The College Experience: What to do before you go

students standing in lines to spell out RIT

The College Experience: What to do before you go

So orientation is right around the corner; it’s going to be here before you know it. So how do you prepare? What should you do with those last few moments of summer? How can you best prepare for the year ahead? Here are our top 10 things for what you should do before your leave for orientation:

1. Schedule a doctor’s visit

You probably have already gotten informed about this, but in case it slipped your attention – there are certain vaccines and health forms you need to submit to RIT before your registration is complete. And even if you have taken care of all of them, it’s always a good idea to schedule a check up and make sure you are in tip top shape before you step foot on campus. Here is the link if you still need to submit your forms.

2. Connect with/befriend your roommate

Whether you chose your roommates or went completely random, you still want to get to know this person or group of people. They’re going to be the people you come back to every night and even if you aren’t going to be best friends (which is totally fine by the way), you still want to have enough of a working relationship to let your roommate know that you need the lights turned off at 11 because you have an exam the next day. Polite social skills – learn them, embrace them.

3.Tidy up your social media presence

Now let be honest here, how many times have you met someone in person and then, that night, went on to stalk their social media to find out just the type of person they really are? No? Liar. We live in a time were we spend so much time on social media platforms and so much of our perception of people is shaped by what they put out for the world to see. Fair? Probably not. But do yourself a favor and make sure that the person you portray yourself to be on social media is the person that you want to introduce to all the new people you will be meeting in college.

4. Read

Whether you actually want to get ahead on your textbooks or just develop a good habit, picking up a book should be on your radar. No matter your major, you will have classes where reading is required (even if they are just prerequisites) so building your reading skills will likely come in very helpful at some point in your first year of college.

5. Learn time management

Can this be stressed enough? College is a lot of work. You’re going to be taking classes where your economics professor doesn’t know or care that your anthropology professor just assigned you 50 pages of reading and two take home essays. If you want to be able to enjoy more things than just classes, you also will need to learn to steward your time, your greatest resource, wisely.


And if you want to kill two bird with one stone and read to learn about time management, check out Chris Bailey’s The Productivity Project.

6. Set up a calendar

You’re going to have a lot on your plate, whether it be a project meeting or coffee with your new best friend. Find a system that works for you, whether that means a bullet journal or a perfectly color coordinated Google Calendar. Either way, make sure you implement a system that works for you so that you never miss an appointment or due date.

7. Learn where to go for help at RIT

College can be a transition and asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. You don’t want to wait until it’s too late to get help, so take some time to figure out all the resources that RIT offers. A good place to start in the Academic Support Center, check them out here: https://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/asc/

8. Talk to your parents about expectations when you’re home

Depending on your distance from home, access to transportation, this can look very different to a lot of people. But it’s most important that you are clear and honest with your family so that you both can develop healthy expectations of each other.

9. Spend time with your family

Okay so you talked about the fact that you for sure need to be back for Thanksgivng and Christmas, you’ve had all the touch talks. So spending some time just relaxing with them. You might not get to see your family again in person for another couple of months so make sure you take some time to just be with them and in their presence.

10. Hit up your favorite hometown spots

Whether it be that local coffee shop where they know your order the moment you step through the door or your favorite tex-mex restaurant, go there. Those can generally be the things you end up missing the most from home, so make sure you visit them for one last hoorah beore you head off to college and possibly not be back for a long time.


So there you have it, our top 10 tips for how much use your summer to make sure your transition is all the easiest. Let us know which one you felt was most helpful – or do you have a piece of advice yourself? Let us know in the comments.

Lea is an Industrial Design student with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Outside of writing for Behind the Bricks, Lea dedicates her time on campus to Cru, and she loves trying unusual ice cream flavors, swing dancing, and bullet journaling.

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