Hey Class of 2016!
You’ve finally made it. All those years of studying, test taking, and resume enhancing have finally paid off, and you’re now in the final stretch preparing for what many call the best 4 years of your life. By now I’m sure you’ve been bombarded with tons of congratulatory emails anticipating your arrival as you enjoy these last sweet weeks of summer. Nevertheless, I wanted to take the opportunity to give you a few tips for the rest of the summer, how to prepare (and pack!) for the big move, and what to expect at orientation- from someone who just went through it!
- First and foremost, enjoy time with your family and friends. Though you’ll be meeting tons of new people and making friends that will last a lifetime very soon, be sure to spend time with those that have been there for you forever. Even if your parents seem to be smothering you, do the best you can to be sensitive and patient with them! Remember, they’re just as excited for you for this new journey you’re about to embark on, but understandably it could be hard for them to let go (especially since “it seemed like only yesterday they were cradling you in their arms!”….or maybe that is only what my parents say?!).
- Do your PACE modules! I cannot tell you how many friends waited until the end of the semester to get these done just in time for grades, and were at such a disadvantage (and even failed PACE). Believe it or not, these are actually designed to help you! This includes learning how to register for classes, contact and schedule meetings with your advisor, get involved on campus, and so much more! You’ll have to do them eventually, better to now than when finals roll around and you’re scrambling to get everything else in too!
- Pack with some sort of organization. The less time you spend unpacking in your dorm, the more time you can spend meeting people. If everything is already folded/on hangers or ready to go, you can immediately unpack and place. (Side note: you can begin shipping belongings to your dorm starting in August. Your items will be placed in a Pod outside of your dorm for pick-up during move in. This way, you don’t have to check a thousand bags at the airport or pack your car full for the drive! Being from California – this was a lifesaver for me!)
- Don’t over pack. If you find that shirt in the back of your closet you never wore but think “maybe I will in college…” chances are, you won’t. So don’t bring it! Closet/drawer space is precious. Anything you realize you may need, you can buy in Atlanta- fortunately, there are several amazing shopping plazas to choose from!
- Coordinate what larger items to bring in advance with your roommate i.e. printer, TV, refrigerator, etc. You don’t need a fan, unless you want one: all rooms have their own heating/air and personal thermostat to set to desired temperature- lucky you! (Side note: I highly recommend the Collegiate Concepts Micro-Fridge combo endorsed by the Residence Hall Association (RHA). They’ll place it in your room before you arrive at school and pick it up at the end of the year upon moving out. You can also choose to buy your own Micro-Fridge if you prefer!)
- When you arrive on campus, take advantage of the resources available to you. Orientation Leaders (OLs) will be everywhere to help unload your car and bring your things to your room. In your orientation groups, make friends and ask your OLs lots of questions. Meet with your academic Advisor to discuss classes and different academic paths. Get to know your Resident Assistants (RA) and Sophomore Advisors (SA) on your floor. Take advantage of getting to know the unbelievable team of support around you! Go to the student activities fair, Carter Town Hall, Songfest, and all other events- they’re planned especially for you!
- Find something to get involved with, on or off campus. Some may be able to do this right away, and others may take some time- it doesn’t need to be immediate, especially as you’re still adjusting to college life- but it’s important to not only be defined by your academics. Emory promotes well-rounded students, and even more, well-rounded people.
- Get to know your floor mates. More than likely, these are the people you’ll spend a lot of time with, and who will remain close friends throughout your college years and beyond!
- Certainly the Facebook friend requests have been rampant- sending and/or receiving them. Inevitably, there’s going to be a degree of awkwardness when you meet someone you realize you’re already friends with on Facebook. Just go with it. You’ll all laugh about the mutual creeping/lurking later.
- As a final word of advice, enjoy every moment of your first year (duh). College in general is one of the most exciting times of your life, and it flies by so quickly- make the most of this year and the years to come. Meet new people. Study hard, and have fun. Challenge yourself in ways you’ve never imagined before. Sign up for classes and different clubs organizations you wouldn’t have considered before- you may discover a new passion. This is a time to discover new things about yourself- so don’t be afraid and look forward to each day as an opportunity to grow.
Hope these tips were helpful! Feel free to comment if you have any more input or questions.
We all look forward to seeing you soon!
-Tori (Admission Fellow)
Image thanks to Emory Orientation Memories.