How To Rock Your College Orientation (And Beat Those Nervous Jitters!)

Anna McCreary By Anna McCreary, 19th Jun 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Personal Development>Quality of Life

College orientation coming up? Nervous? Well, whether you're biting your nails or not, here are a few useful tips for making your college orientation positively memorable.

So You Graduated High School

Congratulations, high school graduate! No surprise, though, you knew you weren't done yet. And as the tide of high school graduations has finally crashed upon the shore and gone back to sea, so too has come the time of college orientations. Whether yours is a single day or several overnights, its a title that comes with many sentiments: anxiety, confusion, wonder, excitement, joy, you name it. And if you're feeling uneasy about any of it, no worries! There's only a few things you must know before you go in for your orientation, and here they are.

Check the Website!

This might seem blatantly obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many people overlook the resources their colleges and universities provide them pre-orientation. What you'll want to check is that you, a) did in fact sign up for orientation, and that, b) you've completed all the necessary credentials required before you arrive at orientation, such as receiving your meningitis vaccinations and taking any math, language or science placement tests. Even if you feel certain that you've done all these things, it's good to double check before you head out the door the morning of orientation. Many schools will prohibit your registering for classes if you've missed out on any essential items.

Additionally, since every school is different, you'll want to make sure you're properly packed and supplied for whatever they've told you they have planned. Bring pencils and pens, your ID, some spare cash and comfortable walking shoes - and make sure to check if your college or university has posted a recommended packing list as well.

Wear Whatever You Normally Wear

But present yourself well. Take comfort in your wardrobe and understand that the event is not an overly formal one; college is your first step at reinventing yourself for the better, if you so choose, and orientation can be your initiation into that. That being said, however, understand that you will likely be walking intense amounts, likely more than you are used to, and uncomfortable, tight or painful clothing or shoes is a definite no-go. There is always time for "re-invention" after you move in and actually physically start your classes.

Smile (But Take a Break Sometimes)

It's important to understand two things. One, orientation is important for making friends, as it's your first actual step as a student on campus. However, while it's important you keep this in mind for your future at that school, understand that the crowd you're mingling with now is likely much smaller than the actual number of your class, and that if you don't mesh one hundred percent well with your fellow orienation-ees, or have been too nervous to open up to everyone you see, it is most certainly not the end of the world or your social life at that school. Definitely present yourself as the best version of yourself that you can be; remember to smile, and, if necessary, introduce yourself with your name or a handshake. But if all does not go splendidly, you will have four more years of chances of being social. The good thing about orientation is that you are not the only new kid in a sea of millions; all of you are in the same boat, and you will likely end up finding someone similar to you.

But what do we talk about...

...other than our classes and majors? Well, fortunately for you, all of your fellow classmates that you meet at orientation will likely be from different states, or regions, or cities. This will give you the beautiful opportunity to learn about where people are from. Ask them about their high school, compare yours to their's, talk about weird traditions you've heard of at the school, the things you're excited about and what you're feeling anxious over. You will really find it amazing how much two strangers can have in common at a college orientation. And if not? Then all the more to talk about!

Sleep Is For the Weak

Socialization is inevitably a big factor that you'll need to accept pre-orientation, and one of the greatest ways to overcome any possible anxiety about the subject is to throw yourself into every possible activity available to you. At my college orientation, we had a 3-day 2-overnight session, with mandatory and optional sessions scattered over the course of the three days. If your orientation is anything like this, don't opt out for staying in your dorm and napping in between mandatory sessions; branch out and do everything you can, especially if it doesn't overlap with anything else you want to try.

Find a buddy to bring along with you: your orientation roommate, a friend from your school, a person in your major, or just go in and find someone new. This is a good way not only to familiarize yourself with the layout and pace of the campus, but to establish confidence in your own skin, and the ability to do things independently and on your own. The best optional sessions to attend are always the ones intended for socialization and "breaking the ice." (At the University of Texas, there's one called 'Ice, Ice, Breakers.') These are going to be where you find the people open and willing to conversation, and where you will likely most quickly develop friends.

Still Feeling Nervous?

It's okay to be nervous. It's a big step in your life, and you're about to understand what it means to be an adult. That's not an easy thing for anyone to deal with, and your feelings are completely natural. Remember that sometimes it's good to be nervous. It will help keep your senses sharp and on top of things. Just take deep breaths and calm yourself down if it's too much for you to handle. Remember that if you smile and are as friendly as you can be, everything will turn out for the better.


Anxiety, College, College Life, College Orientation, College Student, Nervous, University

Meet the author

author avatar Anna McCreary
Anna is an undergraduate student studying for her Bachelor of Arts in English. While juggling studies and a part time job at home, she is also a freelance writer and working on her first novel.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
4th May 2015 (#)

Once in a lifetime experiences, make them worth recalling - siva

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