By LAUREN MCDONALD firstname.lastname@example.org
College of Coastal Georgia welcomed a new batch of students this week. The first-time Mariners have spent the week learning the ins-and-outs of campus ahead of their first day of class today.
Around 40 students underwent a Spring Anchor Day orientation program Monday and Tuesday, when they were able to tour campus, meet professors and administrators and get a taste of academic life at CCGA.
"It's a part of our three-step process for orienting new students," said Jaime Parker- Lewis, associate dean of student life at CCGA. "The first is the summer orientation or the spring entry orientation, then the Anchor Days and then the Coastal Discovery workshops. Those three phases are important to fully integrating our freshmen and our new students into campus."
Sitting down to enjoy pizza from the on-campus eatery Tuesday, during a break from Anchor Day, freshman Deon Deshieles said he looked forward to embarking on a successful four years at CCGA.
"I'm looking forward to just the experience of coming here. I really like the atmosphere here and I wanted to come somewhere I could start fresh," said Deshieles, who is moving to Brunswick from Atlanta.
He said the Anchor Day orientation helped him feel prepared for his first day of class.
"They did good with helping us learn the campus and know everything that can be helpful to us," he said. "They want us to succeed."
Kayla Lad, a senior at CCGA, offered some advice to the incoming students — call your parents, often.
"My advice to students is always 'This may be new for you, but it's also new for your parents.' So still call your parents," said Lad, who works in the career services office and helped lead the Anchor Day events. "The professors always say, to the parents especially, that this has to be important to your students. It can't be just you wanting them to do it, they have to want to do it."
Lad also encouraged the students to take advantage of the close-knit campus community at CCGA and to get to know their professors.
"Pretty much all the professors here have an open-door policy, so if any of the students have any questions or maybe they don't understand something or they're struggling with it, their professors are here to help," Lad said. "And they absolutely love it when you walk into their office and say, 'Hey can you help me with this?'"
Parker-Lewis also urged students to get involved and to look into joining one of the more than 50 student organizations on campus.
"I encourage them to find ways to become connected to the campus beyond the classroom, even if that means visiting your professor, using office hours — or of course attending one of our fantastic events," she said.
Photo by Bobby Haven of The News
College of Coastal Georgia Blue Crew member Eric Seals, right, leads a group of incoming students on a tour of the campus Tuesday during Spring Anchor Day.