Advice for First Years

School starts back up in a little over one month. For the first year students starting at MU it’s 4 days less than that. These students get an extra four days at MU to prepare themselves for their next 4 (or 5 or 6) years there. This has me thinking about my first year and what I would tell myself within that first month of the new school, at a new place, with new people. Here’s 5 good pieces of advice I want you first years to know because I needed to know it myself.

1. Get along with your Roomate
This one was fortunately very easy for me because I was blessed with two wonderful and respectful roommates that I’m still friends with now. It can be hard to get along with someone 24/7 in that tiny of a space but as long as you respect them and their space they should do the same back. At the same time though don’t cling to just your roommate, go out and meet new people, make friends with people you normally wouldn’t. You’d be surprised at who you’ll end up making lasting relationships with.

2. Eating in the Dining Hall
Yes no more parents around to tell you to eat your vegetables!Just because your mom isn’t looking over your shoulder to make sure you took your appropriate amount of broccoli doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. You need to keep yourself healthy and that starts with eating right. The freshmen 15 can be a real thing!

3. Use the facilities/services
There’s a gym! At MU we are lucky enough not to have to pay a membership for the gym! That means you can go whenever and however often you want to! The same goes for the computers! Also our campus offers group physical classes like yoga, kickboxing or even clay making that don’t cost that much at all! Included in these “services” are things like peer-tutoring that would be foolish not to take advantage of!

4. Academics
I was not academically prepared for college at all, high school was a breeze (okay a joke) for me. Once I got to college I got a HUGE wake up call. There is this thing called studying that actually needs to be done. If your prof tells you to read the book guess what you need to read the book because Sparknotes can’t write the in-class essay for you! Please take this one piece of advice seriously and follow through with it. You are not putting all this time, money, and effort for four years (or 5 or 6) of socializing!

5. Be you
This is the time that most people discover who they, who they want to be, what they want to, who they want to meet and where they want to go in life. The most important thing to remember through the next four years (or 5 or 6) is to be you, whoever that may be, unapologetically.

Orientation!

First-year orientation. 

It’s an occasion some are eager for, yet some dread. No matter what your feelings are toward this wonderful welcome to college, here is one piece of useful advice: you’d might as well make the best of it.

Academic sessions, resident and commuter life discussions, listening to speeches, sitting in on panels, icebreakers, telling a hundred strangers your major in just a matter of hours…it all sounds like so much fun, right?! RIGHT!!

Screen shot 2014-07-08 at 9.50.28 AM

The truth is, orientation is only what you make out of it. Misericordia offers a “one-day orientation” in which students and their families are welcomed to campus and provided with a day packed with information that’s good to know before showing up at school. This one-day orientation provides the best opportunity to ask questions to Misericordia faculty, staff and students face-to-face.

In the few days before classes start, first-year students will participate in the “four-day orientation.” This orientation is jam-slammed with critical information and cool pointers on how to survive thrive in college. Honestly, it’s fun, too! There is a game show, a volunteer project, ice cream, a giant outdoor movie screen, and more. You’d might as well get your tuition’s worth in free popcorn.

10544450_10204233046255581_2000325233_n

Here is some (hopefully) helpful advice for orientation:

  • Participate in the icebreakers. Sure, they can will be awkward and funny, but participating in icebreakers is often the easiest way to meet new people that have potential to be your friend. Also remember that if you’re a resident student, everyone you meet has the potential to be your randomly assigned future roommate. Not that you should always jump on the bandwagon, but if everyone else is doing the icebreakers, why not participate, too? Meeting people during icebreakers is how some close friendships begin!
  • Talk to the orientation leaders/current students. Get the lowdown on what this school is actually all about. The orientation leaders and coordinators are so eager to answer your questions that they sometimes throw punches over it. Well, not really…but seriously, on behalf of the orientation team, please do feel free to ask us anything. Anything. We’re students, not commercials, so we’re going to be real with you in the most polite way possible. We were freshmen once, too, so we get how it is.
  • Ask questions. What is a meal plan? Should I buy my books online or in the bookstore? How do I know what books I even need? Can I have my car on campus? Where do I find my class schedule? What if I play  a sport and I have a game during class? Why look this stuff up on the internet or send a thousand emails when there are a hundred people around you just waiting to help you with your questions?
  • Pay attention. There is a reason you’re sitting in a boring panel listening to a speaker for an hour- it’s because he/she has something important that you need to know! The faculty and orientation volunteer staff’s time is just as valuable as yours, so trust me when I say we’re not messing around when we shove this information down your throats. Listen to what is being said so you’re not “that guy” who is asking two hundred questions that have already been answered.

Orientation is going to throw a lot your way, but with this smiling orientation team on your side, the future’s so bright!

Screen shot 2014-07-08 at 9.51.48 AM