College orientation is the day incoming freshmen ponder about all summer. Will I meet new people? How big is my campus? Is it true that CSUN has nap pods?? After attending CSUN orientation myself, I was faced with the most rewarding experience, and definitely have some pointers to advise to future freshmen:
1. Beware of parking nightmares.
First off, it’s important to plan out what time you’ll leave home, by setting aside about 30 minutes for parking. If you’ve never been to campus before, it may take you a while to locate the lots, and where to get in. Not to mention, all freshmen are supposed to park in one structure, Lot G3, so it might take time for you to find a spot – which is REALLY annoying. Trust me.
2. Don’t bring a bag.
CSUN is nice enough to provide you with a drawstring bag, which has enough space to stuff all your belongings and papers you receive throughout the day. Bringing your own bag would just cause you to carry extra weight on your shoulders.
3. It’s a LONG day – bring snacks!
I would highly recommend bringing snacks and water with you. It’s a very long day, and lunch comes after a whole campus tour. Personally, I was very dehydrated, and when it was finally lunch, I didn’t even like the food options provided. There were 2 options – a meat burrito, and a veggie burrito. I had the veggie burrito and wasn’t really a fan, so I truly wish I had brought my own snacks with me.
4. Make sure to dress appropriately.
CSUN is located in Southern California, and as someone who has grown up in this area, I can tell you that in early August the weather will have you SWEATING. This is no exaggeration, my friends – the heat wave is real. That being said, it’s important to wear summer clothing, but I wouldn’t recommend wearing something uncomfortable, such as dresses. Also, there was a performance at the end of the day called “TAKE 30” — BTW, best performance ever — that will require you to change into a provided shirt, so make sure you wear something that’s easy to change out of.
5. Bring a small notebook.
The orientation leaders will talk a LOT, and although you get reference papers, it’s important to have your own notes to keep everything organized. The leaders may mention valuable information, such as places to study on campus, that you’ll probably want to refer back to once school starts.
6. Bring your class schedule with you!
Since the orientation leaders take you on an entire campus tour, you will be able to locate where your classes are. For example, I had Biology in Chaparral Hall and Psychology in Sierra Hall. Prior to orientation, I had no idea where these buildings were! Thanks to the campus tour, I was able to spot where my classes were, and how to get there on the first day so I don’t waste time getting lost.
7. Don’t be nervous!!
I was super nervous before orientation, and was really awkward at first since I didn’t know anyone. Once I got there though, I realized I wasn’t alone! Everyone at orientation is in the same place as you, so don’t worry! The leaders make you feel as welcome as possible by providing a friendly environment. Something that I found super cool was the leaders dancing to LIT music & inviting students to come up and join. I would highly recommend participating, it’s super fun!
8. Be ready to form friendships.
CSUN implemented a lot of icebreaker activities throughout orientation, where you truly get the opportunity to interact with other freshmen. I cannot stress how important it is to form friendships! Follow them on Instagram, and build your network! I met so many new people at orientation, and now it’s so nice to see familiar faces on campus all the time.
9. Ask questions! You probably won’t get this opportunity again.
Making sure to ask questions is super important. Don’t be shy! The leaders are there to guide you, and want to make sure you have the best college experience.
10. HAVE FUN!!!
Orientation can be super long, and may cause you to stress about the nightmares of college. Nevertheless, enjoy your day to the fullest and look at it as an opportunity of growth and positivity! You’re going to meet so many new people, be in a welcoming environment, and be faced with the excitement of dining halls and Welcome Concerts. You only get this opportunity once!