10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Orientation At Syracuse University


There are a few things I wish I knew before attending Syracuse freshman orientation. Here are 10 things I wish I was told before orientation at Syracuse University.

1. There are a lot of stairs

I know, I was told there are a lot of stairs too. But honestly, I was simply not ready for the amount of stairs I hiked up and down during orientation week. Although I loved ice skating and licking ice cream cones with my new best friends, my legs killed. There really isn’t any way around this, especially if your friends are dorms that are far from each other, but just be mentally prepared and maybe try to hop on a stair climber every once in awhile.

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2. It is not yet snowy

Syracuse gets pretty hyped up as the freezing cold school with tons and tons of snow. So, I brought clothes accordingly. Once I unpacked, I was more than eager to throw up my super cute new long sleeve shirts and boots. Remember that orientation is in August; it is still hot out! Make sure to come to school with some fun summer clothes, too, because those first few weeks are a scorcher. Especially going from home where you always drive and immediately switching to walking everywhere, you will be far sweatier than you expect.

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3. The first people you meet may become your best friends or they may not

The first night of orientation, I went to an ice cream social and met a group of girls who I thought were going to be my best friends for life. One of them turned out to be my very best friend, and I can’t even remember the names of the other girls we were hanging out with that night. You never know exactly who you’re going to clique with long-term and that’s okay. Just be sure to be open to everyone and understand that not every person you meet the first night has to be who you stick with. Find your people!

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4. You will eat unhealthy and you will eat too much

The dining halls in college have a reputation for gross food and the Freshman Fifteen. I knew this, and I was very set on eating very healthy once I got to college because I was by no means going to stop living a healthy lifestyle. But, everyone slips. When you walk in hungover and have to go to the library to write a paper, you sometimes will go for the amazing orange chicken and some spring rolls instead of a wrap. Syracuse University does have a crazy dining hall selection.

In the middle of cramming for a test, when all you want is a piece of pizza and a cookie, you can have one every once in awhile. And, when you finish your first plate and your friend has something on your plate that just looks ~irresistible~ you may splurge. Honestly, its okay. Just make to to accept that you are human and you won’t stick to a perfect diet at school because that is nearly impossible.

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5. You only have to go out as much as you want to go out

As someone who went to high school parties solely of Friday and Saturday nights, I was shocked to see some of my new friends going to bars the day we arrived at orientation as well as every night for a week straight. I felt I couldn’t keep up. But, I wish I would have known that I didn’t have to. Not everyone goes out every night of the week and while it is fun to have a bit of the crazy college experience, sometimes you make the best friends by staying in for a night and taking a break.

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6. Everyone is as nervous as you are

Every person you walks past is in the same position as you.. don’t forget that. As nervous and homesick and confused and enthused and excited as you are, everyone you meet is experiencing that same crazy swirl of emotion. Be nice to everyone, help everyone out, and remember that nobody will judge you if you don’t judge them. Everybody is new, everybody is confused, everybody is tired, and everybody is lost. Just do your best and know that no matter what happens, everyone understands and they are in the same place.

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7. Everyone wants to make friends with you just as bad as you do with them

It is obviously terrifying to walk up to another person, let alone a group of people, and introduce yourself. But remember that as desperate as you are for some friends right now, everyone else wants besties just as bad. This isn’t high school–nobody knows anyone and everyone is just trying to meet as many people as you possibly can. Go up to them, talk a bit, get their number or their Snapchat and ask what they are doing later! They will probably end up being the ones to text first.

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8. Your roommate doesn’t have to be your best friend

A lot of people go into college expecting that their roommate is undeniably going to be their absolute best friend in the entire world on the first day. Yes, you spent so much time planning out your room and you Snapchat all their friends, but you have never actually met your roommate in person so don’t be surprised if it’s a little bit awkward. And, you may end up friends with different people but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. My roommate and I have totally different friend groups but at the end of the night we come home and hang out together. And, we both know each other’s friends with expands our social circles so much–I have even gotten close with some of her best friends!

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9. There are a lot of people out there just like you

Are you a partier? Studier? Obsessive Netflix watcher? There are people here just like you. Of course, in the beginning of school, you want to just make friends and will be friends with just about anyone. But, be sure you don’t settle. There is nothing wrong with realizing that the people you met on the first night of school just aren’t the ones for you and maybe you want to go hang out with a different crowd. No matter the type of friends you are looking for or type of person you are, there right people for you are here. You just have to find them.

10. This is just the beginning of the best four years of your life

Don’t stress. Remember that this is only the beginning! It is the first couple hours, days, and weeks of college and you have many, many more days. You have time to make friends and time to find your place so don’t push it. You will find your happy spot sooner than you know and once you do, these are going to be the absolute best years of your life. Take every day for what it’s worth and appreciate your time here because the more time goes by, the faster it flies.

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Syracuse University is going to be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. You are going to absolutely fall in love with Syracuse- without hesitation.

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Talia Simmons

Hey I'm Talia! I am a Chicago girl but east coast and big city at heart. I am a public relations major at Syracuse's S.I. Newhouse School and loving every minute of it. I live for trendy sunglasses, How I Met Your Mother, writing, white chocolate, and crazy spontaneous adventures. Catch me drinking coffee black any hour of the day and always living it up!

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