-Year Experience Program provides opportunities for you to better get to know Smith and yourself through events and happenings. We ease the transition to college life by helping you find the support you need to adjust to life at Smith and to make connections with classmates, faculty and staff. Events also help you foster friendships with students from other houses and throughout the Five College community. We aim to make your first year enriching and fun, promoting your overall success at Smith.

 

Use the button to access the 2022 FYE Schedule in the Smith Social Network!

 

2022 FYE SCHEDULE

Ongoing FYE Events: Weeks 1 – 7

September 6 – October 23

Smith To Do

Office of Student Engagement
The Office of Student Engagement, in conjunction with other departments and student organizations, offers a series of programs intended to connect first year, Ada, and transfer students throughout their time at Smith. View the 2022 Smith To Do events on the Smith Social Network!

Find Your Fit: Match-Up Consultations

Office of Student Engagement
Find where you fit at Smith! Sign up for a personal consultation to connect with student organizations and involvement opportunities based on your interests. Contact Melanie Laurin in the Office of Student Engagement at mtlaurin@smith.edu or stop by the OSE in Campus Center 106 to set up a consultation.

Student Academic Advisor Library Tours

Smith Libraries
Tour the Smith College Libraries! The Student Academic Advisors (SAAS) will take the first year students at the SAAs’ houses on tours of the Smith College Libraries: Hillyer Art Library, Neilson Library, and Josten Performing Arts Library. The SAAs will be the ultimate tour guides and point out key spots and features at each library. Tours run for about 45 min-60 min. At the end of the tour, the SAAs and their first year students can pick up limited-edition journals at the libraries' circulation desks. Tours can be given from September 6 to October 9. Contact your SAAs directly to schedule a tour.

First Year Experience: Week 1

September 6 – September 11

First Week at Smith!

Office of Student Engagement
The Office of Student Engagement, in conjunction with other departments and student organizations, offers a series of programs intended to connect first year, Ada, and transfer students as they begin their time at Smith. To view the 2022 First Week at Smith events on the Smith Social Network, click here!

Discover the Design Thinking Initiative + Make Pom-Poms

September 9, 4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Capen Annex, Classroom 25A, Henshaw Ave.
Learn about the Design Thinking Initiative, the opportunities we offer throughout the year, and get a tour/safety training of our two prototyping studios so that you can use our tools and materials responsibly and freely. After orienting you to the space we'll hang out and make our own pom-poms using a handmade cardboard template so you can keep making them on your own! This event has a cap on attendance: You must register to attend!

First Year Experience: Week 2

September 12 – September 18

What if I need help writing college papers?

September 12, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Jacobson Center, Seelye 307
Come meet us in the writing center! We'll give you a brief overview of how we can help you do your best writing while you're at Smith. Snacks and a free zine on writing anxiety provided!

Meet Your Smith Connector

September 13, 3:30 p.m.– 5 p.m.
Clark Hall Porch & Side Lawn
Stop by for a snack and meet your Smith Connector!
First Years Only

Develop Your Public Voice! Amplify Program Information Session

September 13, 4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Campus Center Room 205
Join us for PIZZA and a chance to learn about how you can develop a public voice through the Amplify program this year! Sponsored by the Wurtele Center for Leadership, Amplify offers workshops and events to help you develop skills in public speaking, writing, art, and multimedia. The program culminates in the Amplify Competition during J-term, where you can enter work to compete for prizes up to $750. Please R.S.V.P. on the Smith Social Network.

First Years Connect

September 13, 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Clark Hall Porch & Side Lawn
Come meet your Smith Connector and friends to celebrate being on campus for the 22-23 academic year! Snacks and fun included!
First Years Only 

Open Boathouse

September 14, 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Paradise Pond Boathouse
The Athletics Department is opening the Paradise Pond Boathouse, special just for new students! Take out a canoe, kayak, paddleboard or rowboat!

Musical Life at Smith

September 14, 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Sage Hall Green Room
Want to take a music class? Interested in making music with peers? Excited to know more about the musical activities happening on campus? Come to meet with the music faculty and returning music students for lively conversations and they will answer your questions. Lunch will be provided.

What if I need help writing college papers?

September 14, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Jacobson Center, Seelye 307
Come meet us in the writing center! We'll give you a brief overview of how we can help you do your best writing while you're at Smith. Snacks and a free zine on writing anxiety provided!

Discover the Design Thinking Initiative and Make Your Own Notebook

September 16, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Capen Annex Classroom 25A, Henshaw Ave
Learn about the Design Thinking Initiative, the opportunities we offer throughout the year, and get a tour/safety training of our prototyping studios so that you can use them responsibly and freely. After orienting to the space we'll be making our own notebooks using simple binding techniques and an array of design possibilities!

What if I need help writing college papers?

