Most high school students don’t know what to expect as they prepare to enter college. You’re moving away from home for the first time and studying in a less structured environment where you’re expected to become completely self-reliant. Not knowing the details of your school can make the transition a difficult task. How will you navigate around campus? How do you sign up for classes? Are there any student organizations you can join? These questions and more will likely be answered at your college’s freshman orientation.
Orientation serves as an introduction to college; it’s important that you participate in yours so that you’ll be ready for the next chapter of your life. Usually, orientation lasts all day and attempts to cover the academic and social aspects of the college experience. You’ll compose your schedule for your first term with the assistance of advisors, staff members and peer counselors who’ve done it many times before. If needed, you’ll have a chance to take placement exams in subjects related to math and foreign language. For example, if you completed three years of Spanish in high school and wish to take a more advanced Spanish class as a freshman, passing a placement exam will prove that you’re a step ahead of typical beginning Spanish students. Your major’s department will educate you about the classes you need to take during the next four years in order to graduate. Staff members will explain any additional requirements that will need to be fulfilled along the way. Some departments are more competitive and thus prospective students have to apply for admission after they’ve completed a minimum amount of hours. Also, during the process, you’ll get your student ID and set up an account with the school’s student network.
College provides just as many social opportunities as academic opportunities. Orientation groups will allow you meet and bond with your peers so that you’ll have a few acquaintances by the time you move to campus. As a member, you’ll partake in fun team-building activities that’ll help break the monotony of orientation day. In most cases, there are several social events throughout campus. You’ll find at least a couple in which to participate amid your busy schedule. Be sure to pay attention when representatives from campus organizations explain what they have to offer and why you should join. Orientation will give you a chance to immerse yourself and assimilate into the culture of your school. Become familiar with the campus area hotspots. Don’t forget to walk around campus to visit the buildings where your classes will be held. Knowing your school right from the start will reduce the likelihood of homesickness, and you’ll feel like a real college student in no time.