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A Concise Guide to College Freshman Orientation

UserMark time19 February,2016

Freshman orientation is always a scary term for the students. These days, it is often regarded as the official inception point of the college education. All colleges have their individual freshman orientation programs of their own. It is designed to ease the transition where the incoming students learn how to successfully live and learn in the college campuses where they are going to spend the next four years of their life.

A Concise Guide to College Freshman Orientation

But most of the incoming students do not have a clear idea about this college freshman orientation program. These aspiring souls feel excited, nervous and apprehensive at the same time about this freshman orientation. Here, we provide a comprehensive guide to the students who have just qualified from their high school and going to begin their college life.

Are you one of them? Then this guide is for you!

What is college freshman orientation?

At the commencement of the academic session, every college organizes a freshman orientation program for their incoming students. In these programs, a variety of events is held to welcome the new students. The length of the program and the events varies from college to college, which may range from one day to over a week. Most of the colleges make this orientation mandatory for the new incoming students. But even if it is not, every student should make plans to attend the orientation.

The main objective of every college freshman orientation is to make the new students familiar with the campus life. Most of the high schools students do not have any idea about the college life. The student orientation would give them the first real experience.

So, this summer it is not about enjoying with your friends and family but it is the time to move forward towards your college life. You will be visiting your freshman orientation as an official student of the college. It is definitely an exciting feeling!

How should you prepare for college freshman orientation?

Attending the college freshman orientation needs some preparation. If you go and attend your orientation without any preparation you may soon discover that you are feeling helpless among several students and you cannot participate in any event in the program. Hence, to avoid this miserable situation, you need to do a little research beforehand.

In most of the colleges, you need to register yourself for the orientation program. Sometimes you need to bring your parents as well in the orientation. So, it is better to contact the college administration and get to know the essentialities before you go for the orientation. Preparing for the college orientation is not a one-step process but it involves several steps. Remember these suggestions while you prepare for your college freshman orientation program.

1. Know the requirements

Every college has its own set of requirements. When you register for college, the authority of the college will give you an information booklet or send the requirements online to your mail. Read the information precisely, especially about the specifications of your freshmen orientation. You may be required to bring some essential documents with you. Put them in your bag. In many colleges at the orientation program, you may be required to select your major subject and other electives. Yes, advisors would be available but is better to go through the course catalog of your college once before going for the orientation so that you can answer confidently.

2. Write down your queries

The staff, who would be attending you all at the freshman orientation, will always try to cover all the topics that would interest you in the first year of the college. But students also have their individual questions and queries which they need to ask. At times when you get this wealth of information, you may find it difficult to remember your own questions. So, it is important to write down all your questions beforehand and ask them at the appropriate time. If you want to ask a lot of questions but if you can’t think of any, then visit the college website and see what it offers. Do not limit yourself just only to the academic field, you can also ask about the accommodation facilities, placement prospects, campus clubs, recreational events etc.

3. Bring the right items

College orientations can be exciting as well as hectic. As it may continue for multiple days, you must carry all the essentials along with you which you may need at the orientation. Since the requirements vary from college to college, check with respective authority to see their recommendations. But in general, do carry two pairs of comfortable shoes for walking around the college, a notebook and ball pen to write down important information and important documents as asked.

4. Take your placement exams

Before you get there for the orientation, chances are that you need to appear for some examinations at the college. A lot of colleges provide significant importance to these exams which evaluate your knowledge and competence to take any prospective course. If you don’t appear for these courses, the authority may not allow you to sign up for some classes. It is very important that you should attend the orientation after meeting all the criteria and requirements. It is better to qualify in these placement exams before the orientation rather than fighting for the last spot in the final week of admission. Generally, in these placement exams, the incoming freshmen are evaluated in subjects like Mathematics, English, Science and Foreign Language.

However, if for some reason you could not appear for the placement exams prior to the orientation, do not worry. Most of the colleges organize placement exams even after the orientation as a part of the extended schedule.

5. Dress comfortably

The freshmen orientation is held at the beginning of the academic year which implies that it is held in summer season provided you don’t belong to Australia. Though the freshman orientation programs do not have any particular dress code, it is important that you dress comfortably. Maybe you need to move around the campus, wear suitably keeping in mind the climate where your college is located. But experts also advise the students to wear decent clothes, not too loud to grab unappreciative glances. Wear anything in which you will not only feel comfortable but also feel relaxed to participate and enjoy all the activities.

6. Be confident

Confidence and attitude always make a difference. Walk into the orientation program with an open mind and positive attitude. All the students will be excited as they are going to begin a new phase of their life and so are you. The orientation program is the first step in the new chapter of your life. You need to face it with confidence. Many students get nervous at this stage. Stop worrying before the orientation. Think about the new opportunities that you are going to have in front of you. A little bit of enthusiasm and confidence would help in this situation. In the freshman orientation, you would experience many events and come across many resources. So keep your senses sharp so that you don’t miss any of them.

What you need to do at college freshman orientation?