September 16, 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Jacobson Center, Seelye 307
Come meet us in the writing center! We'll give you a brief overview of how we can help you do your best writing while you're at Smith. Snacks and a free zine on writing anxiety provided!

First Year Experience: Week 3

September 19 – September 25

How to Explore Career Opportunities as a New Smith Student

September 19, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Campus Center Room 205
Students will learn how to use several resources for exploring career opportunities and pathways, and will be introduced to Handshake, the college's platform for sharing off-campus internship and job opportunities. Participants will also gain recommendations for creating a personalized, adaptable plan for exploring and testing fields of interest and potential career paths. Led by staff from the Lazarus Center for Career Development.

Meet the Learning Specialist!

September 19, 2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Neilson 108F (Learning Commons seminar room)
Learn all about the services the Learning Specialist offers! In this session we'll cover how to schedule one-on-one appointments, which study skills workshops to look out for, and the one-credit college success course offered each semester.

Study Abroad Fair

September 20, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Davis Ballroom
The College's annual study abroad fair will give students the opportunity to get information about study abroad opportunities from representatives from dozens of study abroad programs and host institutions on the College's list of approved programs.

Meet the Learning Specialist!

September 21, 2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Neilson 108F (Learning Commons seminar room)
Learn all about the services the Learning Specialist offers! In this session we'll cover how to schedule one-on-one appointments, which study skills workshops to look out for, and the one-credit college success course offered each semester.

Setting Yourself Up for Success with Self-Care

September 22, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Schacht Center Classroom
During this big time of transition, it's important to set yourself up for success by developing healthy habits, including building self-care into your life. Join Sunny Windorski from the Wellness Department to learn more about a multifaceted vision for self-care, build your personalized self-care plan, and learn about ways to engage with self-love at Smith. Participants will be entered to win a self-love kit, which includes a vibrator. This event has a cap on attendance. You must register to attend.

Gettin’ Dirty with the Botanic Garden!

September 23, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Lyman Plant House
A Botanic Garden is a living museum of plants. And you literally live inside one! Over 8,000 species of plants are represented in our collections. Take a tour of the Lyman Plant House (where it will be 85 degrees and sunny even in the depths of winter), then learn to take cuttings from our amazing collection of tropical plants to green up your new living space. How can a little shoot tip live and thrive when it’s cut off from the rest of the plant? That's a superpower that animals don't have. This hands-on activity will be a little bit of botany and a lot of fun. This event has a cap on attendance. Register and save your spot

First Year Experience: Week 4

September 26 – October 2

How to use C5 Calling In Frameworks

September 26, 3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Campus Center Room 003
Come chat with Toby Davis, Inclusion Education Trainer/Facilitator from the Office for Equity and Inclusion about how C5 Calling In frameworks can help us live in community and support each other in the struggle for human rights. Based on the work of Professor Loretta Ross.

Navigating the Biology Major & Exploring Possible Career Paths After Smith

September 28, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Sabin-Reed 220
Come and join a group of BIO students and faculty to discuss the many paths you can choose through the BIO major, such as focusing on biodiversity/ecology, cells/development, genetics/evolution, or BIO & education! Learn about study abroad and research opportunities during the academic year and summer. Finally, hear a bit about the many career paths pursued by BIO majors after Smith. Bring your questions!

Planning Your Prehealth Path @Smith

September 28, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Neilson Library Reading Room
A panel of Smith students will share their stories and advice for taking prerequisite classes, leveraging time and resources at Smith and off campus, and key activities needed to prepare for applications to health professions graduate programs. Panelists will represent a variety of fields including medical, dental, veterinary, and pharmacy among others. Whether you are already sure about pursuing a specific healthcare career, or are still weighing your options, this event is for you.

Donuts with the Deans

September 29, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Clark Hall Front Porch
Meet the deans! You have questions and we have answers. Come and meet the deans who will help you navigate your campus life journey. Plus cider and donuts will be available! In case of rain, this event will take place in the Clark Hall Large Conference Room.

Exploring your Path to Law School

September 29, 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Campus Center Room 102
Considering law school in your future? This workshop will help you learn what opportunities you can take advantage of at Smith, both in and out of the classroom, to prepare for law school. You’ll leave with a better understanding of what you can be doing each year of college to build the skills to be successful in law school and make yourself a competitive applicant when it comes time to apply. This event requires sign up

Community Poster Making Party: Postering for Climate Action

September 30, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Davis Ballroom
Join the Wurtele Center, CEEDS, and the Design Thinking Initiative for a community poster making party. We'll explore the public art of postering and teach wheat pasting techniques. Participants will create posters around themes of climate action and collectively paste to community panels. Come dressed to make a mess. All students, staff, and faculty are welcome!

Gettin’ Dirty with the Botanic Garden!

