10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went To Orientation At American University

Going to orientation is definitely a nerve-wracking experience. A new home, new people, a new state, and in some cases a new country. Here are a few tips and tricks to ensure your weekend goes as smoothly as possible at American University:

1. Bring a parent

Yes, you will know majority of the information for your classes and where things are on campus, but when it comes down to tuition and paperwork you are going to want your parents there. So bring one, two, or the whole family for a quick trip down to DC.

2. The WONK bus takes you to Tenleytown, and only Tenleytown

Majority of DC schools have busses that will take you to Dupont, Georgetown, K street, and beyond, but not AU! Unless you need to make a quick trip to CVS or Whole Foods, the bus is pretty much useless.

3. Uber is a lifestyle

DC is such a vibrant city and you are going to want to explore it all! Whether it is checking out cute brunch places, visiting the monuments, or heading over to Arlington, the city’s transportation will fail you. To avoid the monthly phone call from your parents about your Uber bill, be sure to start stacking up on those Uber gift cards when friends and family members ask what you need for college.

4. TDR is the best it will ever be, and yes, it’s still not good

Most of your meals will be eaten in the dining hall so you can really see what your college diet will look like. The less than mediocre, far from NY style pizza and uncooked pasta will make you tremble in your sleep once you start to live on campus. Don’t worry, Uber Eats, Postmates, and Grub Hub are always the move!

5. Talk to as many people as you can

I am not going to lie, it is awkward, but everyone feels awkward. Go up to as many people as you can and ask “what is your major?” or “where are you from?” You never know what that one conversation may lead to.

6. Meet with your advisors

This is an optional part of your day, and is at the very end when you just want to go home, but do it! It will put you at ease when it comes down to the first day of classes at American University.

7. Bring a portable phone charger

Trust me on this one, you are going to want your phone when you’re sitting in ten hours of lectures at American University.

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8. If you are sleeping over, bring a blanket, towel, and pillow

Although they do leave you a light sheet, pillow, and half-body towel, you are going to want your blanket from home and a towel that covers your full body.

9. Wear comfortable clothing

I cannot stress this enough. I know you want to look good since you are meeting people for the first time, but find a nice happy medium. Maybe a cute two piece, denim shorts with a graphic tee, or even athletic clothes, but make sure you are prepared to beat the heat. Most importantly, do not forget sneakers!

10. College is nothing like Eagle Summit

Brace yourselves, Eagle Summit will be a loooong two days filled with lectures and ice breakers. You will come out of the weekend never wanting to step foot into Kerwin Hall again and shivering at the phrase “fun fact,” but it will be worth it when you move in and already have a lay of the land.

Did the tips for orientation at American University help you? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Sydney Weltman

Hi! My name is Sydney Weltman and I am a Business and Entertainment major at AU. Although I am currently living in the district, New York will always have my heart. When I am not studying or writing you can catch me dancing, shopping, and scoping out the hottest brunch spots.

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