Orientation Essay

Your Orientation Essay is a foundation for your ongoing thinking about the shape and purpose of your education. It also provides context to your faculty and advisors when you need their guidance.
In 2021, you will have the chance to work on your Orientation Essay with faculty and peers during Fall quarter, but you are welcome to start writing this text at any time. Your faculty-peer workshops on 9/24 or 9/25 will include writing and discussion designed to get you started on the process of articulating and reflecting on your hopes, plans, and dreams for your education at Evergreen.
Students work on their Orientation Essays together

Evergreen gives you the freedom to choose which programs and courses you take. To help you make thoughtful, informed choices, we require you to write reflectively about your education.

“The Six Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate” describe what we expect our graduates to have in common: a shared set of abilities representing the culmination of a liberal arts education at Evergreen. This assignment will help you become more familiar with the first of these expectations: to “articulate and assume responsibility for your own work.”

Orientation Essay Assignment

Write a brief essay in response to one of the following prompts:

  • A view from the future. Imagine your future self, a few years after graduation, looking back at your Evergreen education. Who are you now? What have you accomplished in the world, and how did you get there? Which programs or courses did you take? Describe your interests, achievements and the strengths that helped you succeed.

  • A view from the past. Describe your educational path up to today. Where have you been? What have you learned? What are your intellectual interests and strengths? Now, think about your education at Evergreen. What do you want to learn here? What are you bringing with you? How will you succeed? What programs, courses, or big questions interest you?

You must submit your essay via My Evergreen. (See instructions below.) Only you and your current faculty will be able to access it, and you can edit it at any time.

How to Submit Your Orientation Essay

You can write, edit, and print your essay from one spot.

  1. Go to My Evergreen and click “Academic Progress”
  2. Click “Create” to begin writing your essay
  3. Save your essay often; you can edit it again at any time
  4. Submit your essay, by clicking “Turn In”

Looking Ahead

Your Orientation Essay prepares you for writing your Academic Statement, which acts as a kind of blueprint for your time here at Evergreen. When you graduate, this statement becomes the introduction to your transcript and gives you a chance to summarize your education to outside audiences, such as employers and grad schools.