Advice for the Class of 2014
What I have for everyone this week is a little advice about what to do after deciding on going to Case. I figure at this point, the majority, if not everyone has made up their mind on what they are doing next year and where they are going to school. My goal for this blog is to try and give some advice and insights from personal experience.
My first piece of advice is regarding what to do this summer. Assuming things haven't changed dramatically over the past year, every new student has to complete a new student checklist of sorts. In my opinion, it is very important to jump on doing that as soon as possible and not put it off. The reason I say this is a lot of the items on the list have deadlines, and if you wait too long you might not be happy with what you get. It also helped a ton that my dad motivated me by saying I could get my laptop for school as soon as I completed my part of the checklist. Obviously I did everything as fast as possible.
One of the more important ones to get out of the way early is signing up for your orientation session. For my class, there was a total of four orientation sessions. Three took place during the summer at separate times and the fourth takes place the three days before the official move-in. The fourth one usually fills up the fastest, as it is the most convenient for many of the people that do not live close to Cleveland. Therefore if you want a say in what session you get, I recommend signing up as soon as possible. Now a little bit about my orientation experience. I think of orientation as a great time to get to know Case Western Reserve University's campus and develop some navigation skills from Leutner to Fribley (the two dining halls on campus). My orientation experience did not start nearly as well as I was hoping. My family and I were late on getting here for check-in so I was late for meeting up with my assigned group. Therefore, they left without me and I had the pleasure of being placed in a group with 15 girls, no guys. Not what I was planning on at all, but it worked out okay. At this point now, I haven’t kept up with many of the people I've met during orientation. It's not that they are bad people;, we just went our separate ways with friends when we arrived on campus. My suggestions for orientation are try your best to build some friendships up for when you come to Case in the fall, but don’t be upset if things do not work out the way you planned. I didn’t have a very good orientation experience, and some of my friends here loved orientation. Now after being here for a year, I feel it hasn’t hindered my college experience at all. So what to take from this is, don’t worry about it if you don’t meet anyone you like during orientation, you only are interacting within a very small part of the incoming freshman class. You will find people you like at a later date.
The next big, and probably most important, freshman experience at Case is Welcome Days. I say this because it is the first big step in officially moving away from home and becoming independent. It's the first time you will probably meet your roommate face-to-face and get to know the people living around you. Case does a great job facilitating programs in order to allow all freshman to get to know each other and get used to living away from home. For me this was hard because I've never been overly outgoing, and it was hard not knowing anybody from the get go. But I was lucky and got an awesome roommate that I still get along with very well.He helped me expand my horizons and meet new people. I think one thing you should remember when your trying to meet people in an environment like that is that everyone is just as confused/lost/scared as you are. They want to meet new people and build relationships, so do not be afraid to take a risk and be outgoing. Coming to a new place allows you to start over completely and remake yourself in anyway you wish. All you have to do is take advantage of the opportunity.
Other than that, just do your best to make the most of these experiences to meet people before actual classes start. Once everything gets going, social time definitely gets reduced. If for some reason this doesn't work out, don't worry, you will meet somebody, or they will meet you. Most importantly, get excited for a life changing experience!!!
I love questions, so if anything is confusing about the whole transition process, comment and I can give you my email.
Have a good summer!