Ready, Get Set, Go! What to Expect at Orientation

New Student Orientation is already in full swing, but for those of you who haven't been yet, here's what you can expect!

First off, these items might be helpful:

  • A water bottle or small fan, since it will be hot. 
  • Comfortable walking shoes, since you'll be walking a lot
  • Flip flops for the shower
  • A sleeping bag or blanket - sheets and a pillow are provided
  • Some extra cash for breakfast on the second day or a late-night Pizza X run
  • Coffee. It's a long day. 

Get there early. Even if you arrive just a few minutes before, it's worth it. The check-in line will be long, and even though the line moves fairly quickly, it still takes a while. If you're staying in the dorm for the night (which I think is Union Street Center this year), you'll need to wait in another line to get your key and room assignment. You may or may not have time to take your luggage into your room, but if you can't, you'll usually be able to store your stuff in a designated room.

Once everyone checks in, you and your parents will split and begin your information sessions. You'll attend several throughout the day, and you'll talk about everything from student resources on campus, to how to choose your classes, to how to use your student ID - also known as the Campus Access card, to how to deal with finances (yes, that's part of college too). Later in the day, you'll hear from a professor about what to expect in a typical classroom. 

After your morning session, you'll break into your assigned orientation groups and begin placement testing. You take two tests: one in a foreign language of your choice and one in math. The tests take about an hour and a half. You'll then have lunch with your group and play a few icebreaker games. 

Next, if they still do this, you'll watch a student musical addressing some of the social issues you'll face in college such as diversity in the dorm and the party scene. It's actually kind of funny, so laugh and enjoy. Then, you and your group will meet to discuss the readings you were sent before you came and to ask questions you might have about any subject. 

After some afternoon information sessions, you and your family will meet for dinner in one of the food courts. Then, you'll reunite with your group and tour the Student Recreational Sports Center (SRSC). The SRSC is huge and they have all sorts of cool giveaways there! I remember receiving a cup and filling it with candy.After 

The rest of the evening is very laid back. You'll have a chance to relax in your room, or hang out in the dorm and meet some of your fellow Hoosiers! If the weather cooperates, your group leader will take you on a night tour of campus complete with some of the items on the IU Bucket List. And if weather cancels the official tour, you can gather a group and give yourselves your own tour!  

This is the most fun part of orientation! I loved getting to meet other new students like me and just relax after a long, information-filled day. Some people choose to stay with family in nearby hotels, but I recommend  you stay on campus to get the full orientation experience. You'll soon be living on your own, so it's a good idea to get a feel for it now! Plus, if you stay on campus, you get free delicious Pizza X breadsticks. 

The next day, you'll meet with an advisor and choose your classes. You're assigned a meeting time, so wake up, eat breakfast, and check out of your room accordingly. The meeting will last roughly 30 minutes, after which you'll receive your student ID (so look pretty!). Then, you'll go to Wells library to officially sign up for classes. Once you print your schedule, orientation is officially over.

In the Wells lobby, various student resource centers will have displays and information available for you and your parents. You can also tour your residence hall, explore other parts of campus, or check out all the shops and restaurants on Kirkwood. The possibilties are endless! 

Although orientation lasts less than two days, it's a great launching point for new students. Orientation really got me excited to start school in the fall, and I hope it does the same for you.

Here are a few more articles you might like to help you prepare for New Student Orientation at IU.

About The Author
Alyssa SchorProud IU Student, Class of 2016

Hello Hoosiers! My name is Alyssa Schor and I'm a journalism major specializing in public relations with a minor in psychology. I've previously written for the Indiana Daily Student and this fall will serve as editor-in-chief of The Odyssey, a publication geared for students in Greek life. It's the perfect cross between my passion for Greek life, my skills in journalism and my career goals in PR.

I'm a member of the PR committee for IU Dance Marathon and have also helped out the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) with their annual Greek media training event. I like chocolate and food in general a lot, and you'll occasionally find me at Hillel eating their delicious challah and matzah ball soup (or whatever else they're serving that day). 

This is now my third year (what?!) blogging for, and I keep doing it because I'm so excited to share my stories with you and serve as a great resource for current and future IU students. If there is anything you want me to write about, let me know!