New Student Orientation is one of the best times to make friends before arriving on campus. Between the many information sessions, ice breakers, dinner, and LateNight with your group and others, there are many opportunities. But, before you go, there are a few things you need to know about Penn State NSO.
1. Finding your way there.
Sometimes, navigating your way to a new place can be confusing. Luckily, PSU has our back. They have detailed, easy to understand directions that avoid road construction here.
2. Finding your home for the night.
The name of the building (i.e. Schulze Hall) is on the main door, or you could ask any of the friendly people in the pink shirts where it is. Your room number coordinates to the floor number. For example, room 407 would be on the fourth floor, then follow the signs on the walls.
3. What to do once you get to your room.
If it’s a hot day (which it most likely will be), open the window and crank up the box fan all the way. Then, hope that the room gets cooler by the time you get back later that night. Next, grab your new drawstring bag, put your wallet or any other essentials into it, and make your way towards the HUB to meet up with your parents.
4. Getting your Penn State ID.
Once inside the HUB, find your parent(s) and get in line for your ID. Once you get your picture taken, you have an opportunity to open a PNC student VirtualWallet account. I, personally, have had one since I turned 16, it’s a good idea. Better yet, you can link it to your ID to easily transfer money for LionCash.
5. Getting your free Penn State Reads book.
Go to the back of the lower level of the bookstore and receive your free copy of It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario using the voucher in your lanyard. Penn State Reads is another way to make such a large campus smaller. Read more about the program here.
6. The resource fair!
There are so many organizations from across campus set up here. For one, the football association is there and you can enter to win four tickets to a football game! Another popular one is Penn State Global, get more information about studying abroad. If you didn’t get a chance to sign up for a VirtualWallet account with PNC, you get another chance now and you could get a T-shirt for it!
7. Meeting your Orientation Leader.
On your nametag should be a group number, your group will be called by the number and you will follow the Orientation Leader that will be leading your group out the door for an icebreaker.
8. Breaking the ice.
Do NOT just roll your eyes when your OL tells you to go around the circle, say your name, where you’re from, and a few things about you. Just open up and don’t be shy. The more you talk, the better you get to know your future classmates!
9. Smart & Safe at State.
Your next stop on this journey will be two classrooms. The first is an inactive presentation on alcohol; the second about consent. The advice you get during these presentations is some of the most important advice you will get about making decisions in college.
10. Meeting your RA for the night.
Just before dinner, directly outside Pollock Commons, your group and one other group will meet your RA. The RAs are super cool and extremely fun to be around! Both groups will play Extreme Rock Paper Scissors as an ice breaker.
11. Dinner time!
Dinner is in Pollock Commons, one of multiple all-you-can-eat dining halls on campus. One swipe of your card and you can have all the food your heart desires.
12. LateNight in the Intramural building.
It’s quite a trek, but join everyone for some fun! There are so many activities available such as volleyball, table tennis, basketball, etc.
13. Other LateNight options.
You could head down to Berkey for some ice cream, head downtown, or go back to the dorms. Back at the dorms, your RA will play board games with you, you could watch TV, or just go to bed after a long and exhausting day.
14. Breakfast on Day 2.
Go back to Pollock Dining Commons for breakfast the next morning. I highly suggest the scrambled eggs and toast with some orange juice.
15. Checking Out.
You must be checked out with all of your belongings by 7:45 AM on Day 2. Do NOT make the same mistake I did and put your food card in the envelope with your room key (It made sense at the time because they came in the same envelope). You need that card for lunch later that day.
16. Talking about money.
This may be the last thing you want to listen to at 8:30 AM, but the information you receive is super important! Financial aid, FAFSA, PHEAA, grants, scholarships, loans, subsidized, unsubsidized; it can all get confusing. This session answers many questions and makes the process easier.
17. Figuring out your interests.
As one large group, you will interact with a presenter to help find your real interests and which college you belong in based on these interests. In this session, you will also learn how the placement process works for math, chemistry, and languages.
18. Technology at Penn State.
You will learn how to connect to the wifi, this is important so pay attention (unlike me, it took me three days on campus to get it connected thanks to a fellow LEAP member). Find out what software we can get for free and about Penn State’s absolutely free IT desk.
19. One last chance!
You get one more chance before scheduling to change either which college you will be a part of or what your intended major will be. I noticed most of the students who did were hesitant, but don’t be afraid if that is what you need to do to be happy in Happy Valley.
20. Scheduling fall classes!
You will attend a presentation about the college of your choice, then split off into smaller groups for another presentation. This will lead into what you have been waiting for, using the schedule builder on LionPath to build your Fall 2017 schedule.