So you’ve gotten through the college application and acceptance process. Congrats to you! But what comes next? From learning how to get around campus to figuring out where exactly you fit in, transitioning from high school to college isn’t always easy—but here are some steps to take in order to prepare for your freshman year at SJU!
1. Attend your New Student Orientation
(If you haven’t already.) Make new friends, meet the Orientation Leaders and get a feel for what the Johnnies are all about. Your orientation is jam packed with loads of necessary information for you to keep in mind throughout your journey as a student at SJU, including general standards our university upholds, public safety information and organizations and events that are held on campus. You’ll even have the chance to meet some of our faculty members and get an idea of what your classes will be like.
2. Get familiar with the system
The online system, that is. Know that SJU mainly runs on three sites (all available through the university website, stjohns.edu): UIS (University Information System), MySJU (your personal center for information and class organization), and BlackBoard (basically: homework and grades). Practice navigating through UIS by clicking through the links to find important information such as your detailed class schedule (including professors and required textbooks), financial aid and if you plan to park your car on campus, the application to purchase your annual parking permit. Oh, and get ready to use your @stjohns.edu e-mail address. Your professors and advisors will definitely look forward to contacting you.
3. Map out where your classes are
It may be difficult to find your way around campus at first, but you’ll definitely get used to knowing where every building is in no time. Now that you’ve looked at your class schedule on UIS, familiarize yourself with the location codes so that you’ll have a better idea of where to go once you’re on campus with a ten-minute allowance to walk from one class to the next. This is important to hit right off the bat, whether you commute and need to figure out which parking lot is closest to your 9:05 class or you live on campus and need to know whether it would be more convenient to take the trip from the Residence Village to the Great Lawn or up the hill.
4. Buy a planner to keep track of tasks and assignments
And use it. They work much better than you think your “Reminders” app does, trust me. Your first week of classes is nicknamed “syllabus week” for a reason: your professors essentially have the entire semester outlined for you! Highlight and take note of whenever assignments are due, when midterms are and when finals are. Each semester will fly by more quickly than you think it will, so it’s crucial to keep track of due dates and, of course, exam days.
5. Know where to eat (on and off campus)
Montgoris Dining Hall, the food court at Marillac Hall (and the Tuesday/Thursday grill on Marillac Terrace), the cafeteria (and coffeehouse, AKA Starbucks) at the D’Angelo Center, Red Mango at the library, the hidden Red Storm diner and the beloved Law School cafeteria. Prepare to have pizza from Regina’s at least once, a sandwich from Double J’s and fried chicken from Empire. There are many other options, of course—most of which include a student discount specifically for SJU!
6. Get to know your professors, and let them get to know you, too
If you have any concerns before class, send an email. If your professor asks questions on syllabus day, don’t be shy to raise your hand. Stay after class to introduce yourself politely and address any questions you may have yourself, or just to make a quality impression; this will make it easier for you to have a better semester academics wise. Take note of their office hours (you will need them eventually). You may even end up networking with your professors for internship and career opportunities in the upcoming years.
7. Keep track of the academic calendar
Go to the school website to access the academic calendar for the upcoming year. Save every single date in your personal calendar (on your phone/laptop, in your planner, etc.) whether or not you find it important. You won’t want to show up to class on a university holiday! Also know when fun things are happening on campus; you won’t want to miss out on games to support our D1 athletic teams as well as events like Welcome Week, Java Johnnies, Fall Fest, the Winter Carnival, Relay For Life, Spring Concert and more.
8. Familiarize yourself with your adviser
This is so, so important to make a habit of at the very beginning of your journey as a student at SJU. Your advisor is in charge of helping you arrange your schedule to take the classes that you need, to give you advice so that you could stay on track with your academics/athletics/extracurricular activities.
9. Think about what you’re into
SJU is all about student involvement and affairs, especially in terms of organizations (including Greek Life), community service (including Academic Service Learning) and scheduling fun events on campus during which we can fully express our Red Storm pride. You’ll find many opportunities to join different organizations, clubs and communities on campus—at least one out of the hundreds available here is bound to suit your style.
10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Whether you can’t find your classroom or you don’t understand the syllabus on the first day of class, you can count on the students and faculty on campus to help you gladly. We’re widely known to uphold a friendly environment, and that doesn’t just end at your initial Campus Tour. At St. John’s University, “We take care of our own.” Welcome home, Johnny!
Excited for freshman year? Have any more tips on how to get ready? Feel free to comment them below. If these tips helped you, be sure to share the article!
Featured photo source: sbnation.com
KAMILLE IS AN ADVENTURER BORN AND RAISED WHERE DREAMS ARE MADE—IN THE HEART OF NEW YORK CITY. AS A PHARMACY STUDENT AT ST. JOHN'S UNIVERSITY, SHE LIVES TO INSPIRE AND BE INSPIRED BY OTHER STUDENTS WHO AREN'T AFRAID TO WORK HARD AND GO BEYOND THEIR GOALS. HER PASSIONS INCLUDE BALLET, CREATIVE WRITING, FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY, AND ENJOYING "THE LITTLE THINGS" IN LIFE.