By Jessica Lyons
Informative and Entertaining
One of the most important features of freshman orientation is that it gives students the chance to find out a lot about their new schools. Depending on the format of your college or university's orientation, you might be able to learn about campus life and activities, academic programs, degree requirements and on-campus resources.
Many times orientations also give you a chance to have some fun through scheduled entertainment activities. For instance, St. Joseph's College holds a campus life carnival. Western Carolina University's orientation includes the opportunity to participate in a rafting adventure or backpacking trip.
Some schools even have freshmen register for their classes during orientation. Other features could include campus tours or the chance to have your computer configured to the school's network.
A Chance to Meet New People
During orientation you'll have the opportunity to meet administrators, faculty and staff members. This will give you the chance to talk to knowledgeable people on campus and ask questions about what you can expect. Of course you'll also get to meet your fellow classmates and start to feel more comfortable knowing there are others who share your same concerns. When it's time to start classes, you'll hopefully see some familiar faces of people you were able to bond with during your orientation.
Something for Parents Too
While students are getting better acclimated to their college during orientation, parents also have the opportunity to get more information at many schools. Boston College hosts orientation sessions for parents and guardians. These sessions give parents a chance to also get their questions answered and learn more about the schools their children will be studying at. In addition to learning from faculty and administrators, BC, for example, also gives parents an opportunity to speak with students and other parents.
Tips to Make the Most of Orientation
Before you get to orientation, write down some of the questions you have that you want to be sure to get answers to. Once you get to campus, there will be a lot going on and it might be difficult to remember everything off of the top of your head. Having a list will help ensure you don't forget anything.
Attend as many activities as you can. Even though some components, like entertainment events, might be optional, you should still go. The more you attend the more connected you'll feel to the school and it will help you meet a larger number of people.
You should also make meeting as many people as possible a priority. Don't spend the entire orientation by yourself avoiding conversations with others. Instead, work on getting to know other students and members of your school's community. And even if some of your former high school classmates will be attending the same higher education institution, it's still good to get to know completely new people.
Find out some more tips for making the most of your college experience.