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10 Things Every Freshman Needs To Do After Committing to ESU

It’s your final year in high school. The senioritis is real and so is the anxiety of getting into college.  But then, one faithful day, you check the mail and receive the “big envelope”: the one that congratulates you on getting into East Stroudsburg University.  Your year is made; by June you would be both a high school graduate and a college student.  After you commit to being a Warrior, follow this checklist to make sure you are all prepared to enter the next phase of your life. Keep reading for 10 things every freshman needs to do after committing to ESU!

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1. Celebrate your acceptance!

You got into college. You’re about to graduate. Before you begin all the boring paperwork to enroll, you have to celebrate.  Bask in your glory.  You deserve it.  You’ve worked hard for four years.  Take a trip somewhere.  Go to Six Flags or Dorney Park with some friends.  Throw a grad party.  Order a meal fit for a king (or queen).  Have some fun before the hard work sets in because you will come to realize that college isn’t one big party. (Well, not all the time…)

2. Check the ESU Portal.

The ESU portal is a great resource for incoming freshmen, particularly the Incoming Fall 2016 tab.  There you will notice links to documents that will inform you about Admissions, AP credits, Financial Aid, Orientation, Registration, Housing, etc.

3. Get your high school transcript sent to your accepted school.

This step is easiest to do while you are still in school because you can go straight to your high school’s guidance office and complete everything conveniently. See your guidance counselor for assistance.  I would also make sure you transfer your SAT records and any AP credits you have.  The SAT scores may come in handy even if your school doesn’t need it.  You never know when your scores will help you, especially if you ever try to go for your education degree.

4. Fill out your FAFSA and other financial aid opportunities.

Fill out your FAFSA and PHEAA (federal and state grants) early because the deadline will be upon you sooner than you think.  The forms are all online and once again, you can see your guidance counselor for more federal aid information.  Furthermore, your university will also have information about financial aid, especially the ESU portal.  College is so expensive that any assistance helps, so take any opportunity to get as much aid as you can.  Grants and scholarships do not have to be paid back, so definitely look into those

5. Sign up for orientation.

Orientation is like a first date.  This is a chance for you to get to know your new home better.  At orientation, you will learn about the campus, the programs on campus, housing, etc.  At least one orientation is required for everyone coming into the university, and there you will receive your fall schedule. It’s also a great networking event to search for your potential roommate(s).

6. Look at the different housing options.

While traditional dorms are a possibility, they are not your only choices.  Visit different options before settling down on one because bad housing can make your year that much harder.  Look at the different on-campus choices, including the University Apartments, as well as the Ridge.  If you are not a people person like myself, then perhaps an off-campus apartment may be for you.  However, living in a dorm for at least one semester may prove to be a valuable experience, both socially and growth wise.  With on-campus housing, you also have meals provided for you so you don’t have to waste time cooking.

7. Use social media to connect with students in your class.

In this digital age, we can find just about anything and anyone online.  So, use this to your advantage.  Join as many ESU related groups as you can on FB and search for people who have hash tagged your graduation year.  (FYI-For incoming freshmen, that would be Class of 2020.) Connect with people, find those in your major (or who share your interests), and discover your future classmates.  It will come in handy when you need to find a roommate.

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8. Look into the different clubs and groups on campus.

College is a great place to find your niche.  We have so many different clubs and groups on campus that you are bound to find something you are interested in.  Clubs are a great way to connect with students and build a social network (the IRL kind).  Extracurricular activities look great on your résumé as well.  Also look into honor societies and the honors program to further vamp up your résumé.  But, don’t forget to have some fun, too.  I would also ask about on-campus jobs as well if you need some extra cash.

9. Email your professors and introduce yourself.

In a class filled with 20+ students, it is a good idea to differentiate yourself.  I suggest you email your professors to tell them a little about yourself and maybe even get a sneak peek at the syllabus.  You can say you want to get a head start.  Even if you don’t actually do any schoolwork early, your professor will think you are taking initiative and will learn your name quickly.  Having good relationships with professors can open so many doors for you, so do not hesitate to develop a professional relationship with yours.

10. Make a list.

Before you ship off to college, it may be a good idea to create a list of things you would want to bring with you. You can check out this list already pre-made for you here and cross reference them with the ESU Residence Life website.

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What else should freshmen do after committing to ESU? Comment below and share this article with friends!
Featured image source: beta., goodnowlibrary.org
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Jenny Bront

Jenny Bront is a senior English Major at ESU. She loves literature, writing, and latin dance. Her biggest goal in life is to set the record for craziest cat lady.

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