Orientation or Borientation?
So, now what?
College. But first, there’s Orientation.
It’s kind of like college, but…not. You’re there on your campus for a day or two, you might get to experience the dorms and residence halls, you might hear from some speakers from organizations and advisors from your college and you’ll probably be registering your classes from the fall. Sounds like fun, right? Only if you make it fun. Here are some tips to not only survive your orientation, but to make it a kickass start to your college career.
Follow the Boy Scout motto and be prepared. Orientation is focused mainly on registering for classes – it would be a good idea to research your school’s class offerings online and to have some basic idea of what you plan on taking in the summer or fall when you get there. It’ll save you some time, some stress, and you’ll have a better shot of getting into what you want to take. One of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to “begin with the end in mind” – if you know what you’re planning on majoring and/or minoring in, it makes registering for classes that much easier.
Don’t be afraid to talk to and befriend other students. Ideally, staffers would love for you to meet your best friend in the world at Orientation. Most likely, you won’t. But it is a good opportunity to meet some of the other young adults who you’ll be taking classes with the next four years – even if you don’t see them after Orientation concludes.
Be excited. Orientation will be whatever you make of it. If you listen to your advisors, take part in group activities and conversations, enjoy the company of your fellow college comrades, and are generally excited to be at the college where you want to go, your orientation will go swimmingly. If you decide, on the other hand, to be cynical and antisocial, you’ll be counting down the minutes until you’re free to go back home.
Quick caveat: Shy people can enjoy orientation, too. It’s not an oral exam, you don’t have to speak in front of a large crowd, and the only mandated conversation is usually one-on-one between you and your advisor. You can still be excited without being extremely vocal.
Grab every flyer possible. Part of this is for mom and dad. They might want to know the financial aid information or what classes you signed up for – but orientation only happens once. Campus organizations will be out tabling or handing out flyers and there’s no reason not to grab them – for now. Once you get back home, you can sort through and see if the information from University Police or Student Government was worth it. You can always get rid of flyers, but after orientation’s done, it’s much less accessible to attain them.
It’s not time to party – yet. Simple: follow the general rules of orientation. Don’t smuggle booze, drugs, or illicit substances into orientation – save that for when college actually begins (and you’re of age, of course).
Orientation is the beginning of what is often called the best times of your life – don’t squander the opportunity to start off on a good foot.
Have any good orientation tips or stories? Let us know in the comments or tell us on Twitter.