So, you've been accepted. Congratulations! Seriously, that's awesome news. But now the real decision-making process begins. If you've visited before, you've likely already felt the excitement on RIT's gorgeous campus. If you haven't visited before, now is the time. You're likely facing a handful of acceptance letters, and at the moment it feels like the biggest decision in the world. A visit makes all the difference.
Three years ago, on April 1st, 2011, I visited RIT for accepted student open house (my first visit). I applied to six schools and was accepted at all of them, most with competitive financial aid packages. And it felt like an impossibly colossal decision. I felt like wherever I decided to go dictated the entirety of my future. For most high school students, choosing a college is the biggest decision they've ever had to make. After visiting the three schools I was most interested in, my decision became perfectly clear. I knew from the minute I left campus that RIT was where I wanted to be.
If you haven't decided to already, you should be attending one of the accepted student open houses on April 5th and April 12th to learn a lot more about RIT. You'll not only get tons of in-depth information about RIT and the program you applied to, you'll have an opportunity to meet with financial aid, ask questions with (gasp!) real people, face-to-face (many of whom will be current students). It's also a fantastic chance to meet your potential classmates and get a feel for who else may be attending RIT in the Fall.
While considering your options, keep in mind that every school has an orientation process. Think of it as a, "hey, this is college at [school name], welcome!" type process that typically lasts a few days. As a freshman at RIT, you move in a few days before other student and learn the ropes from upperclassmen who've been hired and trained as Orientation Assistants. I've had the immense pleasure of being an OA for two years, and this upcoming fall I'll be a Lead OA, responsible for training the OAs and helping them do their jobs throughout Orientation.
But if you want to come to RIT just a little bit earlier than that, you can. That's a thing. It's called DiscoveRIT - a program that offers various pre-orientation sessions (for a fee) that allow you to move in early to do something incredibly awesome or interesting.
I participated in pre-orientation, and I'm incredibly glad I did. I signed up for the Western New York Bike Adventure, which is a long bike ride along the Eerie canal from RIT to Niagara Falls. The 190-mile (round trip) ride took 3 days, and I still can't believe I did it. I've always liked bike riding, but never before have I said, "I think I'll ride my bike for 10 hours today." It felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When else am I going to ride my bike to Niagara Falls? If you asked me three years ago I'd have said never, but having done it once, part of me really wants to do it again.
If a nice long bike ride doesn't sound like your cup of tea, there's plenty of other choices including a backpacking trip, a canoeing trip, an innovation program, a local art exploration program, and more. For the full listing, check out DiscoveRIT's website. If you're curious about Orientation, you can also visit the RIT Orientation website. But honestly, if you want the best experience, stop in and see us at accepted student open house on April 5th or 12th. From 12pm - 3pm I will be on the mezzanine of the Gordon Fieldhouse with some fellow Orientation staff members answering your questions and telling you all about the Orientation process here at RIT.
Being aware of what your school of choice does to help you adjust to the college lifestyle is an important aspect to consider in a school. The transition is huge. I encourage you to come find out what makes RIT's Orientation so great, and find out why I and other Orientation Assistants come back year after year to experience it all over again.
See you there!