How to Make the Most of Student Orientation

Freshman orientation is the first step towards getting your higher ed. It is very exciting, yet equally stressful. Loads of new people, a huge unfamiliar campus and a lot of choices to make. The best thing you can do is to come prepared. In this article, we will tell you what to expect of your orientation and how to get ready for that new step in your life.

Pay attention

This might be the most obvious piece of advice you can get, but it doesn’t make it any less important. On the first day of orientation, you will be loaded with information. It is your job to take notes and remember as much as possible. The main difference between a school student and a college one is that the latter is treated like an adult. Hence, you cannot expect to be held by the hand and walked around. If you’re late to your first class because you couldn’t find an auditorium, you have to bear the responsibility.

So, take as many notes as you can. Whenever you are handed a map or a brochure, take it. Remember where your classes will be, where are the residence halls, the library, where you can do my project for me, and where you can see a counselor. All that information will be given to you during your orientation, you just have to pay enough attention to notice it.

Sure, it’s also important to socialize and find new friends, but if you spend your entire orientation making friends, none of you can take note of the really important things the guides say.

Meet people

Your first year is likely to be the hardest one. For many people, loneliness is a huge factor contributing to poor performance and mental health struggles. This is why you do need to make friends. In the course of your orientation, you will have breaks, lunches and some time for free exploration. Try to strike up a conversation with someone in those periods. 

If you consider yourself introverted, it might be very hard to engage with someone you don’t know. But you have to keep in mind that the other person is probably just as terrified as you are. It’s very unlikely that if you start small talk with someone, they will be outright rude to you. Most likely, they will just reply back politely. But even if they are rude, it doesn’t matter, turn to another person and start talking to them.

College is not only for studying. It’s also for establishing possibly life-long friendships, asking for help and building relationships from scratch. It’s definitely scary and nerve-racking. But one thing to remember is everyone else is also scared and nervous, even if they might not look like it.

Dress comfortably

Fashion and style can help you make a statement and get noticed. Or stay invisible, if that’s the goal. The point is, the way you dress can strongly influence the way other people perceive you. On your orientation, you have to keep this in mind. However, you must also remember that you will be walking a lot, you’ll spend a lot of time both outside and inside and you’ll walk up and down stars a lot. So, the main style recommendation for your orientation is to dress comfortably.

Pick a worn-in pair of shoes that you know you will be comfortable wearing for the whole day. Check the weather forecast and dress appropriately. Wear different layers so that you can adjust depending on the temperature. Consider dressing modestly, if you don’t want to cause a scandal. If you wear makeup, there is no need to wear a full beat. Keep it casual.

Learn about the clubs

Orientation is the perfect chance to start learning about the clubs and organizations that the college has to offer. Listen to the guide when they tell you about those opportunities and ask questions if they don’t bring it up. Clubs are an amazing opportunity to find like-minded people and boost your social life. Participation in some clubs can even help you earn extra credit points, so it’s a good idea to note those.

If you already have some hobbies that you would like to keep exploring in the future, ask your guide if they are supported at the college. If not, notice all the organizations that are mentioned and consider joining some just to check it out. There’s no harm in trying new things and you never know if you’ll like something you’ve never tried before. Besides, those clubs offer a casual atmosphere to meet new people. It’s not as competitive as some classes can be, so it’s easier to find friends. 

Many first year students get lonely and feel homesick. It can lead to mental health problems, decrease in performance and even dropping out. Having a social life is a great way to prevent those things from happening. Many people think that as a student, you can’t possibly have any free time for social life. However, using the best thesis writing services can really help you free up some time. And making friends and having someone to talk to should be your priority if you’re on the brink of a crisis.

Ask questions

Many students are reluctant to ask questions during their orientation because they don’t want to attract any attention to themselves. But how are you going to find out about a niche club that you are interested in if it hasn’t been brought up? Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be proactive. Getting in that proactive mindset can be very beneficial even if you consider yourself an introverted person. College is an amazing time of new discoveries. Don’t miss out on any of that just because you’re shy. 

If you’re struggling with raising your hand, try to imagine a new persona for yourself. Embody everything you think you lack but want to be. Invent a new alter ego for yourself, just for those few first orientation days. Later, it will be easier to be proactive because you’ve already done that as that alter ego.

Wrapping up

Orientation is a great time to get to know the college you will be attending, meet new people and find a club or organization that you will participate in. Even though it is stressful and scary, you will not benefit from standing quietly in a corner. Be proactive, get the best out of your orientation and get to know everything there is to know about the college!

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