Orientation is exciting because you are getting even closer to living the college life. Here is everything that you are going to need for your orientation.
What to Bring
Before attending orientations, the college or university will most likely send you an email with all the things that you need to bring and instructions. If it is not on the list, already wear comfortable shoes. Whether the orientation is one day or two days, there is going to be a lot of walking and standing. Check the weather ahead of time and dress or pack accordingly. Rain will not stop the orientation from preceding. If the weather is calling for rain, bring an umbrella, poncho, or raincoat. During orientation, you are most likely going to be taking care of some of the big things before the semester starts. Make sure to bring all the important documents you need if you still need to finalize your financial aid, to have your school ID made, or anything else you may have outstanding that can be resolved during orientation. It might not be listed on your list, but bring a pen and notebook to take notes. There are going to be a lot of things thrown at you during the orientation. With everything going on notes will help you remember important things to know for your first semester. If the school sent specific instructions on where to park and or gave you something to place in your car, so it does not get towed, then you want to go ahead and do them ahead of time.
Every school has different forms of campus safety, so it is important to find out what is offered at your potential school. Some schools have just police officers, only security officers, or both depending on the school. You want to know who to call in case of an emergency. Make sure you get the number if this is the school of your choice. Some schools offer a 24-hour library service and offer safety walks to your residence hall. If you are a person who studies at the library late at night, then this is a service worth checking to see if your school offers.
Depending on the college or university, there can be a variety of on-campus housing options. Some residence halls are used specifically for freshmen students, but can sometimes be changed depending on how much money you want to pay to live in residence hall apartments. If you choose this option, there is a positive your meal plan can be lowered so that you have more funds to support living in a residence hall apartment. You have to be okay with having a smaller meal plan and preparing your food. The downfall is that you will miss out on some of the college experience of living with peers in a hall, different activities, and making some new friends. It is all about what you need to be successful as you pursue your career.
Every college has a dining hall, but the options vary depending on the dining hall. Some schools offer specials of the day, a section that meets dietary needs, different styles of cooking, etc. Finding out what your school offers is important to find out when you are choosing your meal plan. Outside of the dining all meal options, some restaurants are on campus such as Subway, Chick-fil-A, Au Bon Pain, Papa Johns, etc. During orientation, it is important to know where these locations are if you are interested in these places. Depending on the location of the campus, there could be restaurants surrounding the campus. Just take a look around at what the area has to offer.
The main reason for attending college is to gain the knowledge and skills to be successful in the desired career. With the amount of competition in the workforce, it is important to help give yourself away to stand out with potential employers. During orientation, it is important to find out the resources available to prepare you to get a job. Find out if the school offers a career service and what services are provided. Most career services at universities and colleges offer help with resumes, cover letters, job searches, graduate school help, internships, etc. Something to check is if your school offers mock interviews, career counseling, and career fairs.
Familiarizing yourself with your financial aid package letter is imperative to know. Not knowing what financial aid will pay for and what needs to be paid out of pocket is essential to staying enrolled in your courses. It has happened to people who did not fully understand their financial aid or where to look for unsatisfied requirements and to be unenrolled from classes. Once this happens, it can be difficult to re-enroll in those classes after a certain amount of time. Also, talk to the financial counselors to take advantage of all the funding, such as scholarships, grants, and work-study options. These options can help pay for your education, and the beauty is you do not have to pay anything back. If you do need loans, make sure you know what the interest rates are, the repayment options, and the financial timeline. Maybe you are not looking for a loan but instead wanting to do a payment plan while attending school. The financial aid representative will be able to help you with knowing the options available.
Getting involved in campus activities can help you gain some leadership experiences, make friends, and find or expand your interest. All campuses have clubs, organizations, sporting activities, sororities, fraternities, and a lot more. School is not all about academic work. It is also about growing as a person and making connections/building your network. During orientation, find out if there is an office that has a list of all the organizations that are on campus and see if there is an organization fair. An organization fair allows you to see and interact will all the clubs, sororities, fraternities, religious life, etc. It might not be all the organization at the event, but it will give you an idea and an opportunity to talk to the organizations.