Welcome to another college blog post! With a lot of college’s orientations starting over the summer, I thought it would be a great idea to write all about how to prepare. I recently went to my brother’s college orientation and good grief, there were some things I wish I knew before we went!
Before I start, I just want to remind you guys that every college is different and you may have a completely different experience!
College Orientation Guide
Generally your college orientation will be the summer before you actually start. You might be able to bring family as well. In some cases, you may end up getting separated from your family/parents. This is so the day will be geared toward questions that the parents may have and also toward what the students want to know. I ended up meeting back up with my brother toward the end of the day.
Orientation may be a bit cheesy, with ice-breakers or singing songs, but join in! How often do you get the chance to act like a goofball in front of a bunch of people with no judgement? Almost never! So go ahead, clap your hands and chant your school’s fight song as loud as you can!
What to Bring
You are going to be learning a lot of new information over the course of a day, so I have pulled together a list of things you should bring to orientation day.
You’ll more than likely be taking a ton of pictures, adding new people to social media and doubling checking the school map! My brother’s orientation was an all day event, so I ended up going through most of my phone’s battery. I was so glad that I brought a portable charger to help throughout the day!
If you do know where you’ll be living, take measurements of what you think will be helpful when shopping for college supplies! This can be inside of drawers, the space under the bed, the width of a closet. This will help you maximize the small space that you do have. Having all the measurements before you go ahead and buy things will help you save some money!
Pen & Paper/Laptop
You may need to take notes during any talks given. A pen and paper will make it easy to write down any important information without having to whip out an entire laptop. Even with that said, you may need to bring a laptop when going over your class schedule. This will make it easy to get any information that is online, such as accessing your school portal.
ID Card, School ID Number
You will end up needing to show some kind of ID card when you show up at the start of the day. Don’t forget to bring your ID card, especially if the school is far from where you live. It also doesn’t help to write down your school ID number so you have easy access to it.
You may get a lot of free stuff and papers on orientation day. Be sure to bring a bag that can hold everything!
What to Ask:
I would shoot for asking questions that you were not able to find on the college’s website or that you are still confused on. There may not be enough time for you to ask every single question you have, so double check the website!
What are students not allowed to bring to campus.
Extra fridges, hot plates, etc. This will vary among each college. They may also have a list online. If you have any questions about this, bring them with you! They may only allow a certain size Keurig, or a particular size of a fish tank!
Best things to bring to campus.
While most colleges have a big list of what to bring, it is still a generic list. Ask your tour guide/orientation leader what their favorite thing they brought is! Odds are, it may not be on the list of things to bring. My favorite thing I bought was a bathrobe. I would much rather get locked out of my room in a robe than in a towel!
Move In Day
Move in day is so exciting! Find out when you should expect an email/letter about when you can move in and the times. You may even have an option about moving in earlier. Some colleges may have move in day earlier for out of state students or those in certain clubs.
Ask for social media handles!
When you are with your new peers, get some people’s social media handles! Start connecting with those going to your new school. It may be helpful to see a familiar face when you start. This is also a great way to find roommates if you haven’t already! While you are on Instagram, add your college’s accounts as well to stay up to date on any fun events happening over the summer.
Financial Aid/money-related questions
College is all fun and games until the bill needs to be paid! You are going to need to submit transcripts, any scholarships, your parent’s information etc. Ask about how to find all of that information and who to go to for each type of question. When I was in school, I was on the GI Bill. For money related questions about the GI Bill, I wouldn’t actually go to the financial aid office, it would be the Registrar’s office. Finding out who you need to talk to specifically about these things will help your bill get paid on time.
Where to Go:
While during orientation, you may not have a ton of free time, however you are at your college! Do some exploring before or after you are there!
Find your classes
If you already know your class schedule, or what buildings your major is mostly in. This will help when you have your first day of classes. Nothing is worse than walking into a room and realizing you’re in the wrong one!
Clubs/Activities you want to join
If there are any clubs or organizations that you know you want to join, see if they have a booth set up. You may be able to start getting involved before schools starts!
Your major/college advisor office
You may spend a lot of time here planning your schedule or requesting for certain classes. Get to know your advisor! You may also be able to meet your advisor during orientation and go over your class schedule.
Your dorm building
If you know where you will be living by the time of the orientation, take some time and walk over there. You may not be able to get inside but you can still get a feel for it. If you don’t know where you’ll be living, take a peek at some of the dorms available!
School’s Police Department
You never know when you may need them. I know that I would much rather feel confident that I can locate the school’s PD, than have to go searching for it if something is wrong. This is a good time to put their phone number into your phone!
Want more college related blog posts? Check these out!
Okay guys that’s all I have for my college guide to orientation. Are you excited to go to yours? Do you have any tips for new college students? Leave them down below!