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Summer Orientation for Freshmen - Does it make a difference which one you attend..early/middle/late?

Acadia2023Acadia2023 29 replies10 threads Junior Member
If a school offers several summer orientations for incoming freshmen - are there any benefits to attending one earlier or later in the summer?
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Replies to: Summer Orientation for Freshmen - Does it make a difference which one you attend..early/middle/late?

  • Twoin18Twoin18 2092 replies21 threads Senior Member
    Many colleges reserve equal numbers of spots in high demand classes for each orientation session. But others don't and in that case going to an earlier session is highly advisable. So check that, especially for large public universities.
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  • momocarlymomocarly 996 replies12 threads Senior Member
    Agree with Twoin18. Check your school. We had friends who went to a later session at University of Texas Austin that couldn't get in to a few of their desired entry engineering programs because they were full. They got on a waiting list and got into one but not the other.
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  • Acadia2023Acadia2023 29 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Thanks @Twoin18. Orientation is described as a chance to meet other students, touch-base with various offices on campus, get some academic advising, etc. Not a large public university but your point is well taken and could apply to something at this school as well.
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 2092 replies21 threads Senior Member
    Presumably "get some academic advising" means pick first semester classes. That's the important part, even if most of the time is spent meeting classmates and going to various lectures about behavior, safety, etc.

    We found it really helpful to have researched what classes are needed and what choices need to be made in advance of actually going to orientation. For one kid (ironically the one where the early orientation was important) she had no problem getting classes and most of them were compulsory anyway, for the other (where there were equal numbers of spots for each session, but many more choices), he had to draw straws for order of registration within their orientation group and the last kid to pick didn't get one class he wanted.
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  • wis75wis75 14374 replies65 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2019
    Check with the school to see if they do reserve class spots for later registration. Hopefully they do. That said, I would opt for the first available/convenient session just in case.

    Even though my son went to my alma mater (and in home town area so we had visited many times) we did go to the parents' session and it was worth it. Many questions answered that your son/D will not know or bother to tell you. It was also not only a trip down memory lane but realizing college is for the young- dorm lifestyle and those hills are meant for the young and fit! Met many people among parents as son did with students but none became a part of his college life. Don't worry at all about this. In fact, the students met during the first semester in the dorm may not be the ones time is spent with later. Friendships come with common experiences and interests, as students attend classes they find friends and expand beyond their dorm.
    edited May 2019
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  • thumper1thumper1 77981 replies3490 threads Senior Member
    Our kids both went to the very last orientation...the one right before move in day. BUT they registered for their classes online way at the beginning of the summer. DS didn’t really have a lot of “choices” with his major.

    Don’t most colleges do online registration for all now?
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  • garlandgarland 16423 replies206 threads Senior Member
    ^Many do not for the first semester.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82713 replies738 threads Senior Member
    Yes, if new frosh register for courses at orientation, going to an earlier one means earlier pick of courses (or what times of day for lecture/discussion/lab still have space).
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24542 replies19 threads Senior Member
    One of my kids went to one of the latest registrations sessions because, coming from OOS, some of the earlier ones were while she was still in hs )in May) and because it worked out for a family wedding to go in late June. Her major had reserved all of her in-major classes but there were two other classes they couldn't reserve but always suggested their freshmen take (Western Civ and psychology). Well, she got the worst Western Civ discussion group possible, but I was able to change that. I also switched her to an English class. No big deal. There is always drop/add.

    Other daughter's school only had orientation the week before school started because they have so many international students. They also pre-assign classes for all freshmen for the first semester.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9813 replies110 threads Senior Member
    This is definitely school specific. D’s school opens seats in classes for each of the orientation dates. There is no difference going early or late. In some cases going later actually is a benefit because AP scores are in and students don’t need to guess on their scores.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24542 replies19 threads Senior Member
    Of course I discussed it with her and NO ONE I spoke to who had ever been to college thought having a class at 4 pm on a Friday and being her only class of the day was a good idea (most were shocked a course was even offered at 4 pm on a Friday), so we changed it and added a class right before it. She always asked me to look at her schedule and to make suggestions for courses or times, to make the puzzle work, all through college.

