I used to swim competitively year-round, and even swam for RIT during my first year. But when classes conflicted with practice and I had to quit, I needed another way to stay in shape. So I did what any wannabe bro would do. I started lifting weights at the gym.
The main gym at RIT is called the Wiedman Fitness Center, and it can be found in the Hale Andrews Student Life Center. Now I'm no Schwarzenegger, but since I started lifting I've learned a few things about gym etiquette and unspoken rules. Here's a few tips on turning your first gym trip into an extended vacation.
If you're new to the gym, do a little research beforehand on what you'd like to do and then ask the staff where those machines and equipment are located. You don't want to be a lost sheep among seasoned wolves. Second, get an idea of what body part you'd like to exercise that day. When I first started going, I would pinball between random machines working completely different body parts with no particular goal in mind. You're better than me. Use a notepad, phone, or memory to create a plan for the day. Third, and this goes beyond your first few gym trips, bring a buddy to lift with you. It's easy to lose motivation when you're by yourself. Your gym buddy, or "swoll-mate" will keep you on track. As an added bonus, once you start lifting metric tons of iron, your gym buddy can spot you on your lifts. That being said, keep the group to a max of four people. Any more than that and you'll be there forever as you all wait your turn to use the equipment.
Most importantly, don't be self-conscious! It doesn't matter if you're lifting 250 lbs. or 25 lbs.; running a mile or a marathon. Everyone is there to better themselves, and everyone started somewhere. Don't lose heart or confidence if you don't see the results you want right away. Keep at it and I promise that hard work will pay off!