Every summer, new UT students go through a three-day orientation session that attempts to show them what life at The University of Texas is like. Although many of the programs are useless, it is important that you do take care of some things during orientation to ensure that your transition to college will be successful.
1) Meet people in your wing.
During your orientation session, you'll be placed in wings with other people of your gender. Don't be shy and talk to the people around you to get a better feel for what other incoming UT students are like. If you see someone alone, make sure to initiate conversation. Meeting people during orientation will ensure that you go into your first semester with a solid support group.
2) Explore campus.
The UT campus is huge and each building can be difficult to find. Grab a map during orientation and explore the area. Look at the buildings where your potential classes may be and learn how to get to the FAC, SAC, PCL and the Union. Using the Tower as a central navigation point can help you keep from getting lost.
3) Research potential classes.
On the last day of orientation, new students will be forced to register for their fall semester classes. Be sure to look up which courses you'll need for your major, so you're ready when registration comes. Also, it's helpful to consult websites such as MyEdu and and Rate My Professors to determine which professors are the best.
4) If you're a guy, go to fraternity events.
During orientation, a lot of fraternities will be hosting events to meet prospective rushees. It is important that you attend these if you are on the rush list so that you can meet actives and get your name out there for summer rush. Make sure to attend as many as possible so that you keep your options open as wide as possible for rush.
Get extremely intoxicated.
During orientation, most students are on their own for the first time, and some of feel they need to attend every party and go wild. This is a bad idea. Not only are students frequently cited for Minor in Possession and Minor Intoxication, but becoming belligerently drunk will make a bad impression on everyone you meet. It would be naive of me to say to avoid alcohol at all costs, but as always, make sure to be responsible.
Miss mandatory events.
Throughout orientation, there will be mandatory events put on by the university. These have included things in the past like financial aid seminars, study skills lectures, and diversity and important issues plays. Although many students find these boring, it is important to attend these so that your registration won't be restricted.
Attend with high school friends.
College is all about meeting new people and gaining new experiences. That is hard to do when you are stuck with your old friends. Although I'm not suggesting that you dump your old friends, you should try to branch out. Once school starts, you can go back to your friend group, but use orientation as a time to put your social skills to use.
Every UT student comes into orientation scared of their future and unsure of what the college experience will be like. Most people find that their fears were unfounded. UT is a tremendous school and has a place for every student's interests, personality and goals, so make sure to seek that out and your college experience will be wonderful.