Going to college can be exhilarating yet frightening at the same time. You may be nervous about meeting new people or finding your way around campus. How are you going to make new friends? What if you can't maneuver your way around your college's library? Don't worry; you're not the only entering freshman who has worried about these issues. At some point, every new freshman has wondered how he will adapt to his new life at college.
To make the transition from high school to college a little bit easier, most colleges have freshman orientation. This is when students can meet other classmates, learn about campus life, and ask any questions they may have before the semester starts. Many colleges require entering freshmen to attend orientation, but if you are going to a college where it is not required, you may be wondering if attending orientation will be a waste of time. Before you make the decision not to go, consider the following points on why freshman orientation will be beneficial to you.
You can make friends before the semester starts. By attending orientation, you will have the opportunity to meet other incoming freshmen and hopefully make new friends. This will help you to not feel so alone and scared once you start in the fall. Attending orientation may also provide an opportunity for you to meet someone with whom you would like to room.
You will know your way around the campus by fall semester. Orientation leaders will show you around campus while providing history about the college. They will tell you the locations of the favorite hangout spots, where to go when you need medical care, and what the nicknames are for certain buildings or areas.
You will know about various campus activities. During orientation, you will attend several meetings/lectures about college life. Have you thought about joining a sorority or fraternity? If you go to orientation, you will be able to acquire the information you need in order to make a decision about whether or not to rush. Want to join a campus club? Some colleges provide meetings at orientation that give information on various campus clubs.
You will receive help with class registration. At many college orientations, freshmen will be assigned an advisor to help them figure out what classes to take their first semester. Usually, freshmen are shown how to register for classes because it can be confusing if you have never done it before. Keep in mind that the earlier you attend orientation and register for classes, the better chance you have of getting the courses you want before they fill up.
You can sit in on college classes. Usually, students will have a break during the orientation to check out the campus on their own. You can take this opportunity to attend a large lecture class so you will know what to expect in the fall. Most colleges have summer classes, so if your orientation is in July, you can still attend a college lecture.
You can experience dorm life. Orientations usually last between two to three days, so you will spend the night(s) in a dorm room while there. If you will be living on campus in the fall, this will give you an idea of how many personal items you should bring with you. If you will not be living on campus, this will give you the experience of what it's like to live in a dorm.
You can take care of any unfinished business. At most orientations, you will have the opportunity to talk to college personnel about financial aid, housing, and meal plans. Ask them questions if you have any concerns regarding your future at that college. In addition to asking questions, you will have the chance to get your student ID card made. This is one less thing you will have to do come fall semester.
Freshman orientation is a process that makes incoming students feel better prepared about going to college. Not only will you have the opportunity to make new friends, but you will also learn about various campus activities before the fall semester even starts. Instead of skipping orientation, use this opportunity to become familiar with the environment you will be living in for the next four or more years of your life.