Online Orientation and Welcome Week give you a boat-load of information all at once. Yes, the info is helpful, but there are a few things that TCNJ, your CAs and Orientation Leader,s don’t tell you. Here’s a list of some random things no one tells you, to help out the incoming freshmen!
1. Learn how to register for classes before you have to.
Paws is confusing enough, even with the directions on the TCNJ website. In the Fall semester, you register for classes for Spring in November. Navigate Paws to learn how to find classes, requirements, and your advisor, to schedule a meeting to lift any holds on your account. Any holds will prevent you from registering for classes.
This is where most of your professors put up grades, the syllabus (save this), and notifications. All professors use a canvas page or publish it before classes. You can set it up to get email notifications- this will be your life! There is a Canvas App too that is great if you have online quizzes and you don’t want to bring your laptop everywhere.
3. Bring lots of fans.
I lived on the 10th floor of Travers, and going up the elevators, you could feel it getting hotter as you go up. All of the floors are super hot from August to September, and parts of October. Bring personal fans, giants fans, anything to keep cool! No air conditioners though (sad face.)
In the student center, there are Wells Fargo ATMs, but you can only take out $20 dollar bills. If you fell like taking the walk to Campus Town, Spencer Savings Bank lets you take out money in $5 increments. It doesn’t matter what bank you belong to either; just have a debit card to swipe and you are good! Plus, no fee!
5. You will get tired of Eick.
Like really fast. Yeah, it’s decent college food, but eventually you will want to do take out. Save up money, or make friends with someone with a kitchen. Plus, when you go home, bring back food. Canned chicken noodle soup is a life saver.
6. No Snapple or Arizona.
Sadly, the only Snapple is at Barnes and Nobles in Campus Town and Red Berry. I still haven’t been able to find Arizona.
7. Most professors take attendance.
Everyone always says that teachers don’t care if you show up or not, but a lot of teachers count class participation towards your grade. Which brings up the next point.
8. Most professors are understanding.
If you are sick, need to take a day off, or anything else, if you email your professor at least a day before, they will understand. But make sure that you still show up to class most of the time. Telling your professor that you will complete what ever is planned for class, to still have a chance to get some participation grade, also really helps.
9. What the best times for Meal Equiv are.
Meal Equiv is amazing, but there are defiantly times to avoid. Wednesday is the lightest day, since almost all majors have no classes. On all the other week days, avoid right at 11am (especially at the library) and 12:30pm. This is when a lot of classes get out and it’s a rush of people. At the library, you could wait a good 30 minutes for your breakfast sandwich. If you can wait until after the rush, do it!
They just added wifi into the Towers, so that isn’t a problem anymore (luckily!). For any device around campus, use TCNJ-DOT1X; the password is the same as your Paws and Canvas log in.
11. Printing and copying
In the library, you have to pay for printing and copying, but it’s not too awful. You use “Get It Points” (basically money on your ID) and it’s only 5 cents per page, for both printing and copying. I suggest investing in a printer for your room to keep all four years.
12. Have a lanyard.
Lanyards are a great way to keep track of your keys, id, and favorite keychain all at once. But whatever you do, do not wear it as a necklace.
13. Don’t wear your favorite shoes to a party.
I’ve heard so many stories of girls going to parties in basements and walking back to campus afterwards (don’t do that either), and their shoes get ruined from mud or drinks getting spilled on them.
14. The people on your freshmen floor aren’t your only friends.
I really only still talk to 2 people from my freshmen floor, not counting my roommate. Get involved on campus and in your major. This also goes for commuters.
15. The walk to class isn’t bad…until it rains, snows, or is freezing.
Invest in a rain jacket, nice heavy winter jacket, and a sturdy umbrella. I’ve experienced walking to class when it’s 10 degrees outside too many times, and seen people’s umbrellas break and fly away.
16. No one will judge you for wearing your high school gear.
While some people tell you to break away from high school and not bring anything from those years, it’s nice to have that little piece of home with you. It could be a senior shirt, sports jersey, band shirt, matching shirts you and your friends made; doesn’t matter. No one will say anything to you. It’s also cool to see someone wear a sports shirt from a town over from you.
17. Not everyone rushes.
In the spring, the freshmen get a chance to rush the fraternities and sororities on campus. There are social, cultural, and academic frats and sororities; so there is something for everyone who is interested. Remember, it’s okay if half of your floor rushes, and you don’t. It’s everyone’s personal choice, and if later on you decide to rush, you can always rush in the Fall of next year or in the Spring.
18. Expect the unexpected.
From personal experience, there will be things that will happen both academically and personally that you would never think in a million years would happen; and this could be good or bad. Not everyone’s college experience is picture perfect, and that’s okay. Remember to communicate with your friends and family. Learn from what happens and grow from it.
19. Points go by faster than you think.
Depending on what plan you have, you can easily run out of points 2 months into a semester. Save the points if you go over in meal equiv for when you have a late night study session in the library and need a coffee. Bring snacks from home or your dorm, or save fruit or chips from Eick, if you need something during the day. You’ll miss those points when you want a late dinner towards the end of semester, and you can only buy a bag of chips.
20. You learn so much about yourself.
While college is a place for learning, you will also learn things about yourself. You are changing and maturing as a person, and the changes around you will contribute to that.
Bonus: You won’t eat as much ramen as they say you will. I’ve only had it 5 times since I started college, and it’s because I wanted to, not because I had no money. Remember: college is a learning experience. You are on your own for the first time, and no one is here to tell you what to do. It’s okay to make mistakes and ask for help!
These are a few of the things no one tells you about freshman year at TCNJ. What do you wish you knew before your freshman year? Share in the comments!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Featured Image Source: pinterest.com
Alexis Silverman is a sophomore at The College of New Jersey majoring in Music Education with a focus in Clarinet. She enjoys watching YouTube videos, hanging out with friends, and sleeping.