What is College Orientation?

College orientation is an event designed for incoming freshmen to a school. While almost every college and university has one, do you know what they entail? We’ll cover what you can expect, how you can make the most of it, and how you can prepare.

Freshman at college orientation

What is College Orientation?

College orientation is a way to welcome incoming freshmen to a college or university and help set them up for success during their first semester. What is included in the orientation and how long it lasts depends on the school.

They can usually last anywhere from 1 to 3 days. If they’re overnight, you most likely will be given a dorm to stay in and asked to stay on campus for the event. Many schools will break you into smaller groups, sometimes based on similar majors, so you can get to know some people. You will then attend various events on campus with this group.

Some of the events you may attend at your orientation include

  • Getting to know fellow students
  • School policy programs
  • Sexual harassment prevention classes
  • Honor code programs
  • Parties
  • Class selection
  • Dorm and roommate selection
  • Placement tests (for math, language, and other classes)
  • Games and sports
  • School spirit rallies
  • Dances
  • Tours
  • and more

If you’re not sure what your college orientation is going to entail, make sure to reach out to your school ahead of time so you know what to expect.

How Can You Make the Most of College Orientation?

Since orientation is likely your first big introduction to what it’s actually like to live and attend your future college, it’s important to take full advantage of it! Some of the events may be optional, so you’ll definitely want to check out a few of those. The school will likely offer the opportunity to learn more about extracurriculars, clubs, organizations, jobs, and sports available on campus. Make sure to leave your email or contact information for any that interest you so you can know when the first meetup is before the fall semester.

This is also a great opportunity to get to know some of your future classmates. You may even make lifelong friends during the orientation or find someone who would be a great roommate.

How Do You Prepare for College Orientation?

Not much is needed in the way of prep when it comes to your college orientation, but you will need to take some steps to ensure it’s a great way to kick off your college experience. For example, make sure to sign up as soon as the reservation system becomes available. Spots for the orientation, especially over ideal weekends, will fill up quickly. Getting an earlier date allows gives you more options for classes and dorm rooms – waiting may mean you miss out on a class you want to take or have a dorm hall that wasn’t your first choice.

College orientation is an important event that you don’t want to skip – it’s actually mandatory at most schools. Knowing what to expect and what will be expected of you will definitely help you make the most of it.


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