Now that it’s time for the fall semester to begin, many students will take a step into the new phase of their lives of being a collegiate. Yet, as excitement fills the air, there is a hint of uneasiness that you cannot deny.
According to a past survey, 60% of first-year students have admitted to feeling nervous and emotionally unprepared for college. This number grows every year as the number of college applications increase.
College life is an entirely different world than what you have been accustomed to till high school. There might be certain expectations from college, but sometimes these might not be too realistic. As a result, it’s pretty common to find students who struggle to keep up with the change in surroundings.
How Can College Orientations Help?
College orientations for freshmen are a part of the tradition in most academic institutions to welcome young teenagers into a new phase of their life. They help you to acclimatize yourself to the college campus and provides a brief glimpse into what the upcoming years of your life would be like.
While many colleges make it a mandatory event, some prefer to give students the option to attend the orientation. However, don’t be tempted to skip this important event. Instead, consider it to be the tutorial to any video game. Unless you play it, you’ll have a challenging time ahead.
On that note, let’s go over some ways freshman orientations can help you settle into your college life quickly.
1. Help you get familiar with the campus
Campuses in the US are vast, and the surrounding buildings make finding your way around campus all the more confusing. Thus, orientations are an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the entire location. Otherwise, you might have to run around with a map in your hand on the first day of classes.
2. Provide you socializing opportunities
Your first impression of college isn’t only about the campus. It also includes the seniors and faculty who will be part of your life for the next three to four years. During the orientation, you can clear any doubts in your mind about the college and the admissions process. Moreover, connecting with seniors can also come in handy when you need any essay help in the future.
3. Helps you mix with other freshmen
If you feel nervous or intimidated about college, there are probably other freshmen who feel the same way. Therefore, orientations provide a casual atmosphere to encourage you to get to know others. Sometimes, the friendships you make during this moment last you a lifetime.
4. Choose clubs, fraternities, or sororities
If your college follows Greek life, orientations are the perfect place for you to decide if you want to join any sorority or fraternity. You can chat with the representatives to determine if you’d like to give Greek life a try.
Additionally, you can also sign up for clubs that interest you. Such organizations are the perfect place for you to wind down after your classes.
5. Provides you options for financial assistance
College is no cheap affair, and many students look for ways to work part-time to lighten the burden on their shoulders. At orientations, colleges present various financial assistance options to make your life easier. In addition, you’ll find booths that provide opportunities such as helping out as a consultant essay writer, teacher assistant jobs, and many more.
How Can You Prepare Yourself For College Orientations?
First-year orientation programs usually take place right before the start of the fall semester. While it is a single-day event in many colleges, some prefer to make it a week-long festival.
Each campus has its unique way of welcoming the new batch of freshmen, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by a vast array of activities that keeps changing every year. However, before you can dive into your orientation experience, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure the process goes smoothly.
1. Complete all the pre-orientation tasks
Before the day of your orientation, the college would usually send you a list of tasks that you need to complete before the session. These are usually some documents that you need to prepare beforehand, such as:
- Immunization proofs
- Placement test documents
- Citizenship proof
- Roommate requirements
These are essential documents that you should prepare well before the session to avoid any last-minute rush.
2. Prepare your questions beforehand
Before you can attend your orientation session, you need to research about the college yourself and prepare a list of questions that you would like to clarify. As this is an entirely new phase of academic life, it’s best to clear as many doubts as possible during the session.
3. Come up with a shortlist of courses you’re interested in
Unlike high school, colleges will provide you an entire catalog of courses that you can choose from. Before the orientation, you should go through this carefully and pick out the classes you’d like to apply for. This can save you a lot of time and confusion during the actual orientation.
4. Keep your notebooks and files handy
During the college orientation process, you’ll find yourself facing lots of information that would be challenging to retain unless you note them down somewhere. Additionally, it’s best to keep multiple files close by where you can keep the various handouts you’ll receive to avoid losing them in random places.
5. Don’t skip out on any optional events
Orientations might take a lot out of you both physically and emotionally, but try to sign up for optional events such as mixers and club orientations. It’s a fantastic opportunity to connect to more people and feel more at ease about entering college.
6. Encourage your family to opt for the parent orientation
Transitioning to college life might be harder for your family members, especially your parents, more than you can imagine. However, they finally come to terms with the reality that their child will be leaving their house to step into a new phase of their life.
Parent orientations help them to become familiar with the college where they’ll entrust their child’s well-being for the next few years. It’s the perfect place for parents to voice their concerns and get the reassurance they need from the college authorities.
Are Orientations Helpful?
The majority of students and parents have found orientations crucial to make the transition into college smoother and hassle-free. These sessions help answer all queries related to college life, academics, college etiquette, rules, and regulations and make students and parents familiar with how campus life operates.
Summing it up,
Freshman college orientation programs provide an excellent opportunity for both students and parents to get acclimatized to college life. It helps alleviate the nerves and become familiar with the college campus, rules, academic calendar, and courses. Moreover, the opportunity to mingle with other first-year students and their parents provides a sense of comfort and community when you realize that others are equally as nervous as you are.
Author – Clara Smith is a Professor of Modern Literature at a reputed university in the US. She has published various academic articles and research papers and has a reputation for writing beautiful poetry. Clara loves to spend time painting with her two beautiful daughters on weekends.