Orientation before freshman year is like the unofficial start to your college career. You get to see your future home away from home, meet potential friends, and get a taste of your soon to be freedom. Here are 10 things I wish I knew before orientation at SUNY Binghamton to help you make the most out of your experience!
1. What to pack
This might be the most important thing that the university mentions, but simply glosses over. Let’s break it down. You should bring:
Phone and charger
Laptop/tablet and charger
Money for the bookstore
1 pair of clothes
Comfortable walking sneakers
Umbrella (it rains a lot)
Pillow, Blanket, and bedsheets
2. You will get hangry
Other than the typical meal times designated on your pamphlet, they don’t feed you. Technically you are a college student, so deal with it. But do bring snacks and carry around a water bottle. There are vending machines on campus, but they are located in the dorm buildings, which you don’t often go to.
3. Scheduling classes will be the most stressful thing you do all summer
At orientation, you get randomly assigned into one of 3 registration time slots. Each slot has different classes that ‘open up’ with seats. There are about 100 or more students asking for help to schedule classes with merely 10-15 advisers walking around.
Go to your registration with multiple backup classes!! You have to take 12 credits to be a full time student and you are not allowed to take more than 18. If each class is 4 credits, you can only take 4 classes and have 16 credits. Use the BU-Brain to check out the courses before your orientation so you can see what classes you could take. And don’t forget to balance your schedule, your first semester should be lighter so you can adjust to college.
4. Prepare for the hike.
You will be living in the Mountainview Community, which yes, means that you will have to hike up the hill plenty of times. Wear comfy shoes but don’t freak, the Appalachian Dining hall in mountainview serves some of the best food on campus.
5. Most of the sessions are pointless
Yes the sex and alcohol session is important to go to and you should take advantage of that educational experience. But, the rest really have no point. You can get your ID scanned and then pull the “gotta go to the bathroom trick for any session” and disappear. No, this is not encouragement… simply an option.
6. The beds are actually comfy
I can’t speak for the other communities, but these beds may need a basic mattress topper if you live there for the year but its not necessary. They are surprisingly more comfortable then you would think.
7. You will make friends
Yes, everyone is starting fresh in college. Use it as an opportunity to make new friends, discover who you are, and be yourself because everyone is looking to make friends.
8. The food isn’t great
It’s college, you can’t expect good food. But not to worry, its not that bad. Just more on the bland-side. There will be people that hate it and people that can tolerate it, you won’t know until you get there.
9. Book orientation with roommates
If you plan with your roommates and suit mates to book the same two days for orientation, you can hang out and get to know each other.
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10. Take it in
Orientation is a time to learn about Binghamton and the specifics about living there for the next 4 years. Take it all in, ask questions, and get involved with your classmates and the community. Bing on the fall!
Do you have any other tips for freshman orientation at SUNY Bingamton?! Share in the comments below!
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