Summer Orientation: Do You Have All the Answers?

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Prospective student taking notes during a summer orientation session

You’ve graduated from high school, and you’re ready to come to BJU. You may think you know what to expect, but do you? How long are the beds in the residence halls? Where are the pickleball courts? Summer Orientation is here to help.

Featuring fun-filled, information-packed activities, Summer Orientation offers first-year students the opportunity to connect with peers while finalizing details for the fall semester.

“We’re going to unveil everything campus has to offer,” said Bethany Webb, program coordinator for First-Year Experience.

Even if first-year students have already visited campus, taken tours, attended classes or been on a College Up Close trip, Orientation provides helpful insights for college life at BJU.

The deadline to register for either the June 18–19 or 25–26 session is June 1. For those who can’t attend in person, an online orientation that includes interactive videos and fall semester prep is available. Visit or email [email protected] for more information.

Information Fair

The Information Fair, located on the second floor of the Student Center and in the Hub, hosts over 15 booths that include Financial Aid, the Bruins Athletic Club (formerly the Bruins Booster Club), the Division of Music, Dining, Public Safety, ID cards, the Post Office, SCOPE and Student Employment.

Said Webb: “Student life is also there because during Orientation the roommate request opens up for new students, so they get their first steps on picking the roommates.”

Financial Aid

How do you pay your first school bill? Did you know there’s a difference between scholarships and grants? Financial aid counselors will answer these questions and more. Webb says that sometimes questions about the FAFSA, appeals or extra scholarships are easier to answer in person than over email or phone.

Music Auditions

The Division of Music booth will provide information regarding music auditions for both private lessons and music ensembles that take place Aug. 23–24 of Welcome Week. Visit for more information.

Public Safety

Did you know that you have to register your bike? Where are you allowed to skateboard? The Public Safety booth will give parking permit registration information, as well as pointing out which parking lots students may use.

ID Cards

How is your chapel attendance recorded? How do you get into your residence hall? The ID card photo station will allow students to obtain an effortless, 10-second picture. Within a few minutes, students can pick up their ID cards and begin using this key to campus life.

Sessions on Student Life

What can you wear to classes and to ball games? Who can you go to when you need advice? Dr. Alan Benson, executive vice president for student development and ministry advancement, will speak about student expectations. A question and answer session (questions sent in via text) will follow.

Do you need four months’ worth of snacks? What about shower shoes? As a parent with a child who lives in a residence hall on campus, Webb affirms that “not everybody needs to bring a refrigerator and a TV and a trash can.” Popular sessions include What to Bring to College (with a student panel) and Societies and Extracurriculars.

Is a society anything like a fraternity or a sorority? How do you choose the right society? Students will learn about societies, plus how to get involved in campus life and ministry.

See Also: Choosing a Society Made Simple

Furthermore, academic accommodations, the day student connection, student care (information about counseling available for students) and using majors for ministry sessions are offered.

Sessions on Academics

How do you know you’re in the right program of study? By attending sessions, first-year students can explore their programs before enrolling in courses. “I think it’s important to note,” said Rebecca Weier, the director of student engagement and success, “that there are over 30 sessions to choose from.”

Said Webb: “The student and parent can really pick what they want to hear and can decide how to really customize. It’s not a one-size-fits-all anymore because college isn’t that way either.”

Is it OK to change your program of study? Visiting campus “takes a lot of the unknowns out of the equation,” Webb said. But after attending sessions, seeing campus facilities and speaking with advisors, students may change their minds. Said Webb: “Students change their major while they’re here, sometimes more than once. And that’s OK.”

What if you don’t know which program to choose? Students who are undecided about their programs can attend the session on choosing one.

See Also: Undecided Major? You’re Not Alone

Resources for Transfer Students

Should transfer students attend? Transfer students have the opportunity to meet with Nathan Washer, the associate registrar for transfer students, and speak with another transfer student. Webb said that “connections are built,” and the transfer doesn’t feel alone after meeting others “in this boat.” Webb also mentioned that some transfer students change their programs of study after discovering the expanded program offerings of BJU.

Benefits for Day Students

Why should day students attend? Having come from the BJU Academy herself, Webb said, “I remember thinking … that I would be in all these classes with two or three classmates from high school. And I got in my first New Testament class, and I was like, I don’t know a single soul here. It really, really shocked me.”

Webb advises that day students “come meet people, just hang out, experience what it’s going to be like for the fall.” The value of building connections before the semester begins is invaluable. Furthermore, “everybody needs to know that they have a friend,” said Webb. “Everybody needs to know that somebody here cares for them and that they’re not alone.”

Is there anything else you should pack for Orientation? According to Weier, “a readiness to make new friends” is an essential item for Summer Orientation success. The opportunities for growth in this transition period are immense.

Said Webb: “No transition is ever clean or smooth. It’s like when you ever build a house. It’s a mess 90% of the time. And there’s mud everywhere, and there’s a little bit of messiness that goes on, and any transition of life is like that. But the end product is what you’re looking for.”

For more information about Summer Orientation, visit or email [email protected]