The end of your high school career is gradually coming to an end. There’s only a few months left where you’ll experience a series of lasts—your last prom, your last few classes, and your last time walking down the halls of your high school as a student. Not to mention, graduation will be the last time your class is together before you all embark on a new adventure.
Yet this series of lasts will bring on a series of firsts. And this series of firsts will be even better as a West Chester University Golden Ram!
As a future Golden Ram, you’ve probably explored the campus once or twice. Maybe you haven’t even been on campus at all, but there’s a few important things to keep in mind while going through orientation and before you start your college career at West Chester University.
1. Campus is a lot smaller than you think.
When going on a campus tour, either during Orientation or a separate tour altogether, it’s easy to feel as though the campus is huge. I distinctly remember touring campus and feeling as though the dorms were extremely far from the Academic Quad.
But that isn’t the case.
You’ll quickly realize, during your first week of classes, just how easy it is to get from your dorm to your class in less than fifteen minutes. And if your class is in Merion Science Center or Brandywine Hall, that walk is even shorter!
2. Get ready to learn the difference between Market Street, Gay Street, and High Street.
I know this was one of my biggest struggles when first arriving to West Chester University. All streets were practically the same to me, but I promise! There’s a huge difference and I’ll give you the rundown of it!
Gay Street is a one-way street that you can only take coming into West Chester. There, you’ll find Starbucks, The Couch Tomato, JACO Juice and Taco Bar, and tons of other cute places to go to with your friends for dinner one night (because you will get tired of Lawrence Dining Hall really fast!) Market Street is a one-way street you can only take leaving West Chester. Market Street has a handful of cute restaurants, as well as a Dunkin Donuts on the way out of town and who doesn’t love Dunkin? High Street will be where you can find a handful of frat houses, in addition to Amore (which will become your go-to restaurant for food after a party or even just to order for delivery!).
The streets of West Chester truly are a maze at first, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time!
3. Be open-minded when it comes to the organizations you want to join.
WCU truly has so many unique organizations on campus! When you receive emails about the Activity Fair in the beginning of the semester, don’t simply ignore it. Take the time to go to the Academic Quad and see all of the clubs WCU has to offer!
Plus, WCU has an incredible Greek life community and going to the info sessions on Fraternity & Sorority Life can be truly beneficial to determining whether or not you’re interested in rushing. There are so many amazing Greek organizations on campus (get ready to see them tabling throughout the year for their philanthropies!) that there is definitely a home for you!
You never know which organizations will stand out to you unless you put yourself out there, so don’t be afraid to take a risk and explore your passion!
4. Be prepared to download Tapingo because it will become your best friend.
If you come from a small town, it’s unlikely you’ve heard of Tapingo before. Just to summarize what it is, it is basically an app where you can place an order at a restaurant and it will tell you when it’s ready to be picked up—this way you won’t have to stand in line!
The lines for Einstein’s and Starbucks can feel as though they go on forever, so download this app so you won’t have to wait!
Plus, you can order delivery with this app from places like Wendy’s and McDonald’s and while it may take forever some days, it’s truly worth it! Especially since there will be many days when the food on campus just doesn’t sound appetizing.
5. Create a study schedule and try to stick with it.
One of the hardest parts about being a new student at WCU is the fact that you don’t control your first semester schedule. You might have 8 A.M’s everyday or maybe you have a series of evening classes. No matter what it is, try to create a study schedule each week!
It’s easy to get caught up in all of the homework assignments for the week, so creating a to-do list each week can truly work wonders. Prioritize each assignment and make sure you dedicate the time you need to each class.
WCU offers tutoring for various classes in Lawrence, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of that! Plus, don’t be nervous to attend your professor’s office hours if you’re truly struggling. They have office hours for a reason and they truly want to help you!
Hit up the Francis Harvey Green Library (which you’ll soon call, “The Lib!”), grab some Starbucks and get to working!
So, congratulations—you’re about to become a student at one of the best campuses in Pennsylvania! From the food trucks, to the Quad on a warm day, there’s truly so much this campus has to offer. Get ready for the next exciting few years of your life as a Golden Ram!