The ABC’s of Freshman Year

Angel. This website is really important throughout the semester. It allows you to connect with your professors and classmates. In addition, lessons, grades, assignments, and online tests are posted.

BSG (Brockport Student Government)Officers are democratically elected and serve to allow the clubs and organizations of Brockport to function. They also provide funding for these organizations.Most students recognize BSG as providing awesome concerts (this year Lupe Fiasco and Mac Miller have performed) at great prices for students.

Clubs and Organizations- Clubs and organizations are a great way to meet people. It does not matter if the club pertains to your specific major, everyone is welcome to join. In the beginning of the semester, “Club Craze” is held, giving students the opportunity to sign up for whatever they are interested in. Its always hard to decide what to try but you can always decide that you are too busy or not interested in staying in the club.

Dining Halls. As a first semester freshman, you have 2 choices of meal plans- unlimited (go as many times a day as you want) or 2 a day (you can only swipe your card twice). The meal plans are used in the two main dining halls, Brockway and Harrison. I was really worried about the “Freshman 15” but there are plenty of healthy options at each meal. Brockport’s dining services have been #1 in the SUNY system since 1994.

Eagle Run. This is the shuttle that students can take if they do not have cars of campus. the shuttle stops at Wegmans and Walmart in Brockport to give students the opportunity to shop for things they need.

Freshmen Seminar (GEP). This is a class that meets once a week during the first semester. The class typically consists of students of the same major and is taught by your advisor. In the class you discuss new experiences as freshmen and learn about Brockport through on-campus events.

GPA. In college you are responsible for keeping up with your work and keeping your grades up. Report cards aren’t mailed home at the end of the semester and your parents won’t be calling your professors about grades you get on a test. Its all up to you! Make sure you keep your GPA up because it low grades may prevent you from being involved on campus.

Housing. At Brockport, freshmen live in either a corridor-style, or suite-style room. A corridor-style building means that residents share a room with 1 roommate and a bathroom with the entire hallway- MacVicar, McFarlane, McLean, and Thompson Halls. Suites consist of 2 bedrooms (shared with 1 other roommate), 1 common room and a bathroom- Benedict/Dobson. In addition to residents, there are RAs (resident assistants) and an RD (resident director). RAs are upperclassmen who are each responsible for a section of the building and putting together programs.

Ice skating. The hockey rink is open late on Wednesday and Friday nights for free skate. Its free to skate with a student ID and really inexpensive to  rent skates. Its a fun way to spend time with friends and it doesn’t matter if you know how to skate or not. Its almost more fun when you wipe out in the middle of the ice and just sit there laughing at yourself (Not that I’ve ever done this…).

Juggling. In a big way, college is a juggling act all all about managing your time. If you have class, homework, test, meetings, clubs, sports, work…it can be a struggle trying to make time for everything. I have found the best way to have time for everything is to make a schedule for each day. I include classes and other events each day as well as what homework or studying i plan to get done at different points throughout the day. Its a little trick at first but everyone has their own way of doing things that they somehow figure out.

Kisses, Hugs, and Goodbyes. The  day I moved in to my dorm room was one of the most exciting and nerve racking days of my life. Everything became real when it was time for my parents to leave and for me to start my college life. Though everyone experiences it differently, home sickness is bound to happen. There will be nights you wish you were home with your family and friends. College is about learning to stand on your own to feet and you cant do that if you are running home at every step. You’ll get through whatever life throws at you and just because your family isn’t here, doesn’t mean they cannot help. Home is just a text, phone call, or skype chat away.

Living Learning Communities(LLC).  These are a great way to get to know people with similar interests and majors as you do. As part of a LLC, everyone lives in the same hallway, creating a close sense of community.  LLCs have specific events and programs. As a first year student you can join Global Village, Recreation and Fitness, Green House, Future Health Professionals, Leadership and Community Service, Math & Science, Teachers of Tomorrow, Creative Artists, Honors, or Academic Exploration.

