I think it’s safe to say that everyone who goes to college first has to go through college orientation. For most schools, orientation lasts for a weekend or just 2-3 days during the week a few weeks or a month before school starts (some schools do it a lot earlier though). During orientation, you stay in the dorm rooms with temporary roommates, whether you’re a commuter student or planning on living there come September.
Orientation sounds like a lame and annoying obligation, but it should actually be a good experience for you! Orientation is an excellent way to get to know your school before you start going there full-time. It’s there that you’ll learn your way around, get insider tips, make some new friends, and schedule your classes. At orientation, you’ll learn almost everything you’ll need to know before school starts. I don’t think it’s mandatory in every school, but if it isn’t, you should absolutely go. It’s silly to miss it.
Honestly, freshman orientation can be a pretty nerve-wracking experience. I was really nervous about my own college orientation. I had never stayed in a dorm room before, and I’m very shy, so I figured I would hate it. I dreaded the weekend. But I ended up really enjoying myself, and I know I would have regretted it if I didn’t go. So, here are 10 tips to get you through college freshman orientation. Good luck!
GO!!Orientation isn't mandatory for every school, and when I was an incoming freshmen, I knew a few friends who refused to go to theirs. Some people are excited to get a head start on college, while others are either too nervous, don't feel ready, or simply just don't feel like doing it. But seriously, go! Orientation offers a lot of opportunities. If you don't go, unless you're already super familiar with the school, you'll arrive on the first day without any idea of where to go or what to do. And you probably won't know one person. Wouldn't you rather arrive with the security of already knowing where things are and having a handful of people you can call? Source: ShutterStock
Know It's Okay To Be NervousLike I said, I was super nervous before I went to orientation. I'm very shy, and I had never really stayed away from home on my own before. I didn't know what to expect, and I wasn't thrilled about the whole thing. But that's okay - in fact, it's to be expected. Believe it or not, you're not the only one there who is nervous. Everyone is! You'll get through it. Source: ShutterStock
Do Research Before You GoYou're going to learn a lot when you're at orientation, but it's a good idea to do some research before you get there so that you're prepared. For the most part, orientation is where you'll meet with your adviser and make a class schedule. Don't go into that completely clueless. Before you go, look up the classes you're interested in, if possible. Think about what you want out of your first semester. Look at a map of the campus to see what you want to check out. Source: ShutterStock
Know This Is A Time You Can Reinvent YourselfA lot of people use their first year of college as a time to reinvent themselves. Whether it's changing up your clothing style, getting a complete makeover, or just acting like a different person, do what makes you happy! You'll notice that a lot of your high school friends become completely different once they start college. If you didn't like how shy you were in HS, be more outgoing now. If you wish you dressed differently, do it now. If you had a rumor following you around, stop stressing... no one in your new school will know about it. Source: ShutterStock
Be Friendly To EveryoneDon't go into orientation acting judgmental. Go into it with a friendly and open mind. Be nice to everyone you meet, even people you normally wouldn't be friends with. You never know which of these people could live down the hall from you, or pick the same major as you and end up in half of your classes. It's worth it to be open to meeting everyone. Don't be picky! This is your opportunity to make new friends. Source: ShutterStock
Don't Go To Sleep EarlyThe first night of my freshman orientation, I was so nervous and freaked out that the whole day was exhausting. At night, a bunch of students went outside to play a game. I was so mentally tired that I decided to go to bed. As soon as I made the decision, I laid in bed listening to everyone outside and regretted it. But I was so shy that I couldn't go out there on my own. I really regret that decision! I missed out on some prime bonding time. Don't do this. Seriously, get involved, even if it's hard. Source: ShutterStock
Walk Around As Much As PossibleYou'll find that you won't have a lot of alone time when you're at orientation. Typically, everything is really planned out so that you're busy every minute. But if you do get some downtime, walk around to explore on your own without a guide. I did this during orientation, and ended up finding my favorite campus spot to read. Source: ShutterStock
Talk To Older Students For TipsDon't only make friends with your fellow incoming freshman - take this opportunity to chat up older students as well. They'll be there as tour guides and they'll be looking over the dorms. It might be intimidating to approach them, but their job is to help you and be friendly with you, so don't be scared. Talk to them to get insider tips on the school, like the best and worst places to get food, the most fun activities at night, and the best and worst professors. Source: ShutterStock
After, Get Everyone's InfoBefore orientation is over, make sure you get contact info from everyone you've met there. Get their phone number, their email, add them on all their social media accounts, try to find out their class schedules... seriously. I know it sounds overwhelming, but it's nice to have these people there when you come back in a few weeks. You may never end up hanging out with them again, but then again, you might become besties! Source: ShutterStock
Make The Most Of Your ExperienceIn the end, the bottom line is that you should make the most of your orientation experience. Participate in all the activities, talk to everyone, be friendly, go outside of your comfort zone, and explore. Have a good time and get excited for your upcoming school year! Source: ShutterStock
When is your college orientation? How are you preparing? If you already went yours, what was your experience like? Tell me in the comments.