What to Expect at Freshman Orientation

College Bound? Here’s What To Expect at Freshman Orientation

You’ve finally done it. You’ve graduated high school and you’ve been accepted to a college where you’ll begin the rest of your life. But before that big leap, there’s another step you must take first: freshman orientation.

Freshman orientation was designed to give new college students the information about their new school they need to get started on the right foot. In some cases, orientation takes place in just a day, while other schools operate it over a weekend.

No matter how long your freshman orientation is, they tend to cover many of the same things: from campus tours, meeting lots of new people (including roommates), presentations, and the delivery of a whole lot of information meant to help you on your new journey.

What can you expect during freshman orientation?

While each school has a slightly different way of doing their freshman orientation, here are some things you can expect at yours:

  1. You’ll be nervous and overwhelmed.
  2. It will be a long day (or days).
  3. You’ll meet A LOT of new people (advisors, roommates, classmates, etc.).
  4. It will be an information overload.
  5. You’ll become more comfortable in your new surroundings.

The emotion and excitement of freshman orientation.

Most students experience a variety of emotions at freshman orientation (and so do their parents!). Most describe it as a mix of feeling nervous, overwhelmed, and excited. I doubt it will surprise you to hear these are all normal feelings. 

You’re embarking on a life-changing new journey. It’s no wonder it comes with big emotions. Try to keep in mind that all the other freshmen you’re meeting likely feel exactly how you’re feeling—even if they look calm, cool, and collected on the surface. 

All the new faces.

At freshman orientation, it’s not uncommon to meet hundreds of new people in the span of a few days. Some of the people you’ll meet include classmates and other freshmen, your academic advisors, your roommates, and their families, and more. 

When you’re meeting your advisors, professors, or other professionals around campus, do your best to remember their names right away and get to know them a bit, if time allows. This can often help you down the road.

When it comes to meeting other students, it’s important to learn their names, too. But chances are, you’ll run into these people a lot and have more chances to get to know them. 

Presentations and more presentations.

Most freshman orientations involve a variety of presentations set up around campus. Some of these are more fun than others and some stick to the basics in giving you the information you need as concisely as possible. 

Presentations can cover topics like Greek life, housing, financial aid, and much more. Be sure to have a pen and paper on hand to take notes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when the floor is opened up, either! 

Getting to know your new home.

Whether or not you’re living on campus or off, you’re bound to spend a lot of your time at college over the coming years. 

By the way, here are some of the pros and cons of living off-campus.

Think of freshman orientation like getting a tour of your new house: you’re going to be shown how to get from one room to the next, as well as how to make the most of your new surroundings. 

But instead of learning how to use the dishwasher, you’ll learn things like how to do laundry on campus, how to join clubs and sports, an academic breakdown, how to apply for financial aid, and a lot more. 

If you’re not at the freshman orientation stage yet but you’d like to get to know a college you might want to attend, campus visits are important. If you’re a parent, you might be struggling to motivate your child to make campus visits. Or perhaps you’re dreading them yourself. Here’s how to motivate your child to take this important step.

If you’ve already done a campus tour, you might be somewhat oriented with your new campus. But freshman orientation is a great time to get ever more comfortable with your new surroundings, to help you make the most of your college experience. 

If you’re looking for one-on-one guidance to help you get into (or pay for) college, click here for help. 

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Rolling admissions: benefits and drawbacks 

Top 10 must-dos for college-bounds juniors

7 ways to support your child during the college application process