Answers To Parents’ Top Orientation Questions
Orientation is the first taste of freedom for a lot of students.
Getting to meet new people, choosing your classes, learning about traditions — it’s a time to learn everything you can before your first semester begins.
But while you are getting excited about the amazing new things you’ll experience, your parents are probably freaking out about choosing the right meal plan and residence hall. That’s normal because that’s also what orientation is for — to help parents learn about college and calm their fears about letting their freshmen out into the world.
I recently had the opportunity to accompany my younger brother to his New Student Orientation at Angelo State University. As his guest, I was placed with the parents and had the opportunity to hear some of their questions.
As a college senior, I felt like I could have answered their questions very easily, but then I realized my parents had probably had the same questions. Here are common questions parents asked and what I would answer, based on my college experience.
How safe will my student be?
ASU is a very safe campus. There are several safety measures in place to provide protection for all students, including police officers who patrol the campus 24 hours a day, an app that facilitates emergency response, emergency call boxes and escort programs. Members of the University Police Department do their best to foster and maintain a safe environment.
It’s also about common sense. UPD will do everything to ensure student safety, but it’s up to us to make smart choices and avoid dangerous situations.
What’s the best meal plan for my student?
ASU offers three different meal plans for students who have completed fewer than 60 hours. Choosing a meal plan can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Even the smaller plans average 12-13 meals a week.
It’s very rare to have students choose to eat every single meal on campus. Sometimes you wake up late and don’t have time to eat or you aren’t hungry or you go off campus for a meal. But if you do intend to eat most meals on campus, then your best bet is selecting the unlimited plan. Just remember that unused meals do not transfer over to the next semester, so choose wisely.
What if my student doesn’t know what to major in?
Deciding on a major can be scary, especially with so many options available. But Career Development staff on campus can help with that. They provide interest assessments, career assistance and can help set up job shadowing opportunities. They also offer résumé critiquing, all free of free of charge.
This is a great place on campus for students to receive the guidance they need to make good decisions for their future.
What financial aid is available?
The offices of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs are always available to help students find the best ways to pay for college. From scholarships to grants and loans, there is most definitely some form of aid available for your student.
But like many things in life, you must ask to receive. The friendly staff members at the Financial Aid Office will work with you and your student to find a solution, but they won’t be chasing after you.
ASU also has a terrific Carr Scholarship Program that provides students with help all throughout their college career.
What parking is available for my student?
Like every college campus, parking will always be an issue. ASU has several parking lots that are reserved for different types of parking permits. This does not guarantee a spot right in front of the building where your student has class, but there are places available all over campus. Some are just farther away than others.
“A” parking is reserved for faculty and staff, and “B” is for commuting students. “C” is for students living on campus and they are guaranteed a parking spot in lots near their respective residence halls. Finally, “D” parking is reserved parking and costs a little more than other permits.
This and more information is always available on the angelo.edu website.
Parents, remember this may seem like a scary transition, but your student will find a group that makes him or her feel welcome. New students are encouraged to participate in a variety of activities to encourage them to make new friends and branch out.
With that said, take a deep breath and enjoy the experience of orientation with your new college freshman.