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College Orientation

Updated on June 19, 2013
HLKeeley profile image

HL Keeley has received a Bachelors Degree in Middle Grades Education. She has just completed her first year teaching.


Orientation is one of the most important events before heading to college. This gives you the chance to see the college in a different way than campus tours do. Along with other incoming freshmen, you will get to experience what it will be like living on campus alone. If orientation is not a mandatory event at your college, I would recommend you go anyway. Online articles only help so much, but the best advice comes from the college.

Tips For Orientation

  • Bring a camera: Forgot mine and I was disappointed.
  • Bring a fan: my room was very hot because the freshman dorms do not have air conditioning
  • Bring shower products: does not matter if you showered in the morning, you will feel gross by the end of the day
  • Three sets of clothing: Night clothes so you can not look sweaty during free time, pajamas, and clothes for the next day
  • Sheets, Pillow, and Light blanket: It is an empty dorm room, enough said.
  • Notebook and Pen: Sometimes this is supplied or can be found at a table, bring just in case
  • Carry your map: If you get lost, which you will, it is very handy to have. Also take note of where everything this.
  • Pay attention to what is being said: Everything they say is important. Especially listen when they show you how to edit your schedule: adding classes and dropping classes. I did not pay attention and I had to call the school for help.
  • Stay in touch with your Orientation Counselor: They will provide you with their email address and most likely have a Facebook. They are always willing to help you, even during the school year.
  • The friends you make at orientation will stay your friends if you keep in touch: If you do not keep in touch, 95% of the time they forget you. It's not a bad thing, but there were a lot of names and faces they saw at orientation.

My Orientation Experience

My mother and I woke up at 6 am that morning to head out to Western Carolina University. The drive was three hours. Luckily that day it was beautiful outside. We got to campus around 9, 9:30. We dropped our bags off at the dorm we would be staying in. They were two different dorms to separate us. I met my roommate when I dropped my bags off. My roommate and I, along with her boyfriend, walked out of the dorm together splitting because I had to go find my mother. Luckily, I had a map. My mother and I walked to the basketball arena by the football stadium where we had to sign in. We had to wait a couple hours outside in the heat. Being me, I couldn't stay still, so I was leaning over the bars looking at all the bugs and lizards.

Eventually they let us in. The hallway was filled with tables with trifolds and people standing next to them eager to share their information with us. My mother and I checked in getting our name tags before perusing the tables. Fraternities and sororities tried to recruit incoming freshman with pamphlets and speaking with parents about funding. There were local churches giving away cookies. One had a dog. Banks were there to try to get debit cards. The thing about my school is that it is in the middle of no where. The bank I was with at the time was located in town, not on campus. So Wachovia scored a customer with us (now Wells Fargo). I also got a laundry bag out of signing up.

We were finally shuffled into the arena where the counselors were introduced. We learned the school chant, song, and colors. We did games to wake us up. It was actually funny to watch my mother and I do this because we had no energy. After a speech from the dean and talking that I do not remember, we were dismissed to our counselors. I still remember mine and I see her around campus, although after orientation I never talked to her again. That was one of my biggest mistakes. She showed us around the campus giving a tour much more in detail. We went to a classroom where a teacher waited to show us the "typical classroom" environment. My school is small, so our classes would in turn be small as well. She had move the desks into a horseshoe and passed around the "typical textbook," a small book that looked like a brink and also weighed like a brink.

We then went to the cafeteria. This is a trick! The food in the cafeteria during orientation and parent's weekend is the ONLY time the food is good. We also had coke product, another trick. When school started, Pepsi was the only soda brand. Orientation is not about trick's, but to try to make you feel comfortable when school starts. We then went outside and played icebreaker games getting to know people in the group.

We did a lot more things that day, the tour being the longest since we went through all the important buildings. After dinner though, I was hyper. We were all dismissed to do what we want. I went back to my room to change out of my sweaty clothes. It was there that I realized my roommate that I had met was actually in the wrong room. I had a new roommate. She was not shy, but not outgoing either. I invited her to come to the events they had planned that night, but she told me she will check it out later.

The events they had planned were actually really fun. They had blow ups, hand wax molds, karaoke, and a movie in the theatre with free popcorn and soda (normally $2). I met a lot of people that night and had so much fun. It was easy to talk to someone because everyone was essentially alone. By the end of the night I went back to my room to shower to find my roommate in the same position watching Twilight. After my shower, the lights were out and she was in bed. It was only 11. I ventured out of my room to find girls sitting in the hallway. I sat with them until we all went to bed at 1, since we had to be up early for checkout.


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    • Heather Says profile image

      Heather Rode 5 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona

      Useful article for sure! This reminds me of being a college ambassador back when I was in college.

    • Derek Ober profile image

      Derek Ober 5 years ago from Florida

      Extremely useful advice that I will pass on to fellow students. Voted up!