September 30, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Lyman Plant House
A Botanic Garden is a living museum of plants. And you literally live inside one! Over 8,000 species of plants are represented in our collections. Take a tour of the Lyman Plant House (where it will be 85 degrees and sunny even in the depths of winter), then learn to take cuttings from our amazing collection of tropical plants to green up your new living space. How can a little shoot tip live and thrive when it’s cut off from the rest of the plant? That's a superpower that animals don't have. This hands-on activity will be a little bit of botany and a lot of fun. Register for Gettin' Dirty with the Botanic Garden!

 

 

First Year Experience: Week 5

October 3 – October 9

Gender who? An interactive workshop for all of us

October 4, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Resource Center for Sexuality and Gender
Has your gender ever felt a little itchy? Do you find yourself wondering where these gender boxes came from and why they are so small? Do you want to learn more about gender expansiveness? Come chat with Raven Fowlkes-Witten and Toby Davis, co-coordinators of the Resource Center for Sexuality and Gender and staff in the Office for Equity and Inclusion.

C Series: So What Do Boundaries Really Mean, Anyway?

October 6, 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Neilson Browsing Room
Join the Wurtele Center for Leadership as we gather students, faculty, and staff in a conversation about this concept which has so many different meanings for different people. We toss the term around but how can we make sense of it for ourselves in nuanced and complex ways? This session is part of our “C Series” where we will consider, critique, commune, connect, create and collaborate around topics related to “boundaries.”

 

First Year Experience: Week 6

October 10 – October 16

Explore Shelburne Falls!

October 16, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Shelburne Falls, MA
Meet at Sage Hall Circle
Take a trip with staff from the Center for the Environment (CEEDS) to a quaint New England town- where the movie Labor Day and episodes from the tv show Dexter were filmed. You'll explore some history, some culture, see some glacial potholes, and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Meet the van at Sage Hall at 10 a.m. Limited to 10. You must sign up for this event

First Year Experience: Week 7

October 17 – October 23

Amplifying Your Voice: An Evening with Aisha Harris

October 17, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Neilson Browsing Room
Join us for a conversation with journalist Aisha Harris, the co-host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast and former writer for Slate Magazine and the New York Times. We’ll ask Harris to reflect on her experience developing a public voice and leave some space for audience Q&A. Co-sponsored by the Journalism Concentration. The event will be hybrid: live and in-person in Neilson Browsing Room and also available to watch via Zoom. See Smith Social Network for more info and to RSVP.

Collaborative Leadership Lab: No thanks! How to say no, set boundaries and maintain them.

October 20, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Wurtele Center: 146 Elm Street
Join the Wurtele Center for Leadership as we dive deeper into topics addressed in the C-Series. These sessions will provide students with hands-on, practical skill building through conversations, group work, and chances to workshop ideas and projects related to leadership. This session will be specifically focused on boundaries as they relate to leadership.

Haven't Found Your Fit Yet?

October 20 and October 21, 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Chapin Lawn Deck
Haven't found your fit yet? That's ok! Visit the Find Your Fit table and meet with Melanie Laurin from the OSE to learn about clubs/organizations and involvement opportunities on campus. On the spot match-ups available to discuss your interests, goals, and finding your fit at Smith.

Brunch at MacLeish

October 22, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
MacLeish Field Station
Pick up at Sage Hall Circle
Travel to Smith's MacLeish Field Station with staff from the Center for the Environment and then help build a fire and then cook and eat a delicious Brunch in the great outdoors of West Whately. Tasty food and good company guaranteed! Dress for the weather and being outdoors. Meet the van at the Sage Hall circle at 9:30 a.m. Limited to 11. This event requires registration

Art Encounters: Meander & Making at the Smith College Museum of Art

October 22, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Smith College Museum of Art
Meet your art museum! Get a up-close look at some of the highlights of the Smith College Museum of Art's exhibitions and collection of 26,000+ objects—including artist-designed restrooms, ancient objects with fascinating histories, site-specific installations, and much more in this interactive tour. We will meet at the entrance the museum, spend some time looking around the museum together, and culminate with a hands-on activity. You must register to attend this event.

About a First-Year

“About a First-Year” follows Aditi, Adrianna and Gwen, Smith students from the class of 2019, as they navigate their first year of college life—living away from home, making new friends and juggling hectic schedules and rigorous academics. From their first days on campus in September 2015 to May 2016, the end of the academic year, they learn to find their way, make Smith their own and grow in amazing and unexpected ways.

About a First-Year: Gwen ’19, Episode 1
About a First-Year: Adrianna ’19, Episode 1
About a First-Year: Aditi ’19, Episode 1
About a First-Year: Gwen ’19, Episode 2
About a First-Year: Adrianna ’19, Episode 2
About a First-Year: Aditi ’19, Episode 2