How to Make the Most of Orientation

Our lives are full of transitions: walking on our own, learning to drive, and selecting a college.  Arriving in August or January begins your Cornell journey. It will also be a very independent journey, one that you must create for yourself with the help and support of your family, friends, and the faculty and staff at Cornell University.

Regardless of the season, the Orientation schedule is packed with exciting events. You will move in, get settled, and meet your Orientation Leader. What follows is a mix of events, many are academic and welcome you to Cornell’s intellectual community, others allow you to explore Cornell, and some are focused on meeting new people through fun and social events.

Utilize your Resources

  • newstudents.cornell.edu contains everything you need to know about being a new student at Cornell. Think of it as the launching point for your Cornell experience. Check it often.
  • In August 2018, just in time for Orientation, Cornell is launching a brand new mobile Cornell Orientation app. Remember, only the official Cornell Orientation app has the complete and accurate information you need for the best possible orientation experience!

Plot your Course

Your time here at Cornell University is precious; use it wisely, and be proactive with regard to your needs and dreams. Consider what you want to be a part of while you are here. Will you be active in athletics? How about community service? Do you want to be in an honors program? Are you looking for research opportunities? Does participation in student government interest you?  It is up to you to ask questions, seek out information, and take full advantage of the programs, opportunities, presentations and more that will be offered during Orientation week and beyond.

Learn from students and faculty

Cornell is unique in that current students play a huge role in planning your Orientation. The Orientation Steering Committee (OSC) plans and executes New Student Orientation. Hundreds of students serve as Orientation Leaders and Transfer Orientation Leaders for all new students in both August and January. You will be matched with an Orientation Leader (OL) from your college.

In addition to your OL, make an effort to get to know these people to make the most of your Cornell experience—and to provide a support team—if you need help.

Meet the Staff

The New Student Programs staff is dedicated to helping you thrive as you transition to Cornell.