The idea of heading off to college is exciting for many high school grads, but it's also a bit scary -- for both the students and the parents. That's why Texas Tech has made freshman orientation mandatory, so that everyone gets the chance to preview the changes ahead.
A new batch of about 500 freshmen and their parents have moved to campus for the next few days for a crash course on what to expect during life as a Red Raider. High school has just ended, but there's no time to rest. Now, students must switch gears and prepare for college.
"The students come and register for courses. They get to know other students, and then get familiar with the campus. And that includes extracurricular, student services, and everything that's going to help them be successful when they come in the fall," says Megan O'Brien, Director of Tech Orientation.
O'Brien says that orientation eases the adjustment in the fall, so it's not so overwhelming.
"I'm getting nervous when I think about meeting all of these people, but I'm excited and ready to start school," said Lauren Stoffels, an incoming freshman.
And for many parents, sending their first child off to college is just as nerve racking.
"It's a pretty scary thought," said Chris Stoffels, Lauren's dad.
But parents and students alike say that Texas Tech is doing their best to make this process a smooth one.
"We're really excited. We came out here earlier in the year, and they took us on a tour and we were really impressed with how they treated us. They were real friendly, and we feel safe with our daughter being here, but we're nervous for sure," said Allan Griffith, another future Red Raider dad.
"I'm really excited that I get to learn about Texas Tech and where I'll be in a few months. It's fun," said future Red Raider Kimberly Griffith.
There are about a dozen orientations scheduled this summer, hoping to give every Red Raider a taste of what's to come. Tech is expecting a freshman class of about 4,200 this fall, which is about the same as last year.