Your main objective at the freshman orientation is to get acquainted with the campus life at the college. The freshman orientation includes parties and interactive sessions with the seniors of the college, small advising sessions with the college professors and staff, informational sessions by the college authority and many more. Every session has its own importance. You will get to know about the history of the college, its policies, general rules and academic honor code. Yes, it is quite difficult to remember all those wealth of information in this short period of time. But, don’t worry, your brain will refine from that plethora of information and retain the crucial ones!

The freshman orientation program is not all about serious lectures and knowing each other but it also includes full filled activities, sports competitions and many more.

While you attend the freshman orientation program, it is important to remember these key suggestions.

1. Don’t hesitate to ask questions

In the orientation, you will get the opportunity to interact with the college professors where they will share their ideas and experiences with the prospective new students. You will also get the chance to talk with the college authority. Sometimes many students feel a little apprehensive to ask questions in these sessions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as it will help you in the long run. Clarify all your queries provided they are all related to your academic life. But sometimes the professors remain too busy to answer all the questions of the students. In these situations, you can ask assistance from the senior students of the college.

2. Get to know other students

You are, obviously, not the only one who is going to attend this freshman orientation program. You will find hundreds of all freshmen are participating in this orientation with the same objective – to know the college better. In this orientation, you should try to know different students especially with those who are going to follow the same course. Do not feel apprehensive as all other freshmen will be equally interested in talking to you. But if you and your friend apply to the same course, then definitely you would have a nice time at the orientation.

3. Attend every possible event

In the orientation, the college organizes various events which involve not only training and information sessions but also many other activities which are exhilarating along with a sumptuous lunch arranged by the college authorities. Try to attend every event that is going on during the freshman orientation. You will develop acquaintances and with every event you are going to know your college a little more. The college authority, generally shares the details of the events in the information booklet. Plan your schedule according to the events beforehand so that you don’t miss any of them.

4. Connect with your roommates

In the orientation program which can run for a week, you will get to know your roommates. This is the first time when we you will be interacting with your fellow roommates and get to know them. As you and your prospective roommates are completely stranger to each other, the first interaction will help you to connect. Try to get an idea about their predilections and share your own. Though a few hours of communication is not enough to know a person but it will definitely help you to break the awkwardness.

6. Go to the resource fair

The college always hosts an event where all the student organizations are available and you can talk to them to know their activities and get your queries clarified. You will also get to know about your career prospects and the various other co-curricular activities that are organized throughout the year. You will also get to know about the financial aid, meal plans etc. There are various students who are interested in different on-campus jobs. In this resource fair, you will get to know about the various opportunities that are available. According to the availability of on-campus jobs, you can decide which one would be the ideal for you.

7. Do your class registration

At much college orientation, the institutions offer an advisor to the students who guide the freshmen with the subjects that they are going to pursue in the first semester. You might get confused doing the registration at the college as you have never done before. The advisors would help you in this regard. It is always better to get registered in all the classes at the orientation to avoid the last moment rush.

8. Experience the dormitory life

College freshmen orientation runs for at least three to four days if not longer. So, you will get the chance to spend a couple of nights in the dormitory. Living in this dormitory is definitely going to be a new experience for you where you are going to stay the next few years of life provided you don’t make separate arrangements for yourself. You will also get an idea which are the necessary things and personal items that you need to being with yourself when you come to stay here.

What else does orientation offer you?

Freshman orientation teaches the students how to survive the campus life and embrace the new beginning which is quite different from their high school world. Apart from the usual benefits, you can also utilize the orientation program for the following causes:

1. Join some clubs

Every student wants to meet and interact with people with whom they share common interest and passion. The college clubs are a best platform through which they can exploit their talent and sharpen their skills. During the orientation program, you can get information about different clubs and organizations available on the campus. It is a great opportunity to learn about them and determine with what you would like to get associated. It can be playing volleyball, exciting scuba-diving or a simple mathematics club to brush up your knowledge. Joining clubs will make you more involved with the campus life and you can also mention your achievements in your resume.

2. Connect over social media

You will meet a lot of students and people in the orientation program. But with many of them you can lose contact after the orientation is over. But these days, the social networking websites provides the opportunity to remain connected with these people even when you cannot meet them in person. Although it can be a little awkward to send the friend request to some person with whom you have just a few hours of interaction but remember it will allow you an instantaneous means of keeping in touch. When you come back again to the college, you will find it easier to reconnect with your classmates and seniors.

3. Take important notes

In the three to four days of freshman orientation program at your college, you are going to receive plenty of information. It is very difficult to remember and retain every information and details that you get from the authority. So, you should carry a notebook and write the details which are interesting. Attend every event with a decent attitude as it will also exhibit your eagerness to learn and know. Carrying a notebook with you will complement your keenness.

The college freshman orientation is not just a program for you organized by your college authority but it is an experience which allows you to know and prepare for your upcoming college life. It is such an event that no student should ever miss it. Lastly, stay organized and have fun at the orientation.

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