What to Expect at Freshman Orientation

3/16/2018 10:33 amUniversity Co-op

What to Expect at Freshman Orientation


Orientation: it's the first taste of college, freedom, of the next four years of your life. But what exactly...is it? Here's the low-down on everything you'll be doing, and all you need to know to make it through.


What to Bring: 

  • Lightweight clothes: It is hot and you'll be walking outside a lot. Shorts, t-shirts, and plenty of extra clothes in case you get too sweaty.
  • Walking shoes: Seriously, you'll be walking a ton. They don't call it the Forty Acres for nothing :)
  • Umbrella: Just in case. You don't want to be stuck without one if you need it.
  • Water bottle: Did we mention it will be hot? Orientation is so not the time to get dehydrated.
  • Backpack: Just something lightweight to carry your stuff around in.
  • Laptop: You will definitely want this when it comes time to do your registration research (and actually register).
  • Extra blanket: They keep Jester super cold. So cold. Bring a blanket!
  • Calculator: For the placement test
  • Pencils and pens Notebook: To take notes in for registration and from advising
  • Snacks: You get money for meals, but just keep a little extra in your room
  • Toiletries: Duh. Hygiene is important, y'all!

The Dorm:

  • You'll be staying in Jester! You can get assigned any type of room - renovated or not, private or community bath. It's a great glimpse into dorm life if you're living on campus in the fall!
  • You'll be paired a random roommate - there's a tiny chance you could stay with a friend if you both are in line together and have a similar last name...but don't bank on it. They will likely pair you with someone of the same major, but it's not guaranteed!
  • You have mandatory wing meetings with your hallway and Orientation Adviser. Go to them! They have very helpful information about what's going on. 

The Mandatory Activities:

  • Each day there are plenty of planned activities for you to go to. Make sure you get the Orientation app so you don't forget anything!
  • Depending on your major you will have to take the Math placement exam! Make sure you're prepared.
  • You will have mandatory peer advising and academic advising. They will help you put together your schedule!
  • You may have a mandatory College or Major-specific info session - these are super helpful too, and often come with free lunch :)
  • Each evening there are presentations and performances that are mandatory. The topics can be kind of serious, but they are there to set a tone for an accepting and diverse campus. 
  • Registration! The most important mandatory activity is of course, registration. Come early and come prepared!
  • Sometime during your orientation you will have to get your student ID! The line in the FAC is always much shorter than Jester.

The Optional Activities:

  • All day and through the night there are tons of activities to go to, and you should go!
  • During the day, there are info sessions, Q&As, and campus tours. These can be super helpful! There are sessions on study abroad, campus safety, double majoring, and more.
  • Once each session there is a huge student org fair! Make sure to check it out. You are sure to find a club or two or ten that you're interested in - and it's a great place to sign up for email lists so you are reminded of info sessions or recruitment when fall comes!
  • Late night activities include games in the Union, comedy shows, or late-night campus tours. These are a great way to meet people and make friends!


  • Registration isn't as bad as everyone says it is! It can be stressful, and classes (especially UGS) go fast, but come prepared and you'll be just fine!
  • You'll be assigned a room based on your major - there you'll have access to advisers and computers if you need one. 
  • Be early! Log in, have your unique numbers ready, and count down until the hour hits!
  • Remember, even if you don't get a class, it's not the end of the world. Have back-ups prepared, and get on any waitlists you can. 
  • Check out UT's tips on registration here.

General Tips and Advice:

  • Come early to orientation! The check-in line can get super long, so plan to arrive as soon as it opens for the day.
  • Familiarize yourself with the campus. It can be super easy to get lost your first few days on campus. Buildings you'll need to know include Jester, FAC, Hogg Auditorium, and your individual college.
  • Use rate my professor, but take it with a grain of salt. It can be a great resource to gain a better idea of what you're signing up for, but remember, most people only post when they're really upset.
  • Make friends! You may not keep in touch after orientation, but talk to new people, go out and experience the planned events, and try new things: that's what college is all about.

Welcome Freshmen and Hook 'Em!