You may have already heard from your Customs teams introducing themselves and what they do, but I also want to give a few more details about what Customs is and what y’all are going to be up to for the first few days of your college experience!
What is Customs?
Customs is our year-long orientation program that starts during Customs week when you all move in! It involves typical college things like icebreakers and safety lectures, but it also involves activities and sessions where you can learn more about the culture of Haverford and how we all choose to treat each other while here.
Who is involved in Customs?
You will have six students, usually a mix of sophomores, juniors, and seniors on your Customs team. You’ll have one UCA (upperclassmen advisor) who will be either a junior or senior, two CPs (Customs People) who are sophomores or juniors, an HCO (Honor Code Orienteer), AMA (Ambassador of Multicultural Awareness), and PAF (Peer Awareness Facilitator) who can be any year above you. And then there’s you! The reason we have Customs and the most integral part of the program! Your whole hall (or building in the case of HCA) will be in your Customs group as well, and we hope that you can all learn from each other and support each other as much as the team will!
What happens during Customs week?
On top of a lot of more serious orientation stuff, there’s a lot of time for fun! There’s a lot of hall bonding time, a party for all the first years and people involved in Customs, a hypnotist show, and Dorm Olympics on Founders Green!
Do you have any recommendations for how to thrive during Customs?
Yes! I’ve done Customs as a First-Year, CP, and this coming year I’ll be on Customs Committee, the group of people who chose and trained all of your team members, so you might call me a veteran of Customs. Here are my tips and tricks:
- Take time for yourself if you need it. Customs can be really overwhelming and you might feel like you have to socialize every single minute, but you don’t! Just let your team members know if you need some time alone and they’ll let you know when you can take that time for yourself.
- Explore campus with your hallmates! Not only is it good bonding time, but you’ll also get a sense of where everything is on campus!
- Be open to new experiences! College is new for everyone and you’re all going to be a bit unsure of what to do and therefore probably a bit uncomfortable. I strongly encourage you to lean into the discomfort and try something a bit out of your comfort zone. Customs is the perfect time because you’ll have a complete support system around you as well!
- Just go for it! Don’t worry about looking crazy while dancing, or showing off a talent at Dorm Olympics, or even saying hi to new people on campus!
- Don’t forget to eat and DRINK WATER. It can be really hot out during the week and most of the dorms aren’t air conditioned, so stay hydrated and keep a snack on you!
The most important part of Customs is to have fun and learn! Feel free to ask questions about things you don’t know! This is your time to learn about Haverford!