College Orientation for Parents – Helpful or a Waste of Time?

College Orientation for Parents - Is it a Waste of Time?

College Orientation for Parents

College Orientation for parents – is it helpful or a complete waste of time? As a former college student, I vaguely recall my college orientation. I remember the drive up there, rooming with my girlfriend and partying the night away. I don’t recall anything else. This time around I was attending college as the parent, the person who was supposed to guide my child, give her the pep talk and let her know everything was going to be okay.

"University of Rhode Island Campus"

While I was able to reassure my daughter, I was riddled with anxiety. Since it was on a Monday and Tuesday, I was flying solo on this one. Why should my husband take off and “waste” a vacation day – after all, we were discussing my child’s future.  The first answer to that question is simple – it would have been nice to have someone to speak to when my anxiety was at an all time high. After fighting through my first anxiety attack in years and texting everyone I knew for reassurance, I put on my big girl pants and headed into orientation. Of course – this wasn’t before I tried to engage a woman in conversation, have her blow me off (big time) and die a little bit inside. Yes – this even happens when you are adulting.

The first part of college orientation for parents included listening to the Dean of Students talk about the transition for our college student. Having the attention span of a gnat, I thought I would crawl out of my seat. But – she was awesome. Funny and filled with helpful information. The orientation leaders put on an amazing show about the different types of college students and the audience could not help but laugh.

Then we were off to discuss our child’s major. Another huge waste of time? Nope! The Dean of my daughter’s major was a wealth of information – with the take away being hold on to your 2017/2018 course catalogue. This was going to be yours and your child’s bible. He too was entertaining – taking what could have been a boring topic and making me want to hear more.

To round out the first day of orientation, a services fair was held where we could ask questions one-on-one to Financial Aid, Residential Life, Health Services and much more! Finally, the day ended with a talk about personality and matching careers to your child’s personality. This may not have been necessary but it was interesting and made me realize that my daughter doesn’t have to take the typical career path and may end up in a career that is different than any of us expects.

Thankfully, I have friends in Rhode Island so my evening was filled with laughter, rather than an empty hotel room and fast food for dinner.

The second day of college orientation for parents was just as informative as the first day, with seminars on school technology and different break out sessions including talks about Greek Life, the Academic Enhancement Center, counseling services at the college and much more! There were so many helpful sessions, I would suggest bringing someone with you, so you can be sure to get as much information as possible.

So to answer the question should parents attend college orientation and is it a waste of time? Yes – parents should attend college orientation and No – it is not a waste of time. It was filled with a lot of useful information and I would highly recommend parents attending college orientation!!

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