Frosh Week 101
Frosh week can also be known as orientation week, and it is a universal rite of passage for all incoming post-secondary students. As the name suggests, it is a week of events organized by upper-year students, with the aim of introducing you to the school, the campus, and your future classmates. During the week, you will likely be in the same small group of students, led by one or two really enthusiastic orientation facilitators.
From personal experience, frosh week is one of those experiences that the uninitiated look forward to (I blame movies)—but once you’ve experienced it, it becomes rather bleh. I went through two frosh weeks, one at a major Canadian university and one at a small college. Here are my major takeaways on the experience:
- There will be a lot of awkward conversations.
At some point in your heavily scheduled frosh week, there will be an awkward ice-breaker. If you’re particularly (un)lucky, there will be multiple such experiences. Any extrovert will thrive in these situations, while an introvert may find these situations excruciating. My advice to you is to embrace the awkward! Who knows, maybe you’ll meet your future spouse during frosh week.
- Frosh week is not free.
That T-shirt and goodie bag? Not free. Pizza lunch and bubble tea? Not free. One way or another, you are paying for these events and giveaways. Some colleges and universities add the cost of frosh week to your tuition and ancillary costs bill, but other schools will ask you to pay separately. Look for an email from your registrar’s office in early summer. The ticket to frosh week can be surprisingly expensive. If you cannot afford the cost of frosh week, speak to your registrar’s office or financial aid office to see what options you have.
- Familiarize yourself with the campus and surrounding neighbourhood.
Both weeks I attended included an urban walk. The organizers usually make it into a fun competition, but it essentially meant your group leader would take you around the campus and neighbourhood. This point is especially important for any students who are living on residence and/or not familiar with the area, such as international students. Even if you don’t fall into these categories, it is important for all students to be aware of where the gym and library are, as well as where are the best places to eat and drink. This kind of info is best from an upper-year student.
Frosh week is an inescapable universal in universities and colleges across Canada. Rather than dreading it, take advantage of what benefits it can provide you. You will have multiple opportunities to meet and befriend new people. You will get what amounts to insider information from your orientation group leaders. These pros are worth it!