If you could give advice to an incoming freshman, what would that be --- anything from dorm set-up, what to bring (or what not to bring), dining halls, on-campus healthcare to anything else that would be nice to know now so as to make a student's adjustment easier in Sept.
If you have limited space in your car/ suitcase, don't bring lamps, fans, garbagecans, or anything bulky. You can buy that stuff at the bookstore, or at Targert or B B and Beyond, which are a 15/20 minute walk/ 3 minute drive away.
Remember that there's going to be a swim test, so besides the bathing suit, if you are sure you can't do a few laps without goggles, a cap, whatever, bring them.
Boggle, board games, decks of cards, are COOL not DORKY at swat... especially when combined with booze - so bring those games you were always to ashamed to play with your high school friends.
If you have a printer, bring it. If yours is broken, you don't have one, its out of ink or toner, don't worry, there is free printing in every dorm that freshmen live in, and in the library. Many people go four years without a printer.
Macs are better than PCs.
Its really hot for the first couple weeks of school, so don't think you can get away with only getting your warm weather clothes when you go home for spring break.
Posters... you can get them on campus, but everyone ends up getting the same posters from the huge poster sail. If you are into individuality or whatever, or can't be bothered to figure out how to get posters to stay up... bring room decorations from home! Pretty cloth is good. knick knacks are good. Candles... not allowed. Some people get away with it, some don't, but its not really worth it.
Bring photos from home. Not thousands, but an album? Or maybe they're all on your computer so you don't have to worry.
thats all I can think of. Did you have anything in mind re on campus health care? I guess bring any medicine you normally take... or get more when you get to campus? I can't think of anything re health care... enjoy!
The swimming test is given in the first week of orientation, and its pretty easy to pass. If I remember correctly, it involves swimming 1-2 laps and treading water for 15 minutes or so.
The college employs several pyschologists and counselors through their Pysch Services, and people usually go there if they're feeling really overwhelmed, stressed out, etc. I've never been, but I've heard that they're pretty helpful.
And, as hellohowareyou said, it is insanely hot the first few weeks of the school year and most dorms are not air conditioned. In other words, bring a large fan!
Also, are there any dedicated people in school's healthcare center to whom students talk about their stress or personal worries?
Yes. There are two parts of the health care center -- health care and psych services. The health care is fantastic. My daughter got the flu this year. The nurses put her up in a private room for two days and feed her chicken soup until she could keep food down...just like mom.
Psych services is there mostly to provide someone to talk to...about the stress of college and all the normal kinds of stress that kids encounter -- family, love-life, and so on and so forth. You'll get a tour of all these and the opportunity to meet the people who run them during parents orientation. I got a very good "vibe" from all of these people.
My number one piece of advice? Incoming freshmen should learn the various layers of support available and be encouraged to make use of them.
CAs -- an orientation group leader
RAs -- residential advisor on each floor of each dorm
SAM -- a student academic advisor assigned to each freshman
Faculty advisor - a faculty member who signs off on course selection, etc.
WA -- writing associates. Students trained to peer review papers before they are turned in. USE THEM! Smart Swatties get every paper WA'd.
Health services - self explanatory
Psych services - I think parents need to communicate that it's OK to go chat with someone if things get rough.
Deans Office -- tons of deans.
Upperclass neighbors in the dorms -- a great source of informal advising, about college life, academics, majors, professors. By and large, Swatties try to look out for "their freshmen".
I think the vacuum cleaners are available in the dorms (but are not used too often). There are laundry machines (washer/dryer) in every dorm (cost $1.50 or so per load in quarters). I am not sure what people do about dry cleaning. You really don't need any non-washable cloths in college .
I am sure that the dorm vacuum cleaners are basically brand-new, being virtually untouched by human hands. As for dry cleaning, there is a dry cleaners in the village which gives a modest discount to students, and it's not all that expensive to begin with. On the one occasion when I picked up my S for December break, I brought along a dust rag and did his room. I couldn't help myself. I'm certain that it was never cleaned other than that.
I think Macs are better just because they're Macs, but lots of people have PCs, and there are public computers (mostly Macs, I think) available in dorms.
If you don't want to mess up your hair, you better take the swim test (all you need to do is not to drawn for 15 minutes or so in order to pass). Your alternative will be a semester of swimming lessons, which will take a much higher toll on your hair ...
I don't think there is any major dorm-specific preparation in order. What you bring and what you buy there would depend also on whether you are driving or flying. Generally, I think "less is more" is a good rule - the less junk you have, the less hassle it will be to pack/store it, and the more space you'll have in your room. You can always ask your parents to mail you things you find out you can't live without, or bring them after October brake.
Good. I know this is lame but, my mom doesn't want me to swim in the fall/winter semester so that I won't get sick so I promised her I'll try to take it in the spring...although it'll still be winter when I start.