A letter to incoming freshman: all about orientation, move-in day, etc.

To those of you who will be joining the Hoosier family very soon, I have a few (okay, more than a few) words of advice for you.

Live in the moment

You've either graduated or will be graduating from high school in the next few weeks, and then you will have a summer full of anticipation, anxiety, nervousness and down right excitement ahead of you. You'll be buying the dorm room essentials, packing and going to new student orientation. This summer will be very college-preparation-oriented (as it should be), but I urge you to continue to live in the moment. It is so easy to get stuck in the "I can't wait to go off to college" mindset that you forget to experience what's going on around you. Trust me, I understand how hard this is, especially when every family member, friend, family friend, teacher, coach, clergy member and Walmart sales associate asks you about your college plans. I know that it can be hard to focus on anything else, but PLEASE enjoy your summer. Go to the lake, hang out with your friends, do whatever it is you like to do. You only live once, right?

Be prepared

When it does come time for orientation, I want you all to be prepared. Orientation takes two days. On the first day, you will be overloaded with information, most of which you won't remember. You'll also probably get lost once or twice (or three times if you're anything like me.) The most important part of orientation, in my opinion, is the second day. This is when you'll meet with an academic adviser and schedule classes for your first semester of college! Woo! It's so important to look through the course catalog and decide which classes you think you might be interested in taking. This will save a lot of time during your advising appointment. After you meet with an adviser and finish choosing classes, you will register. I strongly suggest you utilize the people who are there specifically to help you build your schedule and navigate the Registrar website. I didn't ask for help and I ended up really hating my schedule. If you aren't sure how far of a walk it is from one building to another, ask. If you aren't sure if the professor has the teaching style you prefer, maybe someone can offer some insight. Never be afraid to ask questions. Not during orientation. Not during life. I also encourage all of you to visit the First Year Experience/New Student Orientation website to make sure you're prepared.

Be patient

Move in day is an emotional, stressful and exciting experience. You are most likely living in one of the dorms and will be moving in at the same time as everybody else. It is hectic, the August air is sticky and hot, and the traffic in Bloomington is like no other. I would suggest getting to your dorm and moving in as early in the day as possible (less people, less humidity, less stress). And if you really want to avoid the rush, you can pay a fee to move in a couple of days early. Patience is KEY. It's very easy to get stressed or to become frustrated with your parents or family (for either moving too slow or embarrassing you in front of your floor mates), but just take a deep breath and try not to overheat!

And finally (I know, I know, wrap it up), I just want to say good luck as you begin your first year at Indiana University. Take advantage of everything IU offers. Socialize with your floor mates. Go to the Welcome Week events. Talk to new and different people. Try something new. It won't be long before IU becomes your home, I promise.

Best of luck.

Kaitlyn Stanton

P.S. Don't be afraid to call home and tell your family you miss them. Because you know they miss you too.

About The Author
Kaitlyn StantonFinance Major, Class of 2018, Greencastle, IN

I am in the Kelley School of Business pursuing a degree in finance. I love being a student at Indiana University, and I love sharing my experiences with other people!