When it comes to college orientation, you’re probably experiencing mixed emotions. You’re exhilarated by the thought of your college life, but you’re also intimidated being one step closer to challenging classes, confusing campuses, and independence from your support system. The thing is, orientation will give you the opportunity to acquaint yourself with your new home and alleviate any freshman jitters! Whether your orientation is mandatory or optional, here are some aspects to look forward to:
Familiarizing with the campus
If you’re attending a college campus in a whole new city, you’re going to need a guide for the first few weeks. During orientation, seasoned college students will be there to direct you to the best places to grab a bite and other available resources on campus. Exploring the grounds before the first day will make searching for your classes that much easier. Keep your head on a swivel and take some notes!
Meeting your new classmates
For most freshmen, this will be their first time in a new place with a completely new group of people. If you’re feeling lost and lonely, chances are, the person standing next to you at orientation is feeling the same way. Orientation is a fantastic opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and meet some interesting people before classes even start. Ask some basic questions about hometowns and majors to start off. Most college students can remember a friend from the first week of college that they’re still in contact with, so get out there and jot down some numbers!
Attending events and fairs meant for YOU
Orientation is all about the freshman! You can go to events confident that they are meant for students JUST LIKE YOU. (Hello, new friends!) The social aspect of college is one of the biggest parts to feeling connected at your university. During the week of orientation, most campuses will host events where incoming freshmen can meet the people behind student organizations. Knowing about all the resources available to you can make all the difference in experiencing college to the fullest.
Registering for your classes
During orientation at many schools, you will meet with an advisor to register for your freshman year classes. It’s important to attend this meeting in case you have any confusion about the process or any concerns about the type of major you’re going into as a freshman. Come prepared with questions, bring a copy of any AP scores and dual enrollment coursework you took in high school, and make use of this time set aside just for you. It may be more difficult to schedule time with your advisor after orientation because you will be competing for slots with students of all years.
Sneaking a peek at dorm life
Orientation will give you a first look at living conditions, so you can know what to expect. (Where will the mini fridge go?) Small or spacious, visiting the dorms will allow you to imagine yourself living in this new place. No matter if the thought of dorm life excites you or intimidates you, some of the best memories will form within those walls. Embrace a life of communal bathrooms, coin-operated laundry machines, and squished living spaces with new (or not-so-new) friends.
Asking your question
With only one week (or even just a few days) of orientation, there is still so much to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and discover more information about your school. With this transition, orientation is just the prelude to your journey. If you feel confused about anything from move-in day to mapping your path to class, take advantage of this time to grab some answers!