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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

There are two kinds of college students: those who love orientation, and those who avoid it. If you’re an extroverted ball of energy who can’t wait to meet a lifetime bestie, you’re probably the former. If you have nine siblings and would rather stay home to read a book, well, you know which one you probably are. 

College orientation is a freshman’s first glimpse at what their new life will be like for the next four years. Well, minus the exams and stress, that is. 

But what is it, exactly?

Here’s what you really need to know about college orientation

Navigating campus and college life

Orientation helps familiarize incoming college students with the campus and school before they start their first day of classes. There are several aspects to the college experience — dorm rooms, meal plans, book stores, etc. — and handling all of it at once can be a bit overwhelming. 

At orientation, incoming students can become acclimated to the new environment while meeting other students. Often, this means attending informational sessions, team bonding activities, and opportunities to explore the campus. 

Sensory overload

Between new faces, free t-shirts, and lots of signs telling you where to go, it’s easy to get overwhelmed at orientation. Odds are you’ll be handed a full itinerary when you arrive, leaving you little time to catch your breath, especially if you suffer from a bad case of F.O.M.O.

Everyone wants to make friends

Many students go to a school where they don’t have a strong group of friends, which means almost everyone is looking for someone else to hang out with. This often leads people to be overly friendly during orientation because they don’t want to go through it alone. 

Having to make friends in college may sound daunting to you, but just remember that everyone else is trying to do the same thing that you are. This will make it much easier to find someone to hang out with — you’re looking for a friend, and your future friend is also looking for you.

There will be events you’re supposed to go to, and you should go to them.

You’ll likely meet that one student at orientation who decides to skip out on all of the mandatory information sessions and events. But if there’s a presentation about campus safety, policies, or expectations, we suggest you go and listen closely. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a situation that calls on some serious information you learned your Freshman year. And besides, there will be plenty of time to have fun once the mandatory presentations are over.

Things will be awkward

Does anyone expect orientation to not be awkward when it involves hundreds of 18-year-olds who have never met before? We like to think they don’t.

While talking to other students you don’t know may feel awkward at first, just embrace it. If you’re not sure how to make conversation with strangers, just remember that it’s the same as playing ping pong.

But if ping pong has never been your choice of sport, just know that things will become less awkward over time once you become acclimated to the new environment and start recognizing familiar faces around campus.

Here are some tips to help you make it out of college orientation alive

Don’t be afraid to take the initiative 

Unfortunately, this is one of those things that’s easier said than done. But hey, when you step out of your comfort zone once, it’s much easier to do the second and third time. 

If people seem shy or quiet, remember that it’s common for people to get nervous in new situations. Odds are that they want to talk to you just as much as you want to talk to them, they’re just probably a little too anxious too.

If you need something to push yourself out of your comfort zone, just remember that everyone is in the same boat. If you’re hesitant to put yourself out there, don’t worry, you’re not alone. But someone has to bite the bullet and just do it if anyone is going to become friends. 

Make the most of orientation events

You really only do get one college orientation, which you may consider a blessing if you don’t like it. But since everyone’s looking for a new friend and a place to belong, now is the time to put yourself out there. Your future bro is out there waiting to take on the next four years with you — and who knows, you might meet during orientation.

Plus, the first day of classes will launch you on a four-year roller coaster that goes faster and faster as each semester passes. One day — whether it’s during your first finals week or those few seconds before you walk across a stage to receive your diploma — you’ll wish you could relive your college orientation and take it all in even more. Yes, there are plenty of things you could be stressed about during orientation, but ultimately it’s supposed to be something you enjoy.

But being aware of orientation events means planning accordingly. Use a calendar like the Hardwood Monthly Dry Erase Calendar Decal to stay on top of everything that’s going on so you don’t miss out.

Leave your door open

Nothing invites new friends into your life more than an open door. Seriously though, putting yourself out there and actively seeking friends is exhausting. There’s nothing wrong with getting away from some of the orientation chaos by spending downtime in your dorm room.

If you do spend time in your room though, leave your door open. This will signal to other students that you’re looking to meet new people and want to have a conversation with them. Otherwise, people will pass by your dorm room without even knowing you’re there.

A great way to engage with other students you may not run into in the hall is with a memo board. The Bistro Notes Giant Dry Erase Board is a decal you can stick to the outside of your door.  Consider writing a friendly message or fun question on the board to encourage other students to write back. Communicating this way is definitely a little more old school than most people are used to, but it does offer a creative way to meet new friends during orientation, which will be saturated with exhausting social events.

Make your dorm room the go-to hang out spot

Decorating your dorm room is not only a great way to express yourself, it’s also a great way to meet new friends. If your room is a comfortable place to hang out in, other students on your floor will be more likely to stop by and hang out. 

There are a few key things you can do to make your room more comfortable and fit for social gatherings. Most importantly, you’ll need lots of places to sit. Many dorm rooms only have one or two desk chairs, depending on how many people live there. 

Something like this Leah Flores ExOh Square Floor Pillow is a great way to make your room more equipped to handle movie nights with several friends.  It’s not only comfortable to sit on but a stylish addition to your dorm room.

And of course, you’ll also want to have plenty of blankets on hand. Something like the Chunky Knit Throw in Gray is both cozy and a great aesthetic for any dorm room.

Be patient

Like all good things in life, making friends and feeling at home at your new school won’t happen overnight (though it would be a pretty solid return on your college investment if it did). Some people feel like they’re on solid ground after 2 weeks, others feel like they’re finally comfortable after two semesters. It’s a slow process, but it’s one we think is worth the wait. 

And, most importantly…

No matter what happens you’ll be in good company.  

Whether you’re eating at the dining hall with a large group of people or by yourself, you’ll always be in good company. College gives you the time to really figure out who you are and be yourself, and no matter how many people you meet at your college orientation, only you can give yourself that.

One of the most nerve-wracking things about college orientation is not knowing what will happen. Hopefully, now you have a better idea of what you can expect, though who’s to say what it will actually be like? Every university is different and so is everyone’s college experience. But follow these six tips, and your college orientation is more likely to be an experience you’ll love than one you’ll dread.