Your first week on campus is often critical to the rest of your college journey. This is why colleges go to great lengths to make it as relaxed and stress-free as possible. Orientation Week (also known as Welcome Week) will be your first taste of campus life, and helps you get your bearings on what to expect. Here are CollegEnroll’s top 10 tips on how to make the most of orientation.

1. Take the campus tour at the first available opportunity. This is going to be a second home to you. 

Knowing your campus like the back of your hand will pay-off massively over time. A college campus can be huge, with your classes spread out across various buildings. Take a campus tour as soon as you can to figure out what is where, and the quickest ways to get to and from different buildings.

2. Explore the campus facilities. You’re going to have to know where the grub and gym are. 

There are a number of facilities on campus that exist to make student life as comfortable and hassle-free as possible. Residence and catering services, student centers, and the on-campus gyms are just some of the facilities you will interact with on an almost daily basis – see what they have to offer and how you can benefit from them.

3. Join clubs / interest groups to meet new people. If you try and you’re lucky, you’ll make connections for life. 

Chances are you aren’t the only new person on campus who likes anime, plays basketball, wants to join a band, or loves movies. There are numerous clubs and interest groups available on any campus, and provide a great place to meet like-minded people.

4. Attend as many events as possible. This is where the food, fun, and network is at. 

Orientation week sees campuses play host to numerous events, most of them fun and the perfect ice-breakers. Try to get to as many of these events as possible – many events tend to have free food and you could end up feeding yourself for a week without paying!

5. Check out the library services. Your assignments will need more than just a fast internet connection.

Whether you are looking for a quiet place to study or are seeking help with some research, the college library will be your go-to destination. Most on-campus libraries have a treasure trove of services you can access, and getting to know about it all during welcome week will come in very handy.

6. Hang out with and get to know your roommate(s). You might end up with friendships that will last a lifetime.

Colleges do their best to pair roommates based on commonalities, but also based on differences. After all, a key component of college life is interacting with and getting to know people from different backgrounds, and even countries. Spend time with your roommate(s) to discover who you’ll be sharing a roof with during the next few semesters.

7. Engage with current students and seek them out for advice. They are the most trustworthy ambassadors of your college. 

Even students who have spent only one year at a college campus are great resources of information and tips. Talk to them and find out which are the best places to hang out, what pitfalls to avoid, and get the inside scoop on classes and professors.

8. Take advantage of Welcome Week discounts. Save some dollars!

During orientation, you will find plenty of on-campus stores, and even some off-campus ones, offering great discounts. Take full advantage of these discounts since student life can be expensive. This is a great time to stock up on college merch (think hoodies and lanyards) as well as non-perishable food like canned soups and chili.

9. Get pending paperwork out of the way. This is arguably voted as the most painful bit of orientation, so wrap it up.

Once classes begin, you’ll have little time to break away from them to fill out and submit paperwork. Get any pending paperwork, like submitting transcripts and applying for financial aid, out of the way during orientation week. College employees are extra-helpful during welcome week and this is the right time to get administrative work done.

10. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. No such thing as a stupid question, only a chance to learn more.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s what orientation week’s all about! Getting answers right now will save you a lot of hassle later. If you have a doubt, spell it out.

College life can be hectic; learning to balance studies and your personal life can take a while. However, making the most of orientation week will give you a much-needed head start down the right path. Moving-in day often corresponds with the beginning of orientation week – once your bags are unpacked, dive headfirst into everything your new life on campus has to offer!

Key takeaways:

  • Orientation week is the best time for new students to familiarize themselves with their college as well as campus life.
  • There are various events, tours and other activities that happen during orientation week – take advantage of these to learn about college life and meet new people on campus.
  • The tips and tricks students can pick up during orientation week can go a long way towards helping them navigate their time at college.