College Orientation: What to Expect

College orientation: a summer event that soon-to-be college freshmen simultaneously dread and look forward to. Your college orientation will give you a feel of college life and allow you to meet other new students who are just as nervous as you are. Of course, orientation is different at every college and university, but here’s a general guide to college orientation:

Meet your academic adviser

This adviser will most likely be someone in your major’s department or someone who specifically helps first-year students. You may have more than one if you’ve already decided on a major. Regardless, this person will help you choose your first year of classes and make a plan to get involved on campus.

Register for classes

Now is the time to register with the help from your adviser! Most of your classes will likely be general education credits (English, Math, Science) and maybe one or two from your major. If you already have college credits earned, make sure you have those transcripts/test scores sent to your college so you don’t sign up for classes you already have credit for.

Take a campus tour

See the campus (if you haven’t already) and the dorms. Be sure to pay attention and familiarize yourself with where you’ll be living and going to class.

Get your student ID and set up accounts

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. You will have your picture taken, so keep that in mind when you attend orientation!

Learn about campus resources

Tutoring centers, writing centers, libraries, advising center–they’ve got it all!  Make sure you take advantage of all the resources available to you on campus.


Does this really need any more explanation? If that isn’t a reason to be excited, I don’t know what is.

Like we said, orientation is a little bit different for everyone, but it’s sure to be a lot of fun! Most colleges have activities to give you a mental break. You’ll likely also have an orientation leader that is an upperclassmen. They can tell you about their firsthand experience and answer any questions you have from the student perspective.

Overall, orientation can be information overload, but it’s all super helpful and designed to prep you and get you excited for your next big journey-college!