How to Make the Most of College Freshman Orientation
Your first week at college.
You are off to college and will soon be settling into your dorm room. Hopefully, you have already touched base with your roommate and are getting acquainted with your other dorm dwellers. Your college friends will include people in your dorm, but take advantage of your college freshman orientation to meet more people and to enjoy your first week on campus.
1. Moving in. You’ll want to get moved into your dorm as soon as it is permitted. That way, you’ll get a chance to set up your room, meet everyone and prepare for student orientation. If you haven’t registered for new student orientation, get that done right away. Orientation is usually mandatory at most colleges.
2. Attend orientation. College orientation will vary from school to school, but typically you will have a brief student check-in time before the orientation begins. At North Carolina State University for example, you’ll attend a welcoming session followed by a small group meeting and tour. You will follow that up with college meetings or visits to campus offices. Finally, your orientation may end in lunch, giving you an opportunity to sit down and talk with other students.
3. Introduce yourself. Use your orientation time to introduce yourself to faculty, to your advisers, to college staff and to other students. If you are nervous, you are not alone — every college freshman is getting used to a new environment, typically one that is much larger than their high school with perhaps a greater variety of individuals on hand. Don’t take shyness as rudeness — some students are just learning how to interact in a much larger world.
4. Take in related events. You will be on campus days before college sophomores and upper classmen arrive. There will be numerous orientation-related activities to enjoy, so plan on attending as many as you want. Dances, free food, sign ups for clubs and a myriad of other activities will be offered. Some colleges, such as Virginia Tech, hold a “Hokie Camp” where students go to a nearby lake for three days and two nights to enjoy outdoors activities like canoeing and low-rope walking. Find out what your college has to offer and join in.
Orientation week will be over before you know it, so take advantage of fun. Be careful though as you’ll soon learn that some students will engage in illegal or immoral activities, individuals that are not at college to learn, but to party.