6 reasons you won’t want to miss Orientation

Alexis Written by Alexis (she/her), student

University is about way more than classroom learning. It’s also about making memories and experiencing new things, and Orientation is the first step in doing just that.

Orientation is a university’s way of welcoming you to campus and setting you up for success. You’ll learn about available resources, get a feel for campus, and make some memories, too!

Interested in learning more about this incredible experience? Read on to learn what Orientation has to offer and what some current students loved the most about it.

Ease into university life

Coming to university is a new experience for most people. Your daily schedule may be different than what you’re used to, and you may be in a city you’re unfamiliar with. Since Orientation takes place before classes start, you’ll have a head start on meeting new people, learning about the university and city, and getting acquainted with your roommates.

I didn’t meet my two roommates until Orientation. They were both in different programs than I was, so it was nice to spend time getting to know them before classes began.

Learn what it means to be a Warrior

Water, water, water! Loo, loo, loo! Orientation will quickly introduce you to all things Waterloo and teach you what it truly means to be a Waterloo Warrior. Learn what makes Waterloo great and experience the Warrior spirit.

Quick tip: Black and Gold Day (black and gold are our school colours, FYI) is one of the most spirited Orientation events. Attend if you can, and get ready to be #UWaterlooProud.

Orientation leaders are upper-year students who are great resources for getting the inside scoop on student life. Use your time with them to ask any questions you may have. If you’re looking for a place to get your favourite food, a club to join, somewhere to study, or the best places to shop, ask! Leaders are always happy to share tips and advice!

Resources upon resources

Did you know the university offers supports for basically everything? From helping you adjust to a new environment to helping you go from an 80% to a 90% on an essay, the University is here to help. Take some time at Orientation to get a sense of what resources are available. You never know when you might end up needing them!

Orientation is also a great chance to chat with advisors before classes start and get answers to any questions you have about academics. Advisors are around during Orientation and are ready to answer your questions.

Get familiar with your new home

Orientation will help you get familiar with campus. You’ll get a sense of where your classes will be and you can even start to check out study spots and coffee shops!

Remember those Orientation leaders I mentioned earlier? They’re also great at helping you adjust to life on campus. As upper-year students, their insights can help you find the closest bank machine, the fastest way to get from your residence to class, or how to avoid the rain or snow using indoor pathways.

In my first year, I had a class that should have only been a 10-minute walk from my residence. But because I didn’t know the best route, I spent nearly 20 minutes getting to this class every morning. It wasn’t until the end of the term that I realized I could have been saving myself so much time. Learn from my mistakes, and ask upper-year students if you’re unsure of anything.

Learn more about what university has to offer by checking out these other links


A chance for new friendship

Waterloo has over 6,000 new students every year who come from all around the world. Orientation is a great way to start to meet people and make new friends!

Keep in mind that everyone at Orientation is in a similar situation. Most people won’t know anyone else, and they’re likely looking to make some new friends, too. Strike up a conversation with someone and you may be surprised at how well you hit it off!

A lot of my friends that I met at Orientation are still some of my best friends today. – Nathan

When I came to university, Orientation helped me to meet some other first-year students and to begin feeling at home. Making connections helped me to settle in before classes. Who doesn’t like seeing a familiar face on the first day of classes when you’re trying to find somewhere to sit?

Have some fun!

There’s plenty of fun to be had during Orientation. Whether you prefer low-energy activities like watching a play (make sure you check out Single and Sexy!) or you’re ready to cheer your heart out at a football game (go to Black and Gold Day!), you’ll find something that you’ll enjoy.

My favourite things about Orientation were the exciting and fun activities that leaders had planned for us. I enjoyed Waterloo Park day where we played many games and got to know many people. – Aujas

My favourite thing about Orientation in first year was learning the secret Science dance. – Jocelyn 

All activities at Orientation are completely voluntary. If there’s something you’re not into, don’t stress! You can still have a great time at Orientation without participating in every activity.

Start your university experience off with a bang!  

Hopefully by now you realize just how much Orientation can do for you. Between educating you about resources you may need, teaching you about what it means to be a Waterloo Warrior, sparking some friendships, and more, Orientation sets you up for a successful university experience.

Hope to see you there!  

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