As a current freshman, incoming sophomore, at SUNY Plattsburgh my experience thus far at this university has been wonderful. While I enjoy my last few days at home for this winter break, if you’re transferring into SUNY, or plan to attend the school, then these are the things prospective students should know before coming to SUNY Plattsburgh.
Expect a culture shock
This is for my NYC folks. SUNY Plattsburgh is very different compared to any of the five boroughs in NYC. It is a very small town, and quiet. As a girl from the Bronx, I had an idea that it would be very different just by going to accepted students day and orientation. But I really understood the difference between Plattsburgh and the Bronx the minute I moved into my dorm and experienced my first college semester. Plattsburgh doesn’t have much transportation. I mean there are ubers, lyft, and taxi drivers, but if I were to go home for break I would either have to take Amtrak, take the Greyhound, use the school’s holiday bus, or even go to Plattsburgh airport. Back in the city, there are many buses, trains, and taxis available to use as transportation. Also, this is my first time being at a predominantly white university. There is nothing wrong with this, it’s just very different compared to my other school. So be prepared for this shock once you come to Plattsburgh!
You will lose and gain friends while being here
This one isn’t a shocker but be prepared for losing friendships with people you met through orientation. It’s going to happen. It doesn’t mean the friendship will be over due to drama. People just grow apart. You will make new friends along the way. Whether it be at a club or in class, you’re going to make new unexpected friends along the way. Enjoy it! College isn’t just about getting your degree. It’s also about having fun and trying new things. So don’t be scared, make new friends!
8 am classes suck but you probably will take one
If there’s anything I learned from my first semester of college is to never take another 8 am class again. I like to stay up sometimes and it can be very difficult to get ready for an 8 am class the next morning. If you aren’t a morning person, do not sign up for 8 am classes. It can be tough. Many students try to sign up for all the afternoon classes. With that being said, make sure you sign up for the first session of orientation. The first group of students will be able to select classes with unlimited options. Don’t make the same mistake I made and choose the last session of orientation. That’s where the remaining classes and times are left.
Expect to be in a triple in first year housing
So imagine this. You submit your deposit for SUNY Plattsburgh and then you sign up for housing. Two weeks before school starts, you finally get your dorm assignment. However, you notice that you have two roommates instead of one. Don’t get upset, this is very common. Since Plattsburgh renovated some residence halls and freshmen prefer living in first-year halls, Wilson Hall and Whiteface Hall will be tripled up. Of course, you can choose to apply for upperclassmen residence halls to avoid being stuck in a triple. However, if you’re applying to be in a first-year residence hall, then you’ll most likely be in a triple. From my experience, it was good. I got along with my roommates and our triple was pretty big. However, I didn’t like how high my single bed was since my desk was underneath it. I was afraid that I would fall off the bed sometimes. Once you get accepted to Plattsburgh, fill out the housing applications ASAP and try to avoid living in a triple.
This is super important. There are many food places here in Plattsburgh and some of them you can use your Cardinal Cash with. However, don’t use all of your Cardinal Cash and money. You have to manage it wisely, trust me. Don’t go to Buffalo Wild Wings or Subway’s and spend all of your money. Plan out when to use your actual cash and Cardinal Cash. I cannot stress this enough for you. I was struggling towards the end of my fall semester when I ran out of Cardinal Cash and was forced to eat at Clinton Dining Hall until my dad deposited money in my Cardinal Cash. I also was out of actual money to buy necessary supplies I needed.
Walk on the bridge to get to Hawkins, Au Sable, and Redcay
This is short but a lifesaver. The second semester taught me to walk on the bridge when I had to travel to get either Hawkins Hall, Redcay Hall, or Au Sable Hall. I started walking on the bridge because it made traveling much safer and faster. There isn’t much traffic here in Plattsburgh, but it’s better to walk on the bridge than to walk on concrete and in the streets.
Join any clubs here on campus
Be productive! Joining clubs was the best decision I ever made at SUNY Plattsburgh. Not only did I make new friends, but I was able to build connections. Also, you won’t be bored in this small town if you are in a club. Sign up for many clubs and choose at least two you can become dedicated to. You won’t regret it!
Don’t miss any of your classes unless you are extremely sick
Some classes take attendance very seriously and even put it as part of your grade. Don’t miss it because you forgot to do an assignment. Don’t oversleep and miss your class. Go to class everyday! You should only miss it if you are in extreme pain, an emergency happens, or you are extremely sick. Otherwise, wake up and head to class. It may seem like a drag now but it will be worth it once you see your final grades and you see how being there helped you learn every material.
Take advantage of the SA Shuttle
This is another short point. The shuttle is a great way to go to the mall, Walmart, and Target without walking. It’s absolutely free and it comes every 15-30 minutes.
Buy bus tickets to go back to the city for breaks from the school
Another advice for my city folks. I made a comment earlier about taking the school’s holiday bus to go back to the Bronx. When you go back home for breaks, try to get tickets from the school’s bus. The price is only $80 roundtrip, which is great compared to prices for Amtrak and Greyhound. You can’t bring all of your stuff because that will overcrowd the bus. But, pack enough that will last you for the break. It’s a great investment and I highly recommend you to buy your tickets for the break buses.