Orientation is the first opportunity for new students at KU to be on campus. It is a full day of socializing, listening to speakers, exploring campus, and most importantly getting new classes. Orientation is a single day, mostly taking place in the Union building, during the summer. You share your orientation day with a few hundred other incoming freshman. Here are 10 things I wish I knew before orientation at KU!
1. Bring snacks
The sessions of speakers are each about an hour. You will attend a few of these before lunch and I promise you will get hungry. By my last session before lunch my stomach was grumbling like crazy and I could barely focus. The lunch was super yummy, but make sure to supplement with a granola bar and some goldfish.
2. Be ready to small talk
You will spend a decent amount of time with your small orientation group. Your leader will most likely have you do some bonding activities with your peers. I am generally great at small talk, but it can be difficult when you get paired with someone who is quiet. So whether you are talkative or not, try to prepare some great questions and talking points to share with your new classmates during small talk activities.
3. Wear something comfortable for sitting
I wore a short skirt to my orientation. It looked great, I am not going to lie, but sitting in such a short skirt was not practical. I kept worrying I wash flashing everyone or I had to be careful when sitting down not to hike it up. I suggest wearing a khaki short, a mid-length skirt, or capri pants.
4. Do your makeup
You will be taking your I.D. photo at orientation and you only have one chance to take a cute one. Make yourself look somewhat presentable while still being understated as this photo will last for the next 4 years. I personally looked incredibly washed out in my photo and I regret not putting on blush beforehand.
5. Look into your major requirements
If you are going into orientation with a decided major be sure to check the required courses. When you meet with an advisor to decide on your classes it is good to know what classes you MUST take to graduate with your desired major. It will not only speed up your meeting with your advisor, but it will also help you start taking major classes from the beginning and let your advisor see you as a prepared student.
6. Determine your interests
If you are going into orientation undecided try to identify what classes might peak your interest. For example if you are artistic, try an art class. If you are logical, try an economics class. If you enjoy deep thoughts, try a philosophy class. The easiest way to find your perfect major is to try a few different courses and meet with your advisor regularly to determine a successful path.
7. Do the strengths test
Speaking of finding interests, make sure to take the strengths test that is suggested on your Blackboard account. While this is helpful for you to see your strengths it is also highly suggested because their is an entire session based on the results of this test. Don’t slack and do the strengths test!
8. Make friends
The people who seemed the happiest at orientation were those who came with friends or made new friends. Having someone to chat with at breaks, eat lunch with, and even roll eyes with when their was a dull speaker made the day much more enjoyable. Go into the day with a smile and positive attitude and you will be sure to make tons of new friends.
9. Use your group leader
Make sure you use your group leader. Ask them questions you might be shy to ask a faculty member or advisor. If you are comfortable use the group circle time to ask questions and if not be sure to pull them aside between session. I loved my group leader and got so many valuable questions answered by her.
10. Get ready to be a Jayhawk!
All day you will be expected to respond with “Jayhawk” when someone exclaims “Rock Chalk”. Be ready to be spirited and excited all day. Being a Jayhawk is amazing and your orientation day will be too if you follow these 10 tips.
Do you have any other tips for freshman orientation at KU!? Share in the comments below!
Featured Image: weheartit
Isabella was born and raised in San Francisco but will be a member of the class of 2021 at the University of Kansas. She is majoring in political science and hopes to pursue a career in policy. She hopes to rush a sorority and cheer on the Jayhawks at every game.