Last summer I recall being really pumped to move onto campus, dorm shopping like no ones business and awaiting the beautiful email to tell me who my roommate would be - my first college bff. I spent a lot of time on the RIT website, checking out classes, looking at the virtual dorm room online (so I could plan accordingly...), and I also read a lot of the ambassador blogs to see what students really do on campus (to see what I should be excited for).
So, in honor of all you over eager first years coming to campus, I have decided to give you a list of the top five things to look forward to during your first week on campus.
1. The Move-In As a woman engineer on campus, I was part of the WE program and moved to campus a week early... so I did not have to experience the chaotic family move-in of the rest of campus... although I did have a few awkward moments carting my bags across Gracies in attempt to get to building 30 after parking in the wrong lot...
The WE program is awesome and if you are a part of it this fall you should be ready for movie nights, music, engineering activities, and *hopefully* a trip to the farmers market downtown because it has the craziest stuff for your new room, knock-off handbags, and fresh food!
The best part of how campus is designed is (A) how there is a distinct separation between the academic and residential side (via the Quarter Mile Bridge) and (B) how the residents halls are dominated by first year students.
RIT requires that all first-year students live in the residence halls. After the first year students can enter the lottery to move into an apartment on campus (Colony, River Knoll, Perkins, UC) or off campus. This set up is awesome for first-years because everyone is doing the Awkward-Family-Move-In, and everyone is eager to make friends and have fun.
2. Your RA Your Resident Advisor (RA for short), is an upper-class student who lives on your floor. He of she is going to be your ultimate source of campus knowledge. You are introduced to your RA when you move into your hall. They decorate, make door decks for you, and have floor meetings to go over hall rules and introductions... In a nutshell, your RA is that perky neighbor who is the "google" of campus - the person who knows everyone, or who can give you a link to someone who can help you.
3. The club fairAt the end of orientation week the school holds a club fair in the Gordon Field House. Over 200 clubs and teams will be present. So if you have a passion for something (ANYTHING) there is most likely a club for it - from ski/snow board club, to the radio station, Student Government, Video Games, musical groups, Greek houses - the variety makes it hard not to get involved.
4. Your OAYour Orientation Assistant (OA) is the second important student you will be introduced to. During orientation week students are split into groups by college, and then randomly (some by major). Your OA is a student in your college and will have you and a group of 10-12 students for the week. Their job is to get you oriented to campus - through planned activities, team building exercises, tours of campus...etc.
Last year in KGCOE we were sent on a scavenger hunt to find parts to make a cookie launcher.
Orientation is a week of icebreaker games during the day, and really great entertainment at night. If it sounds cheesey, it probably is, but it is all totally worth it and I encourage you to attend all the WOW (Week of Welcome events). I was just checking out the university events calendar online and totally saw that Dale K is coming back this year! Dale K is a comedic hypnotist, and soooo fabulous. He preformed during my orientation last fall and... well… it makes it way easier to get to know your classmates when they are hypnotized.... :)
5. The beauty of GraciesThe best place to eat on campus during orientation week is Gracies. This dining hall is located in the center of the residential side and is a huge all you can eat dining facility. During my orientation, we used to sit at the back tables and have "family dinner" which was about 20 students from my floor and a floor in Fish C who ate together.
7 Weeks until Move-In! Get Excited!