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Things to Know/Do Before First Year College Orientation

Posted on December 02, 2019

Picture of a lecture at University

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Spring Orientations are around the corner

Starting life as a freshman all over again after four great years of high school is never easy. We all are adjusted to our school schedules, regular hangouts, sports, practices, extracurricular and all the lovely people who made going to school every day worth it. But in order to move forth in life, and take our very first steps into adulthood, we will have to make many adjustments, and let go of a few of the most memorable aspects of our high school lives. If you want to enjoy your next four years, you need a good start and that start is Orientation. Not only does orientation help you to better understand the environment and community of the school, but it also gets you in the right headspace to tackle the oncoming challenges by easing your nerves and offering better insight into the next four years.

One of the first things you need to learn when you start college, and a phrase you’ll hear thrown around all the time on campus, is credit hours. What are credit hours, you ask? One credit hour is around one hour in a class. Often times, you’ll be in a class for three to four hours depending on the course, and different colleges will require a different number of credit hours to graduate. For example, my university requires 120 credit hours to graduate. (This number may vary if you take a double degree or double major.)

Another important thing to learn about is general education classes (also referred to as Gen-eds). Every college/university wants you to complete certain classes (Usually around fifty credit hours) in your four years. Read about different general education credits that your college offers and see what Gen-eds may help you in your major or align with your interests. More often than not, the gen-eds are categorized into different larger concepts/subjects, requiring you to pick a certain number of classes from each category which varies depending on the college.

The third important thing to know are major requirements. Every major has certain classes that need to be completed, and certain credit hours that need to be fulfilled in order to graduate from that major. Some majors can be completed in around 28 credit hours, and some may need around 60 hours to fully complete. A lot of times, when the major requires a smaller number of credit hours, the college wants you to work electives.

One of the most important things to do before orientation is to meet some people who are going to come with you to orientation. You are going to meet a lot of people during orientation, but it always helps to see a familiar face there, especially when everybody’s about to take a step into one of the most important times of their lives. Most universities have an official Facebook group for new people. Join the groups, introduce yourself, and let the fun begin.

The second most important thing to do is to charge your phone completely. This is one of the most important things to do because you will have a lot of information to absorb from many presentations and mini stations. Your phone will be helpful in taking quick notes and pictures of the slides. Not to mention it can help you find your way around if and when you get lost exploring a brand new campus.

Last, but most definitely not the least, get a good night’s sleep before orientation. It will be one of the busiest and most hectic days of your life.

Doing these things will most likely make your orientation a far better experience, one that you may enjoy, where you make new friends, and meet new mentors and role models, and you will cherish this as a lifelong memory.

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