3 Things to Do Before Your College Orientation

Congratulations! You’ve been accepted to college. One rite of passage for incoming college students is completing college orientation. Typically, college orientation lasts two to three days, and is scheduled the week, several weeks, or a month before classes begin.

College orientation is a critical part of your introduction to life as a college student. To make the most of your college orientation, make sure you’re prepared. Things to do before your college orientation include researching your college, reaching out to classmates on social media, and dressing the part. At orientation, you’ll meet new friends, make your class schedule, and learn your way around the school. You can also learn things from your upperclassmen orientation leaders who will share tips and advice.

1. Research your school prior to college orientation

Orientation will teach you a lot of what you need to know to navigate life at your college. However, it can pay off to do a little research beforehand so you know what to expect—mostly in terms of scheduling your classes.

You may be wondering how to create your first college schedule. At orientation, you’ll meet your academic advisor, who will assist you in making your class schedule. Going in without a clue of what classes to choose or what to study can be stressful.

Take a look at your college’s degree and class offerings before going to orientation. Then:

  • jot down notes

  • take these notes with you

  • show them to your academic advisor, who will help you craft a schedule that fits you best.

It can also pay off to study your college’s map carefully. This will help you feel more comfortable when you arrive at orientation, and it may prevent you from getting lost. With that said, you should never feel bad for asking an upperclassman or professor for help finding something if you need it.

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2. Reach out on social media to other students attending college orientation

Thanks to modern technology, it’s easy to connect with other people—even those you haven’t met in real life yet. Start by checking out your college room assignment, and find your new roommate (or roommates) on social media. Next, try to find others in your incoming class, and connect with them as well.

Break the ice by introducing yourself and what you’re interested in studying in college. Ask your classmates what attracted them to your college and what they intend on studying. It’s amazing how easy it can be to bond when you have the same college in common.  

The more people you know going into orientation, the more comfortable you may feel (even if you don’t know them well). Seek out the friends you’ve made online, and connect with them at orientation. You’ll instantly have people to sit and chat with, and that can make you feel more comfortable.

[RELATED: How to Make a Good Impression on Your College Professor]

3. Dress for success at college orientation

First impressions matter. How you appear to your classmates, advisor, professors, and upperclassmen during orientation sets the stage for how they see you for the rest of the year. Wear clothes that show your confidence and personality. Looking confident is a great way to attract new friends, and that’s a big part of orientation.


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