College Freshman Orientation – What to expect

My little brother ( who is looking like a giraffe) and I just got back from my orientation, so I’m a little fresh about this. I keep him company to make sure he stayed motivated.  So now going to college for an orientation program was a huge thing for both of us. If you’re debating whether or not to attend it, you definitely should as it’s a great source of any information that you need. So let’s look a little better at College Freshman Orientation and what to expect.

Every school’s freshman orientation program is different, but here are some things to expect:

  1. A long speech. The school will likely give an introductory speech from some esteemed member of the staff.
  2. Information about requirements. You’ll probably be given information about general ed and/or major requirements to help you pick your classes.
  3. Dorm information. My freshman orientation didn’t do this (and I wish it had), but your school might show you in a few of the dorms and talk about them. Some orientation programs have you stay the night in the dorm to get a feel for it.
  4. Stuff for parents. The school is going to try to persuade your parents that their money is well-spent and that you’re going to be safe. If the orientation program keeps you there with your parents, be ready for a long talk about the school’s boasting points and the like.
  5. Tour of the campus. Another thing I didn’t have, but I know some schools do. They might take you around and show you more of the school. You might find out more about what the cafeterias are like, you might find out where the library is, and so forth. The school wants to start introducing you to where you’re going to be living.

Enroll in classes as soon as possible. Don’t waste any time.

The first chance you get to do this, do it. Each school handles signing up for classes differently. Some schools let you sign up at freshman orientation, others give you a day and any point after that is fair game. As soon as you can, enroll. At my orientation, it was first-come-first-serve based on when you had your orientation.

I was unfortunate enough to get a later orientation date, which meant that I had the last pick of classes. I got in line as fast as I could to try to get what I could, and some I got while there were only two openings left. Most of my first choices were already full. I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer.

Get used to meeting new people.

Unless you’re going to a school where you already know a ton of people, you’re going to be starting fresh next year. At freshman orientation, get used to extending yourself and introducing yourself. If you’re normally a pretty shy person, now is as good of a time as any to start becoming outgoing. Strike up a conversation about anything — ask where someone is from, ask what their major is, where they might be living next year, talk about the orientation program, etc. If you’re single, maybe even flirt around a bit.

Most people are in the same boat as you and don’t know anyone there. Even if you’re not starting a deep friendship, it’s good to at least meet some people and get used to that. If you’re going to a large school, chances are you’ll never see the people again, but that doesn’t make it a waste of time. Try to ready yourself for the change.

Check out the surrounding area.

If you haven’t seen much of the town already, try taking a drive around it. You’ll obviously find out way more about it when you’re there next year, but you might as well try to get a bit oriented while you can. Get an idea where things are and try to find some interesting spots in town to check out later on.

Ask any questions you have.

Lastly, if you’re unsure about your major, where you’ll live, the general ed requirements of the school, transportation, or just anything, now’s the time to ask. If the college orientation is put on by students, consider asking them because their advice is more firsthand than the staff’s will be. This is a great time to get questions out of the way. Write them down if you think you’ll forget.

To be honest, I found orientation a little dull. There was some good information that they gave, but most of it I had heard before. To me, the best part was meeting new people, but each person will have their own experience. I would definitely recommend going to your freshman orientation if possible, though. You never know what your school will do.