Orientation can be a little overwhelming and stressful, especially if you have a large campus or a lot of students. Of course, each orientation will differ from college to college. Some schools have one day sessions without parents, and some require multiple days with a parent or other attendee alongside the student. I am going to give some tips and share a few things I experienced by going through the orientation process.
My university requires freshman to complete a two-day session, and bringing a parent is encouraged, but not required. Sessions opened the first week of June, I chose to attend mid-July to one of the last few sessions.
Choose a Session
The first thing you, as a student, will have to do is to pick an orientation session to attend. Some colleges offer multiple and some only offer one. If you do have the opportunity to choose when you will go, I suggest that you plan ahead. If you have a friend going to the same college, pair up with them to tackle everything. Another option, which is the one I chose to do, would be to go with your roommate. If you already know who your roommate will be, contact them and plan t attend orientation together. This will give you a chance to get to know each other a little better before move in day and discuss things you would like for your dorm.
Pay for your Session/Sleeping Arrangements
I am not positive if all schools require a payment for attendance, buy my university charged a fee of $40 for students and $50 for each additional guest. Some colleges will require that all attendees stay campus, if your session lasts longer than one day. That could be free or cost a small fee. I, on the other hand, chose to stay in a hotel near campus. If you would rather hangout and play games with everyone in the lobby that evening, I would suggest staying on campus.
Now that you have everything settled, here are a few things to expect throughout the duration of orientation.
Check the Itinerary
Ensure you know where you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to be doing at what time. tis important that you are in the correct place at the correct time Don’ worry, there are people to assist you.
Not only do you have to take your student I.D. picture at this time, there will be multiple people running around getting “action shots” throughout the session. Be prepared for these images to appear on any form of social media your school has access to, which is all of them. I am not photogenic, at all, and I know I was in at least five pictures. Yay.
As you go through orientation, you will receive a lot of information you need to know about your college life. Make sure you pay attention! Okay, at least look like you are. Put your phones down, look in the direction of the speaker, and look engaged. It is extremely disrespectful to be texting or playing on your phone while the speaker is taking time out of their day to tell you about things you need to know.
At some point, you will probably break into groups and be obligated to play various “get-to-know-me” games. These are somewhat awkward at fist, but turnout to be really fun and make great memories!
Story time! Our student advisor told us to find partner one of the games. Everyone kind of gravitated towards someone they had been taking to all day. I was left partner-less. Coincidentally, so was a football recruit. You guessed it, we were now partners. I was think to myself, “okay, I like watching football. We have something to talk about.” Wrong. This was NOT a talking game. Basically, we had to walk in circles and when the advisor called out a command, we had to complete the action. The last team to do whatever had been called out, was eliminated. Before I knew it, the rookie and I were doing various tasks such as: nose to knee, head to elbow, etc. At one point, he even had to give me a piggy back ride. Talk about an ice breaker.
Forced Small Talk
Instead of sitting awkwardly next to your fellow classmate, you are forced to make small talk.
“Where are you from”?
“What’ your major”?
“What dorm did you get”?
Get used to talking to and meeting new, unique people!
This starts the beginning of all the free t-shirts, lanyards, food, etc. Embrace it! You’re going to want all the free things you possibly can on a college budget!
A lot of people will tell you that the later in the summer you attend orientation, the worse your schedule will be. That is NOT the case, at all. I chose to attend one of the last sessions, and I LOVE my schedule! My Monday is a little jam packed, but I also do not have any classes on Friday’s! So, the time you choose to go does not affect your schedule negatively.
Aside from being bombarded with information, orientation is a lot of fun. You get the chance to meet a few new people, so you will recognize a few familiar face when you move in. You also have to chance to talk with upperclassmen in your major and have them guide you a little bit. If you are nervous about freshman orientation, you should not be. It is mostly business, but has a little pleasure in the mix, too.
Can’t decide what to wear? Check out my suggestions – What To Wear:Orientation
I hope you guys have a wonderful time at your orientation session, If you have any further questions about my experience or any other tip, please feel free to contact me at any time!