6 Things Every Conn Freshman Should Do Before The Fall

You’ve applied, you’ve selected, you’ve added Conn 2020 to all of your social media bios, and you’ve explained to friends, relatives, and teachers alike that you are not, in fact, going to UCONN.  Now that you’ve revisited at Camel Day and worn your first piece of Conn merch at your high school’s college decision day, it seems like you have nothing left to do but wait.  But in between graduation parties and saying goodbye to your high school friends, there are still of plenty of things to do to get ready for this fall. Keep reading for the top things every Conn freshman must do before they come to campus in the fall.

1. Stop saying “Freshman”.

Some of your friends may be starting their college careers as freshmen, but at Conn, you’ll be a “First Year.”  The somewhat inconvenient title shift is a reflection of Conn’s committed dedication to remain gender inclusive– something the term “freshMAN” apparently violates.  Using the new trendy terminology really isn’t as heavily enforced as they’ll try to convince you it is during orientation, but they do such a good job of drilling it into your head for those first few days that its best to just wipe the word “freshman’’ from your vocabulary.  Trying to juggle both terms will almost definitely end up with you embarrassing yourself by accidentally telling an upperclassman you’re a “freshyear.”  May seem a little overly PC, but if only for the sake of your own pride, its best to just drink the Conn Kool-Aid on this one.

2. Do some dorm shopping: Conn Edition.

Obviously you know all the basics – mattress pad, under-bed storage, custom picture collages of you and your high school best friends so everyone knows you’re likable and interesting – and even if you don’t, your mom has probably already planned to spend the summer in Bed, Bath & Beyond.  But there are a few Conn necessities you’ll want to add to the standard list.

Bring a fan.

Do not think you can get away with skipping this one.  Only a very small number of Conn’s dorms are air conditioned, and regardless of what you’ve heard about New England’s climate, you will be putting your fan to good use for at least the first two weeks of school – probably longer.

Bring a Brita pitcher.

Despite what you may have heard, college students do occasionally drink liquids that aren’t alcoholic.  Few of Conn’s dorms have any kind of dedicated kitchen area, and fewer have bubblers or water fountains.  So if you don’t want to walk to the dining hall every time you need a drink, you’re going to need a Brita pitcher.

3. Don’t panic about housing.

Housing information should come out around mid-July.  This is when you’ll find out your dorm, room number, and number of roommates.  While it may seem like this information will definitively make or break your year, your dorm is NOT your whole life, nor is your room assignment a set-in-stone contract.  Hopefully your housing assignment is everything you dreamed it would be, but if for some reason its not quite what you were expecting, just contact Conn’s housing department – either by email or phone call.  They are more than willing to answer questions, assuage room-related anxieties, and – if necessary – facilitate a room change.  People change rooms all the time, especially first-years.  Its no big deal and Housing is more than prepared to help.  So if your housing assignment makes you do a double take, just keep calm and contact Conn Coll Housing.

For more info on dorm life at Conn, check out Society19’s breakdown of the top 10 dorms on campus here!

4. Get to know your roommates.

While a room change can be easily facilitated if you’re unhappy with your dorm for an external reason (i.e. location, specialty housing, etc) don’t make a room switch based entirely on your roommates until you’ve gotten to know them in person. Reach out to your new roommate/s during the summer over social media and email, but don’t make any rash judgments or decisions until you’ve gotten to know them on campus.  If for some reason problems do arise, there is always time to make a housing change once you’ve been on campus and truly gotten to know each other.

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5. Put aside some money.

Although shoving your entire life into the back of your parent’s car the morning of move in day may make it seem like you couldn’t possibly need to own any more things, once on campus there’s a solid chance you’ll find yourself suddenly in need of a number of college “necessities” you never even considered. Whether you realize the closest thing you have to going out clothes are your high school homecoming dresses, or you find out everyone at Conn has fake IDs (hint hint) and that just wasn’t a part of your high school culture, you’ll want to have some money set aside for unforeseen expenses.

6. Look for a job while at school.

Speaking of money, you’re going to find yourself burning through it surprisingly fast. Whether its for alcohol, uber rides into (or out of) New London, or emergency late night study candy, you’re going to want to have some source of income while at school. Whether or not you have work study, there are plenty of jobs available on campus and around the New London community.  Whether its in the dining hall, gym, administrative offices, or the arts, there is sure to be something relevant to your interests to help support your spending habits.  Besides that, getting a job on campus gives you the opportunity to meet new people and get to know Conn in different ways than you may have otherwise.  Jobs will be posted here probably starting in August.  Just send the employer an email and they’ll get back to you with any further application instructions.

Last bit of advice…

Take advantage of as many of these tips as you find useful, but above all, don’t stress.  College may seem daunting right now, but once you get to campus, everything falls into place pretty quickly.  Wishing all future Camels a great summer, and can’t wait to welcome you to campus in August!

Anything we missed that a conn freshman should know about? Feel free to post your own advice to our incoming Camels in the comments! Share this article with friends!
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Kayla Kibbe

Connecticut College 2019. English Major.

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