What Happens During College Orientation?

College orientation is a way to prepare a student when transitioning from a high school to a college. Continue reading to know what happens during college orientation.

TCM Staff

19th October 2020

College orientation is an introductory program, hosted by the college to prepare the students for a smooth transition from a high school to a college. Orientation is compulsory for incoming college students. Registration for orientation is typically first-come, first-serve. Make sure to book your reservation early! 

Orientation typically occurs during the summer and is a great way to familiarize yourself with the campus, services, classrooms, dorm rooms, and more. Colleges conduct orientation for a fresh batch of students to ease the transition into college. It makes students meet other students, become familiar with campus services, and register for fall classes. 

While orientation is conducted for students, we can see the trend transforming as colleges have recognized the fact that parents need help dealing with the transition. To the traditional student orientation, there is an added parent orientation. Parents could consider attending the orientation if it is offered by the college.

Table Of Content

What Will You Do At Orientation

What Should You Wear For Your Orientation

Is It Necessary For Parents To Attend College Orientation

Orientation Sessions Are Different For Different Schools

What Else Does Orientation Offer You

What If I Don’t Attend The College Orientation

What Will You Do At Orientation?

Here are some things you should expect during your first college orientation!

  • It makes you abreast of college life. It gives you an opportunity to attend sessions like informational sessions and advising sessions. You learn about school policies, general rules, the honor code, and more. It gives you a wealth of information in a short span of time.

  • Also during the evening, many colleges offer fun activities like and games.

The college’s goal is to make you familiar with college life so that when you arrive on campus in the fall you can hit the ground running. It allows you to make friends, and become familiar with different students, purchase textbooks, and become comfortable with exploring the campus.

Orientation offers you a platform to understand the courses that are mandatory in your first year, and also helps you to develop a plan in mind regarding your intended major. Many colleges require you to take Rhetoric, for example, in your first year, but if you take AP English and Speech in high school, you can just have a glance at those courses.

Always remember that orientation isn’t scary! It’s the time to get ready for your upcoming semester and learn more about where you’ll be spending the next four or five years. Many students meet their lifelong friends during this event. You should make sure you have everything you need to complete paperwork and be comfortable during the orientation process.

What Should You Wear For Your Orientation?

Remember the saying “first impression is the last impression”? So, take this as an opportunity to show your confident personality. Wear a dress, that makes you look confident and ready for a professional degree. This will help you create a positive impression in front of your classmates, faculties, and advisors. You do not have to necessarily wear a completely formal, but you may consider wearing semi-formal clothes.

However, it is also important to feel comfortable with feeling confident. As you may have to go for a campus tour, do a lot of walking and standing. So, make sure to wear comfortable clothes as well as footwear.

Is It Necessary For Parents To Attend College Orientation?

Well, it is not mandatory for parents to attend the college orientation program. However, there is nothing to lose. This is also a chance for parents to know a little more about the college they are going to send their child to for a couple of years. 

You will have sessions with the dean of college and students. This is a great opportunity to ask them questions regarding your child’s future and the opportunities to build a strong career. 

Besides, there will be information on subjects such as student counseling, study abroad opportunity, financial aid plans, health centers and sports, and extracurricular.

Orientation Sessions Are Different For Different Schools

Every school has different guidelines. Some colleges divide you into random groups, some organize you by major. So if you are doing a major in one subject then you might end up meeting the students of your major in the orientation.

Some colleges have a weekend-long orientation. In that case, the students as well as the parents are provided with accommodation in the dorm hall. These are well maintained to create a good impression of the college and its accommodation. 

Make sure you read the paperwork they sent you, before attending the orientation session. This includes a schedule of everything you will do and the essentials you need to bring to the orientation.

What Else Does Orientation Offer You?

During orientation, some colleges test your abilities on certain subjects by conducting some placement tests. The tests mostly include some foreign language and Maths. The tests are conducted to judge your level and skills. Scores decide whether you have to start the course from beginner or intermediate level. These placement tests aren’t always required, and sometimes colleges will let you complete them at home on your own time. Make sure you read up on your college’s orientation requirements.

Colleges provide information about different clubs and organizations available on campus. It gives you a great opportunity to scrutinize and learn about each club and determine your potential lies in which club. Also, sign up for email and notifications of any kind of any club or organization you are remotely interested in. Ask for the contacts of respective clubs.

What If I Don’t Attend The College Orientation?

If someone told you it is not important to participate in college orientation, and you are planning not to attend it, then you are going to miss out on a lot of vital information. College orientation is your first chance to get introduced to the college that you are going to join for a two or four-year course program. 

Generally, there is much vital information that is shared in the college orientation program for the student as well as for parents. Such as, about the life on campus, cafeteria, courses, their majors, the faculty staff, clubs, future career opportunities, and a lot more. You definitely do not want to miss out on this information.

Besides, this is your opportunity to participate in the ice-breaking session. A chance to know your classmates and become comfortable with them. After all, you have to see them and be with them for the entire duration of your degree program.

Hence, if you skip your college orientation, you will miss your first chance at a lot of things. And feel left out for a while until you can make friends and get comfortable. So, try your best to attend your college orientation program.


Be active politically and decide whether you want to be part of a service organization, play intramural sports, write for the campus paper, work as a volunteer, this is a time to get through knowledge on everything. This helps you to stay in the loop and make a decision once you arrive at the campus. All the best !!

Recent Articles

How to get the highest possible ACT score: A complete guide

Do College Credits Expire ? : College Credit Guide [2024]

What Is a Good SAT Score?

How to Get a Scholarship in 6 Easy Steps?

Undergraduate vs Graduate: What Is the Difference?

Time Management for College Students: 8 Helpful Tips