What Happens During College Orientation?

Have you selected and prepared for your college orientation date yet? If not, you’ll definitely want to get on that! Many of the favored dates fill up fast, so make sure you’re doing it as soon as possible. Now that you’ve signed up though, do you know what happens during the college orientation?

Each School is Different

Every school is different when it comes to how they organize and what they plan for college orientation programs. Some colleges break you up into random groups, some talk to the entire attendance, and others organize you by major. So if you’re an English major, you may be completing your orientation with others studying English or something similar.

Your school will also plan a variety of different activities and seminars. You will most likely have to get your picture taken for an ID, but beyond that tends to be determined by the college. One activity you may have to attend is a sexual harassment seminar, but some schools also host battles of the groups, walking tours, and trips to the dining hall.

Before you attend your college orientation, make sure you read up on the paperwork they sent you. This will often include a schedule of everything you will do and what you need to bring.

You May Take Placement Tests

Some colleges use the freshman orientation as an opportunity to test your abilities on certain subjects. Common tests include Math and various foreign languages. Your grade on these tests will help the school determine what level you are on in the subject. If you score low on the Spanish exam, for example, you may be required to start at Beginner Spanish 1. However, if you score higher, you may be able to start at Intermediate Spanish 1.

These placement tests aren’t always required, and sometimes colleges will let you complete them at home on your own time. Be sure to read up on your college’s orientation requirements.

You’ll Create Your Schedule at Orientation

Orientation is almost always the time the college uses to help freshmen choose their first semester schedule. They will explain the courses that are mandatory your first year, but also help you start to have a plan in mind regarding your GE requirements and intended major. Most colleges require you to take Rhetoric, for example, your first year, but if you took AP English and Speech in high school, you might be able to skip those courses.

It’s important to remember that orientation isn’t scary! It’s the time to get ready for your upcoming semester and learn more about where you’ll be spending the next four or five years. Many students even meet lifelong friends during this event. However, do not forget to look at the orientation schedule, especially if your college is doing overnight orientations. You’ll want to make sure you have everything you need to complete paperwork and be comfortable.

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