I don’t know about anyone else that has gone through orientation at their university, but I completely loved it. At Illinois State University Freshman Orientation I got to see the campus (which was my first time ever), meet people that were going to be in my major and possible neighbors, pick my classes, and I was able to spend 2 days with my roommates. Now, some schools might only have orientation for a day, but at ISU, preview is a 2-day event. You get there and spend one whole day walking around with your assigned group going to “assemblies” and getting to know one another. Then, you get the entire end of the day to spend it with whoever and walk around and explore the campus and uptown. The next day you get to go and pick your classes and get your ID. And just like that, you’re ready for school to start up in the fall! I know you are just so ecstatic to go, but before you even set foot on the campus for preview, there are a few things you should know not to do and what things to leave behind. Keep reading for 10 Things NOT to do at Illinois State University Freshman Orientation!
1. Over Pack
You’re only going to be gone 1 night and 2 days. You don’t need a suitcase and a whole wardrobe with you. Only bring one other outfit and some pjs. I also recommend maybe a blanket and a pillow. They do change the sheets everyday, but I still don’t trust it. If you don’t bring a blanket or even some sheets like my roommate did, you may have to sleep on towels like I did.
2. Bring Alcohol/Drugs
This is probably going to be your first time spending the night on campus and you don’t want to get caught with alcohol or weed and get kicked out of school before the year has even started. Believe me, every year there are those people who think they can get away with it only to get caught and kicked out. Just leave them at home.
3. Pick an 8 AM Class
Unless you know for sure that you can wake up every day or other day for it, don’t do it. I took an 8 am first semester because at orientation I thought I might as well get all my classes done in the morning. And boy was that a mistake. I almost slept through class and my presentations too often. If you’re not a morning person in high school, you most likely won’t be in college.
4. Pick an 8 PM Class
That being said, don’t pick an 8 pm class either unless it is the only one available. There is no reason to take a class at 8pm on a Friday when you can be going to a party or going home. Some people like night classes, but I personally think it’s a waste. I’d rather be out at night than sitting in a math class.
5. Think everyone is your best friend.
I’m not saying don’t make friends with anyone. You definitely should, just don’t go into it thinking everyone you talk to is going to be your best friend come fall. There are people that were in my preview group that are in my classes that I don’t talk to. It’s just too many people to try and get to know all at once and come the school year, everyone will make friends with their roommates/floor mates.
6. Ignore Your Roommate
Unless you plan it out that you and your best friend are going to be in the same room that night, you will probably get put with a random person for the night. Whoever stands near you in line is most likely going to be your roommate for the night. If you’re lucky like I was, it might be your future roommate and you can just get to know each other all night, but if it’s someone you have never met, make an effort to get to at least know their name. You probably won’t become best friends, but you don’t want to spend the night feeling uncomfortable. Even if you don’t hang out with them during the day, spend some time at night talking and maybe you’ll realize you have somethings in common and who knows, they could be in your wedding some day.
7. Get a Hotel
When coming to preview, you have the option to stay in one of the rooms in Hewitt/Manchester, or you can get a hotel room. I personally think staying in the dorms is better. Even if you are going to live in Watterson or Tri, it gives you a feel as to how dorm life is going to be. You also get to know more people. If you stay in a hotel, you are secluding yourself from getting to know other people and have some fun.
8. Sit in your dorm the whole time.
Preview is a time to go out and explore the campus as well as uptown. Don’t spend the night sitting in your dorm room not talking to anyone. Go out and get to know some people and spend some time together. There is plenty of stuff to do like go to the Rec or just explore the campus. Get a feel for what it will be like to move in in the fall.
9. Forget Decent Clothes
The 2nd day of preview, you are going to be taking your student ID picture and you don’t want to look like a mess. Make sure to at least brush your hair and put on a nice shirt. It doesn’t matter if you have nice pants on or not since you only see to your mid-shoulder.
10. Not Participate
For preview, you are randomly assigned a group that you will spend the next 2 days with. You get to spend the first hour together playing get-to-know-me games (fun, I know). But, you get to meet new people. Most of the time, you will have the chance to meet people in your major or learn about new majors if you’re undecided. Don’t sit in the corner and not say anything. Step out of your comfort zone. Chances are everyone feels awkward so don’t be afraid to be the first to stand up and introduce yourself.