Northeastern orientation is really exciting but also a little unpredictable. You don’t know anyone so you don’t know who to ask questions; you don’t get a schedule for orientation until you actually arrive. Here’s 10 things you should know before you arrive to help you wrap your mind around those few days.
1. Bring clothes for the heat.
Yes, it’s in Boston so non-natives assume it’ll be cold. But actually, Boston is really sunny and fairly warm most of the time, especially during the summer. Walking around for hours in the heat made my skin really sweaty and oily; it sucked to be like that when I wanted to make a good first impression on everyone new I met.
2. Bring a portable phone charger.
Northeastern orientation is a long two days and there will be plenty of photo ops in the Centennial Commons. You will want to add all your new friends on Snapchat, browse through Instagram, and have something to distract yourself during boring information sessions; it is best to keep your battery up so you can entertain yourself when things get slow throughout the day.
3. There’s a club fair.
One of the segments in the schedule is to explore all the student organizations for a few hours in the afternoon. There will be frats and sororities, photography clubs, A Capella groups, ROTC, and various other clubs and organizations reaching out to you. Make sure to stop by for free candy! This fair takes place in the space between Snell Library and Curry Student Center. This is a great opportunity to meet new people, tour the campus on your own if you don’t want to hang around the club fair, or just chill in your room.
4. You don’t actually get to stay in your own room.
When you sign in, you get a badge with your residence hall listed. They put most kids in the same few halls for Northeastern orientation because it’s a small enough group; but it’s not likely to be the actual hall you will be living in throughout the year. I stayed in Stetson West (Stwest) for orientation, but I lived in Stetson East (Steast) for freshman year. Fortunately, the layout of the rooms are the same in both buildings so I got a taste of where I’ll actually be living throughout the year.
5. The rooms don’t have a good AC or heater.
I should’ve listened to the advice they gave in the E-mail when they said to bring a fan, because they were damn right. The room was really difficult to get any sleep in because of how hot it was. When I actually moved in I bought a large fan from the Target on Commonwealth Ave, but it would’ve been smart to have at least a small fan during orientation. You could even buy one when you get there, then return it after orientation if you’re flying in and don’t have space in your luggage.
6. They also don’t have much in the bedding department.
Once you pick up your registration materials and arrive in your room, you will see four empty walls, an empty desk, and a gaping wardrobe. All that you will find on the bed is a bare pillow and plastic-wrapped linens to be used as bed sheets and blankets. No mattress topper, no extra pillows. Given that the room tends to get unbearably hot during the summer, the lack of a proper blanket or comforter isn’t actually a problem. I slept in my boxers that night and barely covered myself in linens due to the heat. Like I said, bring a fan. It will be your saving grace.
7. Bring athletic gear.
On the first evening of Northeastern orientation, there are activities like dodge ball in the Marino Center-the main campus gym. This was definitely the highlight of the program, mainly because I was the last man standing on the court for my team. I just wish I was wearing something other than khaki joggers, Nike SB skate shoes, and my favorite Hollister henley T-shirt. I would still rather sacrifice comfort for fashion on a day where everyone’s trying to look their best. Your choice, but just know what’s up.
8. Research classes and professors on websites like RateMyProfessor.
On day one of Northeastern orientation, you’ll go with your group to the main academic hall where your school is centered. For business students like me, you’ll group in Dodge Hall with D’Amore McKim faculty. Here, you’ll go in batches of multiple orientation groups for another information session before you get to go into your class scheduling session with the counselors.
Most students scheduled their classes themselves, but not my group. I’m still not sure why. I was given a schedule with a bunch of business classes while the counselors went around one-on-one. When they got to me, I listed my AP classes to them so they could make adjustments. On day two, you get a revised schedule after you skip out of basic classes with AP and IB credits. This is your final schedule with professors’ names, class locations, times and days, possibly final exam dates, and your total credits for the semester with your current enrollment. This same information is also available on myNortheastern at that point. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get the classes, times, or professors you wanted because you can still make adjustments with your adviser throughout the semester.
9. Night one is free time.
It depends what you decide to do. You might join the dance party at AfterHours next to the Starbucks in Curry, or you might hang out in the Speare/Steast quad for popcorn and ice cream with friends, lounging on the Adirondack chairs on the lawn. Your options are pretty open this night. Just don’t get caught doing anything inappropriate by campus police because you don’t want to have a strike before you start school in September. That would be a regrettable L””. I would maximize this time getting to know people because it’ll be so much easier to find a squad once school starts if you already made friends during Northeastern orientation.
10. Keep in touch with the people you meet.
The gap between Northeastern orientation and the start of school is enough to wipe your memory clean of everyone you’ve met. Stay in touch and develop streaks on Snapchat with people you want to get to know better during the year. It helps to break the ice when you meet them again in September and eases your transition to college. Many people feel that the people around them already have a squad by the time they touch down at the start of the year, and it makes people really insecure to try to make friends when they feel everyone’s already “taken.” Scan out the people you feel you’d really enjoy spending time with, make friends during orientation, and this will make it easier to fit in with a group once school starts.
I really hope this article helped everyone who read it. I simply touched upon points that I myself experienced during those two days of orientation, and hope that everyone else finds everything relatable. College is a process, not just a change, and it takes time to get your footing right. So it’s important to get things right during orientation, which is when college really starts. That way, when classes start in September, you’ve already got a head-start on your footing. Go Huskies!