Six things they don’t tell freshmen at orientation

Published by adviser, Author: Chris Gordon - Asst. News Editor, Date: August 28, 2015

Generally speaking, Slippery Rock University does an excellent job ensuring its students experience a smooth transition from home-life to college. Each year, a few low-key details inevitably fall through the cracks. So, take it from someone with a few years at SRU under their belt, this is what you should know that you weren’t told at orientation:

1. Bring an umbrella.

And a windbreaker. And boots. Anything waterproof imaginable will help, actually. If you came for calm winds and pleasant weather, this is the wrong school for you. I can’t tell you how many inside-out umbrellas, ruined hairdos and water-damaged laptops I’ve seen over the years. Anyone who’s ever lived in the dorms will tell you that Rock Pride Drive is a wind tunnel between October and April. Your shoes will get soaked. Your hair will be wind-blown. You will cut through any building imaginable on the way to class, just to escape the storm for a few sweet moments. Slippery Rock is the true windy city, so do yourself a favor and just prepare.

2. The wait at Sheetz ain’t worth it.

On many a weekend night, you’ll find yourself among a group of friends going down Main Street towards Sheetz. Now, normally, Sheetz is a great idea. It’s fast, inexpensive and obviously delicious. Sheetz on Friday and Saturday nights is like the clumsier, less talented cousin of its usual self, however. The same “quesarito” that took 5 minutes at lunch time will take a minimum of 45 once G-Hill starts to clear out. The pick-up line becomes the lottery for the semi-coherent mass that consumes every inch of floor space the store has to offer. If you’re really feeling the Sheetz vibe, go to Domino’s and eat it at Sheetz. Enjoy your pizza and a show, while you watch some drunk person argue with a worker who “gave their order to someone else.”

3. Don’t buy your textbooks from the bookstore.

I have at least a few friends who have cut rolls of paper towels in half to make toilet paper, so it’s safe to say the average SRU student isn’t rolling in cash. That’s why it’s hard to justify the sky-high prices of the SGA Bookstore’s textbooks, which really pack a punch to your bank account. Sure, many professors will wait until the first day of class to tell you what book you’ll need, seemingly cornering you against a mound of books that must be made of solid gold. Just remember that there’s always a way around the bookstore, though. Many cheaper, online options exist and, if you need proof, check out The Rocket’s April 23rd article on textbook prices.

4. Leave your car at home.

I know you’re skeptical, but once you’re an off-campus commuter like myself, you’ll be saying the same thing. Unless you’re stuck at Building F, the furthest academic building from your dorm is a brisk 15-minute walk. That being said, there is no tangible reason why you’ll need a car at SRU. All the necessities are provided on campus and the Happy Bus will take you above and beyond where you’ll actually need to go. During the day, every commuter lot within a 10-minute walk of the the Quad is filled to capacity and it’s a shame that an on-the-go senior should have to park basically at Pine Glenn just so freshmen can hold down their resident spots with cars they only use to drive home every other weekend anyways.

5. Smart kids go to Boozel during common hour.

During that hour and a half of free-time the university grants us, Rocky’s seems appealing. You’re just getting ready to splurge and use a bit of that oh-so-precious flex, while enjoying some food that isn’t a turkey doughnut burger with ginger sauce. You’ll soon find, however, that the second floor of the Smith Student Center is nothing but chaos. From Greeks to band geeks to SGA, Rocky’s is overwhelmed by just about everyone other than those just looking for lunch. The lines are long, the seating is scarce and the noise is deafening. So save your flex for a time you won’t be taking someone’s “established” seat, you have more meals than you’ll ever use anyway.

6. Say “goodbye” to the Hello Tradition.

It’s one of those traditions that no one other than Green and White Society members know, but for some reason, freshmen love it. If you’re a sophomore and up, you know this is prime-time for greetings from 50 different people you’ve never seen before. It’s awkward, confusing and it makes you feel bad for not knowing who your greeter is. Freshmen, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t be friendly, but you might as well just tattoo a giant “#SRU19” on your forehead if you’re going to greet everyone you walk by who isn’t intently staring at their phone. We get it, you’re new.


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