Considering skipping your college orientation? Think again. Here are five reasons all first-year students should attend their college orientation!
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Freshman orientation is an exciting day for new college students.
You learn so much about your new school and what college life is all about. In reality, it’ll likely be a lot to take in. But it’s also your first shot at doing something grownup, something that’s just for you.
If you’re nervous about attending orientation, that’s understandable!
But you don’t want to miss this crucial rite of passage.
Below, we’ll share the five reasons why you won’t want to skip out on this special event.
1. Sign Up for Classes
Your orientation may be in-person, virtual, or a bit of both. It’ll all depend on how you’re taking your classes and any in-place social distancing practices your school follows.
Either way, finishing the enrollment process and signing up for your courses is reason number one why you must attend orientation. It’s also the reason why most colleges and universities make their orientations mandatory.
At orientation, advisors will invite you to learn more about the offered courses and sign up for those that pique your interests.
You may already have a degree in mind, or you may still be unsure. At orientation, you’ll have a clearer view of degree programs and the possible paths it takes to achieve them.
You likely browsed courses online already, but you can talk to the professors running the classes at orientation.
Other students who have taken these courses will also be around. So you can pick their brains about the professors and the coursework before signing up for anything.
It’s kind of like your own little preview of what to expect with any given class. Maybe you had your heart set on specific courses before orientation, but what you learn there makes you choose a different path entirely!
2. Learn About Campus Student Life
As a first-year student, the only things you know about college life is what you see on TV (and maybe what your mom tells you about her grunge rock days on campus in the ‘90s).
But trust us:
Everyone’s college experience is different.
The only thing that will help you understand what it’ll resemble for you is to attend orientation.
Older students who were once in your place will be on-site to detail life on campus from the student’s perspective. Professors and guidance counselors will also be there and can share what they expect from you.
You’ll get first-hand information about things to look forward to, things to be mindful of, and other details about your specific campus.
Where else will you learn about extracurriculars and the best spot on campus to get a mocha before the first day of classes?
It may sound like a lot to go through in one day, but this is priceless information!
3. Take a Photo for Your Student I.D. Card
Before starting classes, buying lunch, and taking out books from the library, you need your student I.D. card.
And guess where you take your photo for your card?
That’s right, at orientation!
Some colleges and universities create your student identification card on-site and hand it off to you. But more likely than not, you’ll take the photo, fill out the pertinent information, and they’ll mail it to you.
And if you’re not already aware, your student I.D. card isn’t just for use on campus. It helps you take advantage of countless discounts on goods and services everywhere during your college career.
Here are a few examples of how your I.D. card can serve you.
4. Meet New People
One of the best aspects of orientation is that you never know who you may meet. You could also meet the people who will impact your life most.
Think of it this way; if you attend orientation, you may meet:
- A new best friend
- A future roommate
- A professor who changes the course of your life for the better
- The world’s best advisor
Orientation may be your first experience to meet students and professors from every walk of life, from places across the globe. You won’t get many more opportunities in life to broaden your horizons so thoroughly as you will in college.
So enjoy it!
There’s nothing better than meeting people from unique places and creating new experiences with them.
5. Find Your Way Faster
Can you imagine showing up on your first day of classes and having no clue where to go?
That may be you if you skip orientation!
Another standard component of college orientation is the tour. An advisor will guide you and other students around the main areas of the campus. You’ll learn where the dining halls are, the quickest path back to the dorm (if applicable), and the location of your classes.
You’ll also have free rein to roam on your own afterward. Again, this is ideal, especially if you have your course schedule in hand.
You can do your own little walkthrough, pretending it’s your first day of classes and mentally mapping your route.
Orientation may sound like a tired ritual you’d rather not attend. But it doesn’t take up too much of your personal time. And, in general, the goal of your orientation is to help you adjust to college life quicker.
It’s in your best interests to go along with the program and check out everything your new campus has to offer.
All you have to do is show up, listen well, and look forward to your new life as an undergrad.
The paperwork may be a bit dull, but it will be a relief to get that over with. After that, you can focus on the fun parts of orientation: the people, the exploring, and the free cake!
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Varsity House Fayetteville to help them with their online marketing.