For me, the reality of college set in when it came time for me to go to orientation. I was very anxious because this was the first time, in a very long time, where I was going to be surrounded by folks that I didn’t know. Orientation was the first of many unfamiliar college experiences I had last year and needless to say those moments can be very intimidating. Today, I’m bringing you this post to attempt to help you have a smooth orientation experience. 

What to wear:

  1. Tennis Shoes: You’re gonna be on your feet for a large portion of the day and you might even get the opportunity to go to the gym like I did.  (I didn’t go bc lazy, but you get the picture). Yes, there are shoes that are just as comfortable as tennis shoes, but I truly think sneakers are the most practical option.
  2. Jacket: While we were outside for most of the day, there were required seminars that took place in large, cold rooms. Don’t suffer if you don’t have to, bring a light jacket. 
  3. Comfortable top and bottom: I feel like I keep saying this, but orientation was a very physical day. You want to be comfortable! 

What to bring:

  1. Itinerary: If you’re anything like me, you want to know what’s going on at all times. I know my school had us download this app where we had access to a map of the campus, important contact information, and a list of scheduled events according to whatever group we were placed in. The app is called guidebook, just in case you want to download it and see if your school has an itinerary listed.
  2. Important documents: Immunization records, final transcripts, major declaration… If you have the option to bring these things in during this time, do it. You don’t want the thought to slip your mind once school starts and you end up with a hold on your account. Be proactive.
  3. A small bookbag: You’re going to get tons of handouts and gear, so it’s best if you have something you can carry it all in because it’s going to be a long day and you don’t want to have to carry that stuff around.
  4. Water bottle: It’s starting to get hot and you’re going to do a lot of walking/ talking
  5. Change of clothes/toiletries/PJs: I’m not sure if all orientations are like this, but mine was overnight; we had activities on Day 1 and scheduling on Day 2. After a long filled with lots of physical activity, you’re definitely gonna want to shower. 
  6. Blanket: I was surprised to find that we would have paper thin (disposable) bedding especially since orientation cost over $100, but I digress. If you like to bundle up at night, don’t even take the risk, bring a blanket and maybe even a pillow too.
  7. Charger: I’m notorious for packing at the last minute and when I do, I usually forget little things like this. I’d even go as far to say that you should probably bring a portable charger since you won’t have access to an outlet until the end of the day. 
  8. Weekender/Duffle: My school only wanted us to bring one bag, I mean we were only staying of one night, but some people really do need more things than others (e.g., medical reasons). Weekenders/ duffle bags should be big enough to hold everything you need. Oh, and make sure you tag your luggage as there are going to be tons of other students there and you don’t want to risk having any luggage mishaps. 

Here’s some things to keep in mind while you’re there:

  1. There will likely be ice breakers and if you’re anything like me you probably despise them. However, ice breakers are a good way to assist you in meeting your potential circle of friends for your first year. I say all that to say, try your best to be a team player; you want to know at least one person when school starts. Hey, when school starts, you may not even talk to the people you met at orientation, but at least you can say you put in the effort.
  2. Take note of key locations such as the library, dining hall, and financial aid office. You’ll likely be getting a tour from the student ambassadors and if you do, try to get at the front of the group so you can pay close attention. 
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask the ambassadors questions. They’re not only there to assist you with the orientation festivities, but to help get you acclimated to your new environment. 
  4. Enjoy the moment! Yes, these are some of the most exciting moments of your life and you want to document them on Snapchat/IG/whatever, but try to really take it all in. 

I hope this was helpful and that you all enjoy yourselves as you embark on this journey. 

Thanks for reading!

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