Every college student must complete an orientation before their freshman year begins. Although the goal of the long and boring information sessions is to prepare students for the school year, nothing can really prepare students for college life. College life is unlike anything you will or have ever experienced. For the first time students are completely on their own and one of the biggest problem most students face is the school work itself.
In high school, daily homework is assigned, you're used to weekly quizzes, and you're familiar with the multiple tests throughout the semester. In college, it is common to have two or three tests being the only grades in a class. You don’t have your parents or teachers bugging you to stay on top of your work, and there are an unlimited amount of distractions to keep you from doing your school work. With only a few test scores in a semester, it's easy to fall behind with one failing grade.
Another important factor that orientation doesn’t prepare you for is living on your own. Everyone always talks about moving away from home and the struggles that come with it, but nothing can prepare you for it. During orientation you might have a thousand or so in your group, then the first semester starts and students flood into the school and overwhelm the campus. I am not exaggerating when I say there are people everywhere at all times. For some students, the amount of people in a small area can be stressful, but one thing to keep in mind is that many of the kids are in the same position as you. Orientation is a great way to get you squared away with classes but it does not begin to prepare you for the school year. Freshman: you can adapt to college life; that is one of the best parts about going away to school.
When you look around at orientation, realize that some of the students around you will not make it to the Spring semester. Be sure you're ready for the challenges and meet them head on so you are one of those that sticks is out for the four (maybe five) years at university.