What to Expect at an American College Orientation

Orientation can be an exciting time for you as it is your first glimpse into the next four years of your life. But, you might be wondering exactly what a college orientation is. We’re here to explain the whole idea of orientation and how you should prepare for it, just keep on reading!

What is an orientation?

Orientation is usually the first official event that you go to as a new college student. It can last anywhere from a day to an entire week. Orientation is one of the best ways for first year or transfer students to meet their peers, learn more about university resources as well as its campus, and transition to college life. It is meant to give you a complete overview of the university and the basics that every student should know.

What do you do at orientation?

Each university has its own orientation program, but commonly, incoming students get assigned to a group with one to two orientation leaders. Within the group, students will get to play ice breaker games to get to know each other, learn about the campus as well as where to find particular resources through tours, and get helpful advice from the older leaders.

How should you prepare for orientation?

If you need to register for orientation then go ahead and do it! You should also make sure to bring all of your necessities, like your student ID, water, and a snack, in a backpack or small bag. 

Before heading to orientation, you should mentally prepare yourself to have a day full of interactions. Make sure you go in with an open mind and heart, so that you can come out feeling happy and energized with new friendships.

Is orientation mandatory?

For most universities, orientation is mandatory, and in most of these cases, orientation leaders have to take attendance. There can be consequences, like not being able to sign up for classes, for not attending so make sure to check whether or not it is mandatory. Even if it is not required, you should still use the opportunity to get to know your peers and learn more about the campus as well as its resources before class starts. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet your college bestie during orientation!

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