Orientation Checklist: What You Need to Bring


Can’t wait to start your first year of college?  Well, before your classes get rolling and before you know the ropes, you’ll probably be attending a student orientation.  Depending on the school, orientation can last anywhere from a day to a whole week.  During orientation, you’ll learn a lot about your new school and your new classmates.  Below is a list of 5 things that you should bring for your orientation.

A pen
You’ll probably receive plenty of paperwork during orientation.  When you are taken for tours around campus and if you attend assemblies, your group’s orientation leader or “OL” may have pamphlets with relevant information to give you.  They can be from places like the academic center, the health center, the library, etc.  Always listen to what your OLs have to say; they are seasoned college students and are trained to know what’s what.  If you keep a pen handy, you can jot down any additional information that you’ll want to remember.  It’s also helpful to write down the times and locations of various orientation events that are being offered, so that you’re sure to stay on schedule.

Required documents
If you have any important documents that need to be turned in, make sure to bring them with you.  Some forms that you might have to turn in to various departments include medical records like a list of your immunizations. Try not to lose any paperwork in your dorm room as it will probably be a bit chaotic in there until you’re completely unpacked.  Find out where you need to drop off your paperwork and turn in the forms when you have time between orientation events.

List of required books
As soon as you know your class schedule, write down the titles for all the textbooks you need.  To make it easier for the folks at the campus bookstore, you should also jot down the course numbers or codes of the textbooks’ corresponding classes.  You’ll beat some of the bookstore traffic if you take the time to go during orientation because there won’t be too many upperclassmen around yet.  Just remember that it’s important to keep your receipt so you can return the books if you change your class schedule later on.

ID + keys
Don’t forget your dorm key!  As soon as you receive it, always keep it with you, and never leave your room without it.  Odds are you’ll feel a little stressed at first, so it’ll be much easier for you if you don’t get locked out of your room within the first couple days.  Early on, you’ll also get your college ID photo taken.  It’s important that once you get your student ID that you always have it on hand.  Without it, you may be denied entrance to buildings and dorms.  Orientation leaders and RAs are often lenient about keys and IDs during orientation, but there will eventually be penalties including hefty fees.  Things will be smooth as silk if you remember to have your ID and keys with you at all times.  It’s helpful to start keeping good habits as soon as possible!

An open mind!
Some orientation activities can seem a little cheesy.  There’s likely to be a lot of getting-to-know-you exercises and games you thought were childish for 6-year olds.  For some people, it might be tempting to skip out on such events, but they can really be worth your time if you give them a chance.  Remember that everyone’s in the same boat at orientation.  If you’re worried about making friends, just know that your peers are, too.  Orientation is a perfect time to make acquaintances and friends.  Bring an open mind to orientation, attend the events and get to know some of your classmates.  You might just meet your new best friend!