What to Pack for Freshman Orientation (Includes More than the Essentials)

Tyson Schritter

Reviewed and edited by Tyson Schritter : 26 May, 2024.

So, you’ve looked over and over for the perfect packing list for college Freshmen Orientation, and yet you can’t shake the feeling that you’re forgetting something, right? Well search no further—here’s the ultimate checklist for orientation! We include more than just the essentials to make sure you’re covered, from attire and toiletries to the questions you should ask while you’re there!

First-Year Student (Day Visit):

  • A copy of the Orientation Schedule
  • A list of places you’d like to explore during your visit
  • Identification Card/Photo ID (Passport, License, or Permit)
  • Login information to access your Student Account (NetID and Password)
  • A copy of your Transcript (Unofficial or Official)
  • Spending Money
  • Mobile Device and Charger
  • A pen/pencil and journal for note-taking
  • Campus Map (Downloaded app for the school, if possible)
  • Bag or Backpack

Recommended dressing for a Freshmen Orientation:

Make sure to check the forecast for a Freshmen Orientation! You’ll need to dress appropriately for the school’s climate and the weather conditions during orientation. Also note that orientation involves a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes. You might want to wear layers as well, because many of the buildings and halls you visit will probably be cold. Even if you’re traveling in the summer, you’ll want to have a jacket.

  • Comfortable Shoes
  • Light or Heavy Jacket (Depending on the Climate)
  • Eye-wear
  • Jeans
  • Comfortable Shirt
  • Umbrella

First-Year Student (Overnight Visit):

  • Pillow
  • Twin Sheet Set
  • Blanket
  • Toiletries and Personal Hygiene Items
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
    • Hair-Styling Tools
    • Soap and Shampoo
    • Deodorant
  • Shower Shoes (Slides, Flip Flops)
  • Water and Snacks
  • Pajamas
  • A change of clothes for Day 2

Orientation is only a short visit, so try to take only what you need. You’ll want to save packing everything up for move-in day (Free Move-In Packing List). Pack lightly and efficiently. The only things you should have plenty of are questions! Orientation is the perfect time to find out what you want to know to prepare for your first year. Come fully prepared for the Q&A sessions!

The Affordable College Packing List Where You Spend $500 or less

Questions You Should Ask Your Orientation Leader:

  • How can I contact my roommate before move-in day?
  • Should I purchase textbooks before classes start, or should I wait?
  • How many student organizations are there, and how do I get involved?
  • What recommendations do you have for choosing a dorm?
  • What’s the best way to get around campus without a car?
  • How does scheduling classes work?
  • Can I edit my class schedule after orientation?
  • What are a few of the school traditions?
  • What campus resources are available for tutoring or assistance in a class?
  • What recreational activities are on campus?
  • Where’s the best parking on campus?
  • Is there a student health center?
  • Are there any financial aid opportunities available?
  • Are there any professors whose classes you’d recommend?
  • How much are parking decals, laundry services, and printing fees on campus?
  • How is the variety of food in the dining halls?
  • Are there any resources available for getting around campus at night?
  • Are there any opportunities to work on campus (work study)?
  • Where are the best places to study and do homework?
  • Are there any career services/development resources for seniors?
  • Is there anything on campus that can help me get an internship?
  • How does the meal plan work?
  • How is the campus secured?

More Helpful Guides:

Freshmen through Senior Year High School Checklist

Why You Should Visit Your School Counselor (Early College Prep)

Should You Apply to College Early?

Road Rules: Get the Most Out of a College Visit

Have more questions? Contact us or tweet us @CoDSchoolSearch!  

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