Jessica in a red shirt in front of the Vic waterfall.

What to Expect at Orientation

This year will be my fourth year participating in Orientation! (Does this mean I'm getting old?) I attended Orientation in my first year in 2019, and have returned as an Orientation Leader ever since.

With the return of in-person Orientation, here are some things I got out of my in-person Orientation and what you may expect, other than free food and merch.

Meeting My First U of T Friends

I came to U of T knowing absolutely nobody, and navigating a new school alone was a big fear of mine. However, it was comforting to know that so many people were in the same boat.

At Orientation, we were split into small groups to introduce ourselves and play some ice breaker games. I met many people I had things in common with: people from my home city, people in my classes and program, and people who I still keep in touch with three years later!

Three friends wearing red Victoria College t-shirts and leis.
First-year Jess meeting her first besties at U of T!

Learning about School

Not only is Orientation a social event, but it’s also super informative when it comes to navigating university life. Some things I learned about were...

  • The resources offered at my College and the university, through academic workshops
  • Where my classes were, when exploring campus at a scavenger hunt event
  • All the different clubs U of T has to offer at the Clubs Fair

U of T has over 1000 different clubs, and the Clubs Fair was actually where I signed up to join the clubs which I’m still involved in to this day. My biased recommendation, join an intramural sport through your Faculty/College's Athletics Association! There is a sport for you at all levels, and it kept me active during my first year.

Student clubs at tables on a field with people gathering around.
Clubs Fair 2021, Image Credit: Ehsan Etesami


My favourite event of the week had to be the iconic UTSU Parade, which is finally back this year! I couldn’t believe the university shut down the streets of Toronto for thousands of first years to be chanting our silly little cheers. Sorry to the downtown commuters just trying to make their way to work!

As an introvert myself, I also appreciated the balance of high-energy to low-energy events. While there were dances and parades and scavenger hunts, there were also more chill activities, like movies and board games for when my social battery was dying.

Crowd of people in colourful t-shirts, waving Victoria College flags and signs.
Repping Vic College at the UTSU Parade!

If your goal is to meet new people, there are so many opportunities at the social events. If your goal is to learn about study tips, there's a workshop for that. Or, if your goal is to let loose before the school year officially begins, you will certainly enjoy the Parade. There truly is something for everyone at Orientation.

If you haven't already, it isn’t too late to register at your Faculty or College’s website. You can also check out the Orientation Calendar for Student Life’s Orientation events.

 Relax, have fun, and enjoy!

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