D.R. of Floral Park, NY writes:

Is attending a college's orientation really necessary?

The College Whisperer responds:

Yes. Yes. And allow me to reiterate. YES!

You don't say whether you are a student or a parent, but, in either case, taking advantage of all that college orientation has to offer is critical -- and loads of fun.

For the student, hey, this is where you'll be spending the next four, and very exciting years of your life. Check out the facilities, from dorm rooms to lecture halls. Taste the food in the dining halls. [Most of it is pretty darn good these days. Still, your palate will need to adjust. For better or worse, it's not Mom's cooking. The Freshman 15 awaits -- or not! ;-)] Attend the seminars, workshops and programs offered by the school administration ans student groups. [They are often as entertaining as they are informative.] Partake of social offerings and activities on campus, from concerts to informal BBQs. Pick up a copy of the campus newspaper, and find out what's going on on -- and off -- campus. Ask questions, like, "Where's the best place to get my nails done?" [There really are no silly ones.] Meet your fellow members of the Class of 2014. Make new friends, and catch up with old ones.

For the parent, well, what can I say? This is where your money will be spending the next four years! Get a feel for campus life and where your son or daughter will be spending a most adventurous and, hopefully, enjoyable part of his or her life. Share some of the planned orientation session with your child, making this a mutually rewarding and memorable college experience. Then, spend some time on your own, exploring the many and varied aspects of college and campus life.

Orientation is also a great ice-breaker for parents and students alike. A time to let down the guard built up during the arduous application and admission process, to alleviate the apprehension and anxiety, to learn the ropes, if not the way to the library, to bond with folks and classmates, and to simply kick back, have a blast, and celebrate the fact that "you're in!"

If you have yet to schedule a campus orientation, it is typically not too late to do so. Tis' the season, after all, and college admin wants you to be as prepared as possible to hit the quad running in the fall, and as comfortable being a part of the college community. Call your college admission's office to plan your visit, questions in hand, an open mind above your shoulders, and ready to have the best time of your life!
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For an overview of what to expect at college orientation, click HERE. Also, be sure to check out the college's website. Most schools post detailed information regarding student/family orientation.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of The College Whisperer.

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