Freshman orientation

What you should get out of it

For some, orientation is exciting: that moment when you realize you’re actually going to college. For others, it can seem like a chore — one more hoop to jump through before you’re actually there. But regardless of how you feel about it, there are certain things you should do during orientation to help make your initial transition and overall experience better.

Be sure to:

  • Get the lay of the land. Explore the campus and town beyond the orientation tour. You may discover a place that reminds you of home, a great local place, or just a quiet spot where you can go to relax.
  • Meet with key people. From financial concerns to scheduling classes, knowing where vital offices and administrators are can make dealing with questions a lot easier. Take some time to learn where the college’s financial aid office is, as well as your academic advisor and department head.
  • Get your accounts in order. Orientation is most likely when you’ll set up your student email, get your student ID, register for classes, purchase your parking decal, and get books — which is a lot to do.
  • Explore your interests. From sororities and fraternities to Ultimate Frisbee, there’s a good chance your college will have a club for just about anything. And because all these clubs and organizations are so available, now’s a good time to take a hobby to the next level, find a new interest, or build upon what you’re studying.
  • Learn where emergency services are. You might not need them, but it probably doesn’t hurt to know where the nearest student hospital and campus police locations are.

To help prepare for orientation, check out these considerations and this guide from or take a look at this list of favorite questions from an orientation leader.

What’s your priority at freshman orientation?

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