Thursday, June 16, 2016

{A Guide To} College Orientation

Earlier this week I went to my college orientation at Loyola Marymount University and it was seriously a life changing experience. It honestly made me feel that I 100% chose the right school for me and lifted any anxieties that I had about heading to school in the fall. For me, it was also beneficial to travel there alone so I wouldn't have my mom to lean on at orientation and was forced to make friends. Sometimes in situations like that I tend to stick to people I know, but because I was there alone I had to branch out and meet entirely new people, which is what college is all about! 

Because I have now gone through the experience I feel that I can give you the low down on orientation. What to wear, questions to ask, and more. I definitely won't cover everything and every college orientation is different, but here are some tips and things that I learned from college orientation.

1. Ask questions
Honestly, I hate asking questions. My mom prepared a long list of questions for me to ask at orientation, but of course I forgot it. I remembered some of the main things however...shipping items, move-in day, sorority rush, dorms, etc. Because I'm traveling 2,000 miles away from home for college it's a bit of a different situation. I had to ask questions about how to get all my stuff there, etc. Your orientation leaders are very equipped to answer practically every question because they've been through it all. They're all upperclassmen so they've experienced freshman year (and some even their sophomore year) so they know what you're going through and they know how to make your lives easier and better freshman year. No question is a dumb one so be sure to ask lots of questions.

2. Introduce yourself to people
I find that I'm super social when people talk to me first, but I'm not always the first person to go up and introduce myself. This is something I forced myself to do at this orientation. You don't have to be the most outgoing person there, but you do want to make friends. I was happy that I stayed two nights in the dorm because there were about 10 out of state students that stayed the first night too. It was super nice to have met a small group of people that you already knew before the other students arrived. I had talked to a few people online who were going to the same orientation as me and it ended up being the best decision ever. I went in sort of knowing a few people so it was much easier to introduce myself to them. 

3. Dress comfortably
You're probably going to be walking, a lot. So wear comfortable shoes! Of course the one time I go to southern California in the summer it's cloudy and 60 degrees, but thankfully I packed smart! Bring something that represents your style, but is also comfortable. I opted to wear jeans, a tank top and sandals on the first day and leggings, a jean jacket, white tee and converse the second day. Honestly, it's not a fashion show, but it's more fun to wear something you feel confident and comfortable with. 

4. Be nice!!!
This sounds so obvious, but definitely be open to meeting new people and be nice to people. No one wants to be friends with someone that's mean so just make sure you are nice to people and open to talking to them. It's the easiest way to make friends...just be nice! Compliment people, ask them about their major, ask them where they're from! Those are seriously the easiest conversation starters right there!

I think the best thing about orientation for me was just getting to meet a few of my future classmates and also relieving some of my anxieties about going so far from home. It never really crossed my mind that I was going so far until I was on that 4 hour plane ride and landed in LA. It was all so exciting, but you also realize that your family is a 4 hour flight away. Also, be sure that when you're at orientation you feel good vibes! It sounds dumb, but if there are bad vibes it might not be the right school for you. Orientation is a bit boring and there's hella team bonding, but overall it's worth your time and they really do help you prepare for the upcoming school year. 

Good luck!!


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