Orientation: Don't go with expectations... just go.

The thing about orientation is that it probably seems scary, especially when you see the days ticking closer on your phone's countdown app. When you think about it, though, it’s something every incoming Hoosier has to do. If the whole student body of Indiana University has done it, you can too!

Here are some tips and things to think about during your stay in lovely B-town!

1. Expectations: Leave Them At Home!

My only hope going into orientation was that I would leave even more excited for school than I came. Any expectations I had built up for orientation were discarded on the car ride there as I reminded myself to keep an open mind about everything and take whatever was thrown at me and just run with it. Going in with that mindset made the difference between a great orientation experience and a subpar one, and, in the end, I met lots of cool people and left with 2 days in Bloomington now under my belt.

If you come out of orientation not really “feeling the love” though, here’s something to think about: Your experience at orientation is in no way any indication of what your overall IU experience will be like. Orientation is 2 days with a small group of people focused on getting acquainted with IU. Now, you have 4 years to spend with a whole bunch of people focused on a huge range of things. Isn’t that awesome?! Remember, your orientation constitutes only a fraction of next year’s incoming students. If you don’t click with anyone as well as you would have liked to, don’t sweat it. Maybe your future college best friends had their orientation a week before or a month after yours! Just keep that in mind.

2. Please come prepared. Please.

It's probably really nerve wracking showing up at orientation with no idea what classes you want to take, deciding on classes the morning of registration, then finding out once you begin registering that all of those classes are full. You can easily avoid this though! You'll receive an envelope in the mail (prior to orientation, of course) containing everything you need to know about orientation, including an “Academic Planning Worksheet.” USE IT. If you do this before orientation, your academic advisor will have a better grasp on what you’re interested in rather than having to pick your brain and brainstorm a set of classes for you to take.

Sidenote: I actually planned out my schedule before orientation! I looked at the teachers and times offered for every class I wanted to take and also made sure to watch the availability of each class to see if there would even be space left by the time my orientation began. Make sure you have backups, though- just to be safe in case a class fills up!

Go to http://registrar.indiana.edu/ to browse the selection of courses offered!

You can even go to http://ud.iub.edu/index.shtml to read the descriptions of all of those courses!

Nerdy But Necessary Tip: You might want to have a campus map on hand during registration to check if it's even possible to get from class A to class B on time! One of the classes I had intended to take was full by the time I began registering, so the map was really helpful when trying to figure out if my other options would even work time-wise!

3. Random, Yet Important Tips

  • Look nice on the 2nd day of orientation - that's when student ID pictures are taken!
  • On making friends: your best bet is to arrive with a good attitude and a smile on your face! Just introduce yourself and be friendly!
  • Stay overnight on campus instead of in a hotel! You'll meet more people and won't have to worry about missing out on any of the late-night festivities!
  • If you meet people you like on the first morning, exchange numbers! Chances are you'll be in different groups for the day, but you can always meet up later!
  • If there's a volleyball and a net around... BOOM. Instant friends. Just jump in!
  • Snap a picture between the Sample Gates to use for future #transformationtuesdays and whatnot (if you're into that)

Now that my orientation is over, it's time for BIGGER adventures...

For more articles about orientation:

About The Author
Tessa CateClass of 2018, Burke, Virginia

Travel junkie, country music lover, consumed by wanderlust and currently on a quest to learn how to play the guitar and sing at the same time. Sushi is my thing and I live for sunshiny days and windows-down car rides.

Happy reading!