Virginia student orientation leaders offer suggestions for incoming freshmen
Orientation is in full swing at campuses across the country, and while it may be too late for some campuses to prep their incoming freshmen, it’s never too early to start circulating important information for future arrivals.
In a University of Virginia writeup, two student orientation leaders offer some of their top items and considerations to help incoming freshmen better navigate their first days on campus. The list covers the full breadth of student life on campus, but here are a few highlights:
Bring an ID
A must for any university orientation, students should be carrying their government-issued ID for a host of reasons. But at Virginia and many other campuses, a government ID is required to pick up a student ID card. Virginia accepts U.S. driver licenses, state-issued ID cards, passports or U.S. military IDs, and crucially, photocopies and other forms of school-issued IDs are not accepted.
Keep it casual
Summer temperatures can be a major headache, so students definitely need to dress the part. As it relates to card issuance specifically, the summer heat has traditionally been the ID photo’s biggest nemesis. Between frizzed hair, running makeup and sweaty faces, it’s no wonder that many students have embraced online photo submission. But for those few students that haven’t the online photo route, staying cool while walking around campus is a must.
Utilize the campus shuttle
Orientation schedules, particularly at large institutions, routinely scatter students across large distances to cover things like dining, residential life, campus rec, student ID card issuance and other amenities. Besides being an incredibly hot walk, leveraging campus shuttles also familiarizes freshmen with the service for later use.
Use campus mobile apps
UVA has its own orientation app that stores all the information needed to survive the first days on campus. Items stored in the orientation app include a customizable calendar, social media feeds, orientation schedules and event details by session, orientation leader bios and contact info, travel information, items to bring, campus resources and FAQs.
Another app that Virginia — and many other universities — offers is Campus Maps. The app provides a comprehensive top-down view of the university with labels for each academic and residential building, as well as other important campus landmarks.
Freshmen are arriving on campus expecting these types of resources to be readily available and accessible from their mobile device. Providing these types of mobile apps not only aligns with student sensibilities, but also gives students the ability to better navigate more of their campus from day one.
For more on Virginia’s summer orientation guide, see the full writeup.