Surviving and Thriving During Your First Two Weeks at IC

By Nicole Kramer ’19, August 22, 2018
An IC senior's advice on how to make the most of the new school year.

The first two weeks at college can be challenging. Here’s some advice from an IC senior on how you can make the most out of the start of your Ithaca College career.

Important Dates

  • August 25 — Move-In Day
  • August 27 — Convocation
  • August 29 — First Day of Classes
  • August 31–September 3 — First Bomber Weekend
  • September 5 — Student Organization Fair

1) Make Move-In Day memorable

 Moving all your stuff to a residence hall can seem like a herculean task at first, but don’t let it overwhelm you. There will be student, faculty and staff volunteers there to help move items from vehicles to rooms. And you don’t have to have your entire room set up right away. Pace yourself, and use the time to get to know your new roommate. If you’re feeling like you need to take a break, invite your roommate to get a bite to eat, and tackle the rest later.

A checklist, parking information and other tips are available on the Move-In website.

2) Get ahead of the curve in class

One of the biggest challenges when adjusting to college is getting used to the academic expectations. On the first day of class, pay attention as your professor outlines the expectations and class policies in the syllabus, so you’re not caught off guard later in the semester. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either; your professors will appreciate that.

If the workload seems like a lot at first, don’t panic. Remember that you were accepted to Ithaca because you’re smart and capable of doing the work.

Even though it’s a Wednesday, your classes will follow a Monday schedule. After the first day, don't be shy about participating in class. Not only will it make the class more interesting and engaging, it will show the professor that you're invested in the material.

Check out the Academic Calendar for other important dates.

3) Clubs can be great, but don’t go overboard

Clubs are a great way to meet new people and enrich your out-of-class time. At Ithaca, there are more than 200 clubs, covering nearly every interest imaginable. The Student Organization Fair, held at the beginning of the semester, is where you can find the clubs that are the best fit for you. But don’t overextend yourself and sign up for everything that piques your interest. Start with one or two, and attend meetings to gauge whether the atmosphere, people and activities are right for you. You can always join other clubs later.

4) Remember: You’ll have plenty of chances to make friends

Making new friends can seem daunting at times, but opportunities are all around you. The community picnic following Convocation is a prime time to meet people in a relaxed setting. Following that, First Bomber Weekend provides a plethora of ways to get to know your new classmates, whether it’s on campus during the BBQ, or at one of the many off-campus events, such as Downtown Day or the trip to the Farmer’s Market.

Once the semester is in full swing, there are plenty of on-campus activities. Plays, concerts and movie nights are great ways to run into people who share your interests. And sometimes, simply turning around and asking a classmate about their weekend can turn into a friendship.  

5) Get to know your new town

Ithaca is widely recognized as one of the best college towns in the country, so be sure to take advantage. There are buses that will take you to Ithaca’s lively downtown so you can explore the great thrift and vintage stores and countless restaurants. Also, we say “Ithaca is Gorges” for a reason! The late summer is the perfect time to hike or swim at some of the many gorges the area has to offer, such as Taughannock Falls and Buttermilk Falls. Just make sure to do it safely, by staying on marked trails and swimming only in designated areas.

6) It’s perfectly natural to feel homesick

Whether or not college is the first time you’ve been away from home for an extended period of time, it’s normal to feel homesick. Don’t feel embarrassed if you want to put up pictures of friends back home to make you feel better, or if you feel the urge to call your parents or siblings at night. But don’t forget that getting out of your room and experiencing all the campus and town have to offer may make you feel more comfortable in your new surroundings.