Congrats, you’re about to start an exciting new chapter of your life at college/university! The first real taste of campus life, though, begins with college orientation week. From moving into your dorm to meeting other students, college orientation week can be really exciting. But when you’re introverted, sometimes all the icebreaker games and high-energy events can make college orientation a little overwhelming. So here are a few tips to not only survive but make the most of your college orientation week. First things first, though, what exactly is college orientation?  

What is college orientation week?

College/university orientation week is about helping incoming students transition from high school to college/university. Every school’s different, but usually, college orientation gives you a week before class to learn all about your school. You get to meet new people, learn about campus resources and figure out how to get around campus. By day, you will often go to different informational sessions to learn about your school and faculty. Then at night, many schools have fun activities you can go to like concerts, events and dances. Plus, there’s usually free merch and free food thrown in there for good measure. 

But with all the craziness of college orientation week, it can all get draining pretty quickly as an introvert. So, here are a few tips for dealing with the stress and making the most of your college orientation week. 

Tips for making the most of college orientation week

Be prepared

Start college orientation week off on the right foot by being prepared. As you will probably be walking around quite a bit, wearing comfortable clothes and comfortable shoes are a must. A few other things to bring with you include a reusable water bottle, snacks, and a portable phone charger. Also, you will probably get a lot of information, and there’s no way you will remember it all, so bring something you can write with, like a notebook or even just your phone. 

Ask questions

College orientation week is the perfect time to ask any burning questions you have. From upper-year students to professors, there are people on campus who are ready and are actually excited to help you. Plus, they have an inside track on the ins and outs of campus life. So before orientation week, come up with a list of questions you want answered. That way, you can learn more about them and the helpful knowledge that they no doubt would love to share. If you don’t want to ask your questions in a big group of people, though, that’s totally okay. You will get separated into smaller groups for sessions throughout the week, so feel free to ask your questions then.

Try your best to participate

For many introverts, the thought of orientation week is both stressful and terrifying. With icebreaker games, high-energy events, and randomly introducing yourself to people, it can take a lot out of you. As scary as these things can be, they are not only a big part of college orientation week, they are a great way to meet new people. You never know, that person you met in the dining hall might lead to a life-long friendship. So even though it is hard and your first instinct might be to shy away from it all, try your best to participate in activities and connect with people. This doesn’t mean that you have to become Little Miss Extrovert, though. If you want to connect with people, but don’t know where to start, here are some good questions to get the conversation going: 

  • “I love your _____ (shoes/top/earrings/etc.)” 
  • “Where’s home for you?” 
  • “What’s your major/program?”
  • “What dorm are you living in?” 
  • “What courses are you taking?” 
  • “Why did you pick this college/university?” 

It may seem silly, but you can connect with people better and find people with common interests by trying your best to ask people questions. In my experience, sometimes, you just need to take a deep breath and give it a shot. I met one of my closest friends during college orientation week, and it all started with us bonding over our love of Taylor Swift. So hey, you never know unless you try.  

Practice self-care

College orientation week is the start of an exciting chapter for you, but with things like moving away from home for the first time, being overloaded with lots of information and resources, and non-stop socializing, it can be a lot to handle. There’s a good chance that you will experience a whole whirlwind of emotions ranging from excitement to sadness to exhaustion. This is normal, so cut yourself some slack.

Even if your days and evenings are jammed pack with non-stop events and activities, make sure you take time to recharge and practice some self-care, whatever that looks like for you. From going for a walk to texting someone from home, make sure you don’t push yourself too hard and take occasional breaks from the orientation week craziness.  

Have fun

As cheesy as this might sound, a big part of college orientation week is having fun. So even if this might not be your thing, try your best to make the most of it. This time is all about starting your college/university on the right foot, so even if it’s hard or not what you’re used to, meet some new people, take some photos, and have some fun.

Here are my tips for surviving college orientation week as an introvert. What tips will you be using to get through your orientation week? Let me know in the comments.