Eleven Things to Do Right After You Arrive on Campus
There are eleven important things you need to do within the next couple of days to ensure that your college experience gets off to a comfortable and positive start.
Get Your College Photo Identification Card
The college registration process begins with the issuance of your college photo ID card. At most colleges and universities today, given the increased emphasis on security, you need this ID card to get just about anything or anywhere on campus. Because of this, the freshman ID issuance process causes one of the biggest bottlenecks of the opening days of school, and the lines can often be very long.
Review your orientation materials, be sure you bring whatever proof of identification your college requires (often a driver's license or state-issued ID and one other item, such as your Social Security card), and make this your first stop in the morning.
Oh, and remember: this card will follow you around for four years, and you usually don't get to reshoot the picture, . . . so if you're concerned about that, grab a shower before you go.
Introduce Yourself To Your Resident Advisers or Freshman Counselors
Most colleges and universities place several resident advisers (RAs) or freshman counselors in every dormitory. Part older brother or sister, part mediator, part cop during the course of your first year, these experienced hands can be an invaluable source of information and advice during your first days on campus.
Usually you'll have a few to choose from, so meet them all and then find the one you are most comfortable with. Once you've identified that person, ask him or her the Three Questions you below. Remember, what you're looking for at this stage of the game is information: knowledge of where the pitfalls are and how to avoid them; ideas about what worked for others and how to implement those strategies in your own experience.
Question 1: What were the three biggest mistakes you made during your freshman year, how could you have avoided them, and what did you learn from them?
Question 2: What were the three best decisions or choices you made during your freshman year, and why do you consider them good decisions?
Question 3: What are the three most important things you learned during your freshman year?
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