Freshman orientation is a great way for students to make friends and get to know their new surroundings.
But what exactly can you expect from your orientation session? This handy primer to freshman orientation in the US will give you an idea of what you’re in for.
While every school’s freshman orientation is bound to be unique, most schools tend to include these five activities and events:
1. Campus Tours
In-depth campus tours led by older students are an essential part of freshman orientation. You’ll learn where the important buildings are, find out how to best get from one place to the next, and get all the information you need about campus transportation services.
By the time freshman orientation comes around, many students already have their class schedules. This means you can also use a campus tour to help you pinpoint where your classes are located. That will be a huge help on the first day of school!
2. Dorm Events
Part of your freshman orientation may focus specifically on getting to know your way around student housing. Dorm-related informational sessions may cover a range of topics from how your meal plan works to where to do your laundry — essentially, all the basics you need to know.
Dorm events aren’t necessarily all business though. Social events like barbecues and theme parties during freshman orientation allow new students to get to know their fellow dorm-mates. US college dorms can be extremely social places, so this is a great way to get involved in the social scene on campus.
3. Parties, Concerts, and More
Remember that not every freshman orientation is identical. The activities listed above may or may not be part of your orientation. Other possible events include anything from scavenger hunts to live concerts. Some schools have even undertaken unique projects, like trying to break a Guinness record by getting the entire freshman class to participate in an activity such as a pillow or water fight!
4. Field Trips
Maybe you thought you would never take another class field trip now that high school is finished, but many colleges include field trips as part of their freshman orientation.
If you’re attending a school located near a metropolis or in a college town, chances are that your freshman orientation will include at least one trip “into town” to introduce you to local student hangouts.
Some schools may also include optional field trips during freshman orientation that are just for fun. Amusement parks are a popular choice. Many freshman students find that hitting the roller coaster circuit is a great way to bond with new friends.
5. Question & Answer Sessions
Many US colleges and universities give freshman students the opportunity to participate in Q&A sessions with older students during orientation week. This is the perfect time to get the insider info on all those random questions you might not find answered in the student handbook.
Whether you’re wondering where to find the best on-campus grub or how to beat the lines at the student bookstore, older students can help you out in a freshman orientation Q&A.
Whatever your school offers during freshman orientation, it’s a great idea to participate.
It can be intimidating being away from home and meeting so many new people at once. Freshman orientation is designed to make you feel comfortable in your new surroundings, so take advantage of every opportunity!