What Exactly Happens At Freshman Orientation At Grand Valley State University


Waking up, today’s the day. Today is the day that I get to experience my first day at GVSU. If you’re wondering what exactly happens at freshman orientation at Grand Valley State University, keep reading for the best step by step guide!

5:30am – I’m ready to go.

6am – Mom and I got our coffee, the cars full of gas, nothing but open road ahead of us.

9am – We arrive at GVSU a little late, which is usual.

Finding the right parking lot is like running through a maze at night. Nine-fifteen, a student in a go-cart comes to pick up my mom and I.

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9:30am – We’re now sitting in a room in a building called Kirkhof.

A woman is speaking to us, telling us what is day is going to be and how excited she is for all of us to be here. A man comes up next, he tells us about his experience at Grand Valley and how we are all going to love it here.

10am – The parents are asked to stay in the room for their own “orientation.”

A small bit of panic will set in now, a little taste of what it’ll feel like being without your parent.

10:30am – We have now been separated into groups of six and seven.

We’re brought to a building full of classrooms called Mackinac Hall. Sitting down in our tiny groups, we go around and introduce ourselves. Where were from, what our majors are, what we are interested in, etc. Ten-fifty, we fill out forms that will help match us to what classes we need to take in order to graduate four years from now.

11am – We are escorted by our group leaders to Robert A. Kleiner Commons.

This is the main food court in “Freshman Land.” Freshman Land is where all the freshman dorms are located. There are so many options, now I’m a little less tense and a little more excited. Qdoba is where my eye goes first, obviously. We all get our food and sit a big table together. Now is the time to chat, relax, and gain some weight with free food. I’m not sure if this happens at every orientation, but at mine, the president of the school stopped by to say a quick hello. His name is Thomas Hass, or better known as, T-Hass. He is a very like able and fun loving guy, and walked around take selfies with the soon-to-be students. After this, he gave a short speech. Welcoming us, and again, telling us that the next four years will be the best of our lives.

12 pm – Lunch ends, and again, we travel in our tiny groups back to Mackinac.

On the second floor this is a very large computer lab (printing is free, YAY). All the groups start to pour in slowly and fill up this once vast empty room with loud people. Each group is put on a group of computers. There, we start to get the hang of things. We find the classes we need, with the help of our mentors, and the classes we want to take for fun.

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12:30pm –  It gets stressful again.

What classes do I need? What classes do I want? What classes, WHAT CLASSES!?!? Don’t worry, your mentors won’t leave your side until you are all set and comfortable with your classes.

1pm – We travel back to our parents who are patiently waiting for us in Kirkhof.

My mom, who has been sitting in a tiny room for four hours has an impatient look on her face. I probably would too, to be honest. She tells me that she had to listen to people talk for hours and she is beyond ready to leave. At this point, you’re probably still excited to start school in the fall, but also ready to leave and savor the precious time in your own bed.

1:15pm – They offer tours of the dorms, and of course you should stay at least for that.

It really helps to settle the nerves to see where you will be living in the fall semester. We walk, in new groups, to the dorm, take a quick look, and leave. If you are willing, there are more little things going on throughout the day. More touring, more talking, and more listening. We decide to leave, so I don’t have any information beyond one-thirty in the afternoon.

For me, my orientation at Grand Valley was very informational and eye-opening. While it was long, and somewhat boring at times, it was exciting. It was exciting to see a big new area of land and beautiful buildings that you get the incredible opportunity to look at whenever you please.

Featured photo source: youtube.com


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