    This child is not good at visualizing a schedule and couldn't 'see' what it would look like. The adviser gave everyone the same schedule as that was easier for him. When she was applying for graduation, she had a ton of lower level fill in classes and psych would have been one more that didn't meet any core requirements. English met several pre-reqs for other classes she would like/need to take, and it met core requirements. I could have left it up to her but she would have required an extra year to get all the classes required for the core university requirements and the A&S requirements. The adviser didn't care because he wasn't paying.

    Yep, I knew more than the adviser. For HER. And I cared more because it was my kid and my money.

    I always had access to both kids' portals in order to pay the bills. I wasn't sneaky, they gave me access to their portals. For my other kid, I never even knew what classes she was taking because she didn't need my help. This one did.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9813 replies110 threads Senior Member
    Just out of curiosity, is it typical for schools to have one portal that accesses everything? At D's school the bursar's account is totally separate and D had to make us authorized users on the account to pay the bill. We can't see anything else - no housing, scheduling, grades, etc...

    D has had nothing but good experiences with her advisors. Sometimes class times weren't ideal but she gets the right advice for what she needs, and there are multiple tools for her to be sure that she isn't falling behind on graduation requirements. I would hope that the advisors at most schools would not be making errors about core requirements. I would be having a cow about that too.
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14468 replies104 threads Forum Champion
    And if you live far away,t here may be some secret right before school starts orientations...we were living overseas and returning to the States later in the summer when my DD started college...we didn't see a orientation she could go to but there was a orientation for International students a couple of days before school started that wasn't mentioned...she went to that.

    I agree, go to the earliest one you can/sign up for classes as soon as you can so you don't get shut out.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82713 replies738 threads Senior Member
    Of course I discussed it with her and NO ONE I spoke to who had ever been to college thought having a class at 4 pm on a Friday and being her only class of the day was a good idea (most were shocked a course was even offered at 4 pm on a Friday)

    Why is it such a shock that a course is offered at 4pm on Friday?
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  • garlandgarland 16423 replies206 threads Senior Member
    Good question. I taught first semester comp at 4 on Fridays last fall.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9813 replies110 threads Senior Member
    My daughter was in class until 5:30 on Fridays this past semester. Lots of labs meet Saturday mornings at her school as well.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24542 replies19 threads Senior Member
    Most schools have very few classes on Fridays, and none late in the day unless it is an afternoon lab that ran 3-4 hours. This was a 50 minute discussion group (the actual class was MW at 4, which she had no trouble with) and the only thing she'd have, so if she wanted to work or leave for the weekend it would have been very tempting to skip the discussion group. The Friday before Thanksgiving many students skipped the classes (and the Monday and Tuesday classes too) and received a 0 on the 'unscheduled quiz' that was given. Neither of my kids ever had a Friday afternoon class except this one.

    Yes, both my kids had everything on the student portal. I think there was a way for parents to just get the financial pages but we never set that up. Before they even started school I needed a copy of the statement to send to a scholarship they were each receiving and it took me forever to negotiate the portals. One of my kids had to change her password every 3 months or so, so she always had to send me the new one when it came time for taxes or to pay something. Both schools only issued the 1098-T online. I didn't stalk them, read their emails, or check their grades. But I could have!

    Maybe your kids are responsible and send you all the tax documents on time, but mine weren't organized. I was always pulling stuff at midnight on April 14th.

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  • garlandgarland 16423 replies206 threads Senior Member
    I would be surprised if most state schools don't have Friday classes. They have limited means and have to stretch all possible resources. My Friday four o-clock first-year comp class wasn't even the latest; there was another at 5:30.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9813 replies110 threads Senior Member
    My private college even back in my day had evening and Saturday classes, especially labs.
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