So, today i'm trying to make contact with the campus.
After much running about (I've discovered that UMD's website is not really a singular monolith but rather a congealed mass of smaller, distinct websites for the various colleges and their departments. very confusing.) I've managed to gather several bits of data. For one, I can now log in to things.
Apparently at this point the "block" on being able to register is for academic advising with the English department (as a transfer, I've already matriculated). What I'd like to know is whether the orientation is mandatory to proceed with the semester (apparently they're not rescheduling today's....or listing any further ones for the spring 2014 term....) or whether I can try meeting with an advisor from the english department to satisfy this block. The "reason" for the block doesn't even mention orientation or having to attend it.
After more mucking about, I finally found the email for general advising branch of my particular college within the university. So I think I'll email them. They probably know about these things.
I still can't reach the orientation office; I imagine they're swamped, what with being closed yesterday and half of today. I'll try them again a little later. For now I'll try this email for general advising questions.
Meanwhile, I'm still scared. I feel somewhat accomplished so far--however dismally--in that while getting through these little goals I don't feel like I'm all that much closer to where I need to be. And all the while I'm still struggling to figure out if I even want to. I mean, I do want to go to school and finish my degree and all that fun learning, but I'm just not sure I want to this semester. It seems so sudden. I only found out I got in last week. It just seems like so much all at once, only to be followed up with a course load once everything does get settled.
Sorry for the ramble. It's just where I'm at. I'm going to follow up with some advice I got and see if I can hook up with someone in the counseling program to work on these anxieties; I hear it's a really excellent program with good student resources.