Incoming! What To Expect At Your Freshman Orientation
PART TOUR PART MIXER PART Q&A YOUR TYPICAL FRESHMAN ORIENTATION is a lot like your first day at a new job. You get shown around introduced to your co-workers filled in on the basics of how things work and if you’re lucky told a few insider secrets. Although every school is different you can expect something close to this format:
WHEN IS IT?
Depending on the size of the school orientation can be the days or week before the fall academic semester begins or there may be multiple dates throughout the summer for first-year students to choose from. Some schools have designated orientations for specific groups of incoming freshmen such as athletes honor students transfer students nursing students etc.
SHOULD MY PARENTS GO?
Most schools encourage parents to come for the first day or weekend to fill out paperwork get to know the campus and help their student move into the dorm. Parents typically stay in nearby hotels although some schools offer rooms on campus for a small fee.
DOES IT COST ANYTHING?
Orientation fees can vary greatly; from nothing to a couple hundred dollars. At Mississippi State University for example the $120 student fee and $75 parent fee covers the class registration fee three meals t-shirts lanyards and an information book.
WHAT DOES THE ORIENTATION INCLUDE?
Expect a tour of campus meetings with college officials and faculty and informational sessions on everything from meal plans and transportation to dorm rules and Greek life. If you’ve already received your class schedule you may be able to meet your academic advisor and professors. But freshman orientation is about a lot more than business! There are also class field trips (e.g. to a museum an amusement park or the heart of the city) team-building events concerts and school-sponsored dorm parties (alcohol-free of course) to help you get to know your classmates and surroundings.
WHERE WILL I STAY?
If you attend the week before school starts you’ll likely be staying in your assigned dorm room. If you opt to attend earlier in the summer you’ll probably have the choice of staying in a dorm on campus or in a hotel off campus.
WHAT SHOULD I TAKE IF I’M NOT MOVING INTO MY DORM THAT WEEKEND?
No matter what state you’ll be heading to pack clothes that you can layer. Florida may get freakishly cold or Maine may be hot and sticky. Bring a raincoat and umbrella toiletries an alarm clock a towel and washcloth a water bottle and plenty of comfortable clothes and shoes. Call your school in advance to see if you should bring things like proof of immunization your instrument (to jam or to try out for the school’s band) or payment for any weekend events. Be sure to bring spending money (or your parents!) as you may want to buy college sweatshirts snacks and souvenirs for family members.
WHAT SHOULDN’T I BRING?
Leave your pet your high school sweetheart and your doubts about making friends behind. Freshman orientation is one of the fastest ways to get to know your school and your classmates and you don’t want anything slowing you down!