It’s almost time for your first semester of college to begin! But first, you have to attend the coveted college orientation where you’ll be forced to participate in awkward ice-breaker activities that will only make sense four years from now when you realize that your best friends are those who you met on that hot summer afternoon, arms linked.
The best part about choosing SUNY is that our world-class academic guidance, incredible internship network driven by SUNY Works, and massive alumni network at your fingertips will give you a leg up in the growing global and competitive job market. Your orientation will tell you more about all of this.
So to give you a better idea of what to expect and what you should try to do during orientation, here are five things every incoming student should do at college orientation:
Explore your campus
Even though you wouldn’t be the only one to do so, getting lost on your first day of class is stressful! Learn about things like library locations and hours, where students gather to work and interact, and where all of your additional resources will be around campus and around town.
Researching the school that you’re attending is the best way to learn about your surroundings before you attend; after all, it is basically going to be your home for the majority of your two or four years at college. Taking the time to explore your campus when you will be able to talk with college staff, administrators and upperclassmen can provide you with knowledge you might need for the future.
Find clubs you might want to join
Before you even attend college, joining a club or organization is something that many prospective students think about (besides academics, of course). At orientation, there are so many opportunities to find about the club that most interests you. By talking to orientation advisers and incoming students in your orientation group, you might find out about a group or organization you never even knew existed.
— State U of New York (@SUNY) June 4, 2014
Make some friends!
Some students go into orientation knowing some other students, but every student comes out of it knowing somebody new. This will help you refine your social skills (you’ve probably had the same friends through high school) and meet people from different parts of New York (and the world). You might even find your future roommate or life-long friend!
Know the lay of the land
If you’re a commuter, you’ll want to make sure you know how much time you need to drive to campus in the morning and to get home in the evening. If you’re living on campus, make sure you test how long it will take you to get from your dorm to class so that you can be on time during the year. Explore different routes to keep things interesting on your regular commutes.
Register for classes
Class registration is one of the many things you will have to do. As a new student, registering for a college class is something that you probably have never done before. Making sure you know what classes you want and need to take is very important for when you’re about to register. By making a long list of possible classes you might want to take, you will open up your options in the case that they are closed before you register.
Steven was a student assistant in the Office of Communications of the State University of New York in summer 2014. He is an undergraduate political science student at Binghamton University.