What does college orientation entail? What should you expect at college orientation? These are questions that any soon-to-be-college student might have as they prepare to enter the new and exciting world of higher education. If you’re not sure what to expect and are looking for some more information on college orientation, then we’ve got you covered! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about new student orientation.

What Is College Orientation?

For many incoming college students, orientation is a foreign and scary concept. It is often the first big college-related event that students experience after graduating from high school. Typically, incoming freshmen will attend a freshman orientation for their college in the summer following their high school graduation. 

From the outside looking in, starting college can seem like a very scary and overwhelming experience. Colleges and universities created orientations to help make the transition for new students easier. Orientation can be a great time to get a feel for the campus, learn about campus life and traditions, and meet new people.

Why Go to Orientation?

While it might seem like an optional or extra experience, going to orientation is essential for freshmen. In fact, most universities require you to attend some kind of orientation before the beginning of the school year. Attending orientation before your freshman year can play a crucial role in adjusting to college life and the experience you’ll come to know at your new school.

Prior to your scheduled orientation session, your college will likely send you a lot of information regarding the event and what is to be expected from the orientation programs. If you have any specific questions about orientation, you can always reach out to your university for more information.

How Do I Prepare for College Orientation?

Before you can attend college orientation, you need to plan for it. If you want a successful first year of school, set aside time before orientation begins to learn about the different programs and services your school has to offer.

In regards to classes and education, you will most likely receive information from your major department or academic advisor about what placement tests you need to take (if any) prior to registering for classes. If you will be registering for classes while at orientation, make sure your placement tests are completed before then. Additionally, your college should provide you with a list of everything you need to bring with you to orientation.

What Can I Expect From Orientation?

If you are a new student, there are several things you can expect from orientation. First, most colleges and universities will have an orientation session for incoming students where they will be given an overview of important information about their school and community. This will include social, academic, financial, and other topics that all students need to be aware of when they start college.

Orientation Session Activities

College orientation will likely be made up of several different activities. In most cases, students can expect to be broken up into groups and be led by an orientation leader. Orientation leaders are usually current college students who have been selected by the university to help new students through the orientation process. 

Here is a list of a few things that might happen during orientation:

  • Get your Student ID
  • Meet with your Academic Advisor
  • Register for General Education courses
  • View Residence Halls
  • Visit the Financial Aid Office
  • Get a feel for what it’s like living on campus

Many colleges also require parents or guardians to be present at orientation and will hold a separate orientation for them while students are participating in various orientation session activities. This is a great opportunity for parents to learn more about what life on campus is going to be like for their children.

When it comes to the actual details of your orientation experience, every college will be different. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed when it comes to college orientation. Just remember that it’s okay to ask questions and use the resources that your college has given you. Once orientation is over, you’re one step closer to starting your college career! 

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