Mail. Believe it or not mail is one of the most exciting things to happen in college. There are mailboxes located in each of the residence halls, where you will have a key to pick up your mail. In addition, small packages will come to your building but large packages will be sent to Dobson. The Dobson Package Room will notify you when a package arrives and you will have to go pick it up.

New Beginnings. College is the beginning of the rest of your life. For most freshmen it marks a bunch of firsts; first time living on your own, first roommate, first time you’ve been away from your friends, first everything! College is an extremely exciting time but it’s all abut what you make it! Don’t hold back, be you, be fun, be daring, and try everything!

Orientation.This was one of the most terrifying yet exciting moments in beginning my college experience. I attended the session for education majors and met a lot of new people. Even if you don’t stay in contact over the summer, it’s great to walk into a class and recognize a few faces. At orientation you really get a feel for college life and the people you will be spending the next 4 years with.

Peer Mentor. A peer mentor is an upperclassman who works with your specific GEP section. They tend to have a similar major to the class so they can help you with any questions you have about your major and classes. They keep you up to date on whats happening each week and try to connect with you on a personal level by going to dinner or events together.

Questions. In school I was told there was no such thing as a stupid question, and this is something I think is important to remember when coming to Brockport. As a first year student experiencing many firsts, it is normal to have questions (and lots of them)! Dont be afraid to ask your peers, RAs, or professors for help. Your peers are all new to the campus and odds are they have the same concerns you do.

Roomates. This is the thing I was most nervous about when I thought about college. I’ve never shared a room, so I wasn’t sure how living would a roommate would be. To be honest, it is a little tricky at first but it is just one of those things you figure out. You really have to be open to the idea of living with someone completely new and ready to learn how to coexist.

Saturday of Service. This is the Saturday of welcome weekend when freshmen work on different volunteer projects around Brockport. You meet people that day that will be in your classes and its really great having someone to walk to class and sit with on the first day.

Trax. This is one of the late night options to grab a bite to eat. Trax is located under Harrison Dining Hall and is a great place to  walk to at night. They serve everything from pizza and wings to subs, fries, and chicken fingers. At trax, you swipe your meal card, but it is not part of the meal plan, you use dining dollars instead.

University Police. UP works to make sure everyone on campus is safe. They respond to potential emergencies in residence halls as well as throughout campus. They can be reached on any of the blue light emergency phones located across campus.

Volunteer. Besides clubs and organizations, volunteering is a great way to get connected with the campus. Giving back to the community looks great on applications and gives you a lot of real world experience, plus it helps you meet people interested in the same causes you are.

Work. There are so many employment opportunities on campus for students. Jobs are available for both work-study and non work-study students ranging from dining halls to rec. and fitness and child development center. Schedules are flexible because your number 1 priority is attending classes and completing your work.

Xperience everything. (I know its really spelled experience, but i couldn’t think of any x words!) One of the most important aspects of my freshman year so far, has been experiencing everything Brockport has to offer. From the food, to the people, to the activities and clubs; Try it all! Go to a club meeting even if you’ve never tried it before. Go to the concerts and games, even if you don’t like the musician or sport. Because in trying all of these new things, you will find things you do like, and you may not have even known it.

You. College is all about you! You’re going to be realizing a lot about yourself that you never knew. Take responsibity for yourself, take advantage of all the amazing opportunities yu have at Brockport and most importantly take the time to remember how hard you’ve worked to get here. If your high school for you was anything like it was for me, it wasnt always easy, but somehow you made it thorough. You pushed yourself and you are the reason you are where you are now. Remember how hard you’ve worked and that is just the beginning.

Zonies. I personally do not know what I did before zonies. I think it is one of those funny college things, ordering calzones at 1am with friends. There are a lot of these little “college things” that make your time at Brockport so special. I’m not saying your freshman year in college will be about midnight snacks, but it will be about the things you do with the people around you. I have made so many amazing friends at Brockport and whether  we are ordering food, watching movies, going to games, or just hanging out, college is definitely going to be full of people and experiences I will never forget.

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