I'm sure that metaphors can be made about the light shining through the darkness.
I’m sure that metaphors can be made about the light shining through the darkness.

In my final hours before orientation actually begins I thought that I would share my wisdom on ways to spend the hours before orientation finally begins.

A good place to start would be to arrive at your destination, if you haven’t already been scoping it out.

A bad place to start would be to realize you need to pack socks (or anything else).
A really bad place to start would be to realize you don’t have tickets to get there.

Anyway, this post is pretty much completely irrelevant for this year (unless there somehow is still another accredited institute of higher learning that won’t be starting in the imminent future), but on the off chance that these thoughts will benefit someone down the road, here are some observations:

  • Wear a shirt for your school…or better yet, have a sibling (if applicable) wear it for you. I think having a sibling do this for you gets you the best of both worlds, because everyone will think they’re the rising freshman and you can choose to either let them deal with that awkwardness or interject, depending on the situation.
  • Know where you’re going. In my experience, this mostly revolves around how I had no idea that Illinois’s sales tax is 9.5% (despite the fact that I’ve been coming here my whole life). This number leads to my next point, which is…
  • Take comfort in the familiar, which of course means Harry Potter. In my case, you don’t need to be an English major to see the similarities. When we got to the gate, Jonathan  (see previous point about siblings wearing school shirts for you) was asked if he was “heading to O Week (which apparently sounds like something out of Harry Potter). We departed from Gate 6, which is an upside down 9 (add 3/4s, etc.), and had an entire cart of luggage that looked completely unstable (think of departing the train station), and of course, it helps when your school is recognized for its resemblance to Chicago by respectable sources like BuzzFeed.
  • Walk around the campus. Even if you’ve lived there your whole life (unlikely), it definitely feels different to realize that you’ll actually living (and maybe studying) there in the near future. You’re not going to find all the shortcuts, but if you (or your siblings) are wearing shirts for the school (sensing a trend?) you might pick up on some insight.
  • Get excited! Also, this is probably a good time to post an intro to yourself in the college group (but hopefully that’ll be a subject for another post).