Orientation weekend at Lafayette was definitely an overwhelming experience, but for sure, one I will never forget. Never have I been more busy with lists of activities to do throughout the weekend, while also having so much fun in the process of it all. Meeting your roommate for the first time for some of you, or just getting to know the people on your floor that you will see on a daily basis, can be extremely nerve wracking, but also very exciting! Orientation is a fun-filled and emotional experience marking the beginning of college, so to help you make the most of your Lafayette College Orientation, read on to see what some of my helpful tips are!
Lafayette College freshmen during 2016-2017 year convocation on August 28, 2016.
Douglas Kilpatrick / Zovko Photographic LLC
1. Make sure you get a goodnight’s sleep
Be prepared for a jam packed weekend full of activities to help you get acclimated to your new home at Lafayette. Just like most schools, orientation weekend is filled with spending time with your orientation group, cookouts with friends and family, and meeting many new people. I wasn’t aware of all that orientation entails, so it did catch me off guard – but now it is helpful for others to know what to expect!
2. Make friends with your OL
The orientation leader (OL) you are assigned to when you arrive on campus will hopefully become someone you look to as a mentor. And they can be there for helpful advice as you get situated in college. I know I always texted my OL, whether it be questions during the orientation process, or even a favor to ask of her well after the start of the school year. Your Orientation group will be small, so take advantage of the opportunity to get to know your OL.
3. Branch out and introduce yourself to people in your OL Group
My OL group was a mix of kids I didn’t really see myself becoming close with throughout the year. I didn’t let that first impression hold me back on getting to know some amazing people. We played games within our groups to get to know one another. Side conversations always arose between people who might not have seen each other becoming friends. Your OL group will be comprised of people living in the same buildings or nearest ones to you, so you will definitely be seeing familiar faces around.
4. Get your student ID ASAP
My biggest mistake of orientation was pushing off getting my student ID until well into the start of classes. I spent the majority of my first day getting my room together exactly how I wanted it, instead of waiting in the long line on the quad for my ID. Unfortunately, trying to find time to get your ID after the first day can be inconvenient -and swiping into the caf without an ID is only more difficult for you and the employees. Long story short, don’t be like me – decorate your room later. Your first item on your move-in “To Do” list should be to get your ID as soon as possible.
5. Spend less time setting up your room, and more time with your parents
Another regret I have about orientation is the amount of time I spent getting frustrated with how to hang things properly in my room, rather than spending my last few hours with my parents. Your room can wait ’til tomorrow, but your parents will be saying their goodbyes sooner than you think.
6. Be prepared for the goodbyes
Saying goodbye to your parents as you start your time in college will probably be one of, if not, the most emotional moment of your life so far. For some of you, being away from your parents for a long period of time may be brand new to you and a big adjustment to deal with. Everyone is in the same boat. While it is definitely sad in the moment, you will be starting a brand new chapter in your life to be excited about!
7. Take advantage of the many welcoming people eager to help you
From the moment you turn into the college on move-in day, you will be greeted by the cheerleaders and fellow students all in leopard gear anticipating your arrival. That first moment definitely helped in making me feel at ease and at home already, solely by that friendly welcoming environment. Everywhere you look, you will see the smiling face of someone eager to assist you in whatever you need. They will make the transition to college as smooth as possible.
8. Go to each event your OL has scheduled for you
Although you will be exhausted from the events of orientation weekend, it means a lot to your OL to show up to each mandatory event (even if you don’t want to sit through another 2 hour presentation about why alcohol is bad for you.) I can promise you that the majority of presentations will occur during Orientation Weekend. There will only be a few, if any, during the school year, so just stick it out for the few days.
9. Convocation is an opportunity for you to dress up
Convocation is the ceremony welcoming the incoming class to the college. I wasn’t really sure what the dress code was, but definitely dress up if you want to! The attire in the past has been mostly sundresses, skirts, and rompers for girls, and bermuda shorts or dress pants for the guys.
10. Be ready for the first day of classes!
Hate to ruin your excitement about the first weekend of college, but classes begin the Monday after Orientation Weekend. Helpful tip: get some rest Sunday night after convocation. You don’t want to start your first day of college classes on the wrong foot. You’ll be meeting your teachers for the first time, and with some uncertainty about what to expect from each one, being highly prepared and well rested will be very beneficial.