What is ‘Orientation Week’ and what should you expect?

Are you a little confused as to what “Orientation Week” is and what to expect?

No worries, allow us to explain.

This year, “Orientation Week”, (also known as O-Week) is taking place from Monday, September 2nd- Wednesday, to September 4th 2019 (this may vary depending on your college or faculty). These three days will be jam-packed with fun activities and a great deal of information!

You will need to register for Frosh Week by finding your college’s registration page. We’ve compiled a list of all the college’s registration forms for you right here!  If you don’t belong to a college, (e.g. Daniels, Music, Engineering) you will most likely have received an invite to register via email.

Your orientation week experience may vary from your friends from other colleges but the activities will generally cover the following areas:

  • academics (you may be split up into groups depending on your program of study)
  • the city of Toronto (some colleges will take you on a tour of areas surrounding the campus)
  • living in residence or commuting (how to cook without burning your residence down, where to hang out between classes if you’re a commuter)
  • getting to know the campus (campus tours led by upper years)

Since this year’s Frosh Week will be only 3 days, you may expect a more condensed version of these events. You can expect to walk around a lot in large groups of people. Some examples of common Frosh Week events include the UTSU parade, the UTSU clubs fair, introduction to U of T resources, college bed races, carnivals, concerts, football games, club night, scavenger hunts, pub nights, open mic, movie nights, paint parties, boat cruises, alumni panels, sightseeing tours, campus tours, BBQ’s, residence 101… etc. If you do have any accessibility needs or dietary restrictions, make sure you contact your college’s orientation executive team so they can make sure to accommodate your needs.

Some things to look forward to:

  • a free t-shirt
  • a free frosh kit with coupons and swag
  • free food
  • making potentially lifelong friends!
  • getting to know upper years
  • developing college pride and camaraderie
  • learning about your college’s traditions and frosh cheers

While O-Week is supposed to be a lot of fun, it can definitely be quite an exhausting couple of days. Here are some tips on how to survive the week:

  • carry a water bottle with you and stay hydrated. Toronto summers are quite unforgiving when it comes to the heat!
  • lather up in sunscreen and wear a hat so you don’t get burnt
  • wear a comfortable pair of shoes because you may be walking quite a bit
  • attend as many or as little events as you feel comfortable with attending
  • stay with your group so you don’t get lost
  • get a good night’s rest every night so you wake up feeling refreshed
  • if you ever feel unsafe, let a frosh leader/ captain/ exec/ orientation coordinator know immediately
  • if you are ever consuming beverages, make sure your drink is always within your sight

So, in short, should you attend Orientation Week?

Yes! While Frosh Week is not mandatory, it is a great experience and opportunity for you to learn more about your college as well as the university. It’s a time for you to be yourself, let loose, have fun, and have a fresh start to your undergrad! You only get to do Frosh Week as a first year once, so don’t miss out!

If you have any further questions regarding Frosh Week, be sure to contact your college’s orientation team!

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