Congratulations! You’ve chosen your college. You may be wondering what happens next. Every school is different, but here are a few student events you can expect to happen over the next few months.
Almost all colleges and universities have some sort of orientation for students. This is usually a “getting to know you” time for the student. Some orientations only last a few hours or a day. Others last a weekend or three days (see below on more about Student Weekends and longer orientations). They are designed to help you become comfortable with the college, including life, dorms, layout, and expectations.
During orientation, you’ll generally attend tours and seminars about the school and their expectations for the students. Shorter meetings may focus on sexual harassment or crime awareness. This will also be your chance to sign up for your first classes for the upcoming semester. Most likely you’ll be with your adviser or intended major department head who will help you choose.
Orientation for most colleges is mandatory. It’s important to sign up as soon as possible to make sure you get a spot at a time that works for you. Each college has different dates, so check their website or the provided welcome packet for more information on your orientation dates.
Student Weekends or Accepted Weekends are very similar to orientations but they generally last anywhere from 2-3 days. These will give you a much larger look into the college. Often times, you can stay right in the dorms, so you get a real feel for what it is like to live on campus. In addition to selecting classes, you may also be asked to select your dorm room, roommate, and potential clubs during the weekend.
Student Weekends generally have a bit more going on than a one-day orientation. Tours may be longer and more in-depth, there might be more educational panels for crime or drug awareness, and there are usually student mixers. These are fun events where you can get to know your fellow freshmen and those in your intended major. They tend to include food, games, and other creative activities. Every school is different! Parents may also be invited to some events on campus.
As with orientation, student weekends are generally mandatory. Make sure to sign up early to guarantee you get a time that is best for you!
At the end of the summer, just before class starts, it’s time to move in! Most colleges will have a separate, earlier weekend dedicated to freshmen move-ins. This is to ensure that the transition is smooth and simple, but also to give freshman the opportunity to become comfortable on campus before classes begin.
Starting college may be a stressful and scary time for a freshman, but orientation, student weekends, and move in are great times to become comfortable at your home and school for the next four years. Remember to follow up with your college to ensure you’re enrolled for one of their available orientation dates.
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