As the days until the Class of 2018 arrive on campus shrink down, I can’t help but recall my own welcoming to the University of New Hampshire and my first year here. I knew no one when I started here. I was coming from a small high school in Connecticut (the only other graduate from my high school who came to NH went to Dartmouth); I had no family who had gone here in the past so I was completely unfamiliar with the campus and all UNH traditions; and all of my expectations were based on a few campus visits and pamphlets I had received in the mail. Let’s just say I was doomed to the cursed life of a confused Freshman. But you don’t have to have that fate. One of the main jobs of UNH Tales, along with the UNHStudents accounts (twitter, instagram), is to keep an account of campus life and to help prospective and incoming students know what goes on in Wildcat Country. So, here for you now, is a guide to everything you need to know as a Freshman coming into UNH.
Be prepared for some gross weather. A majority of students who I have talked to all say that it was either super-hot and humid or rainy and generally unpleasant. And then on top of that you’re staying (if you’re doing the overnight orientation) in Stoke Hall. If you don’t know someone who goes to UNH currently or has in recent years, you don’t know why that is a kinda sorta bad thing. And I’m not going to tell you why that is. What Stoke is should be discovered on your own. While most students dread the day where they just might end up living there, there are just as many students who love living in the eight story residence hall. Anyways, back to orientation.
I’ll focus a bit more on the overnight since that is what I did…. All those years ago.
When you arrive, there will be a bunch of college kids yelling at you, ripping you away from your parents (if they brought you), and sending you off in a vague direction to check in to orientation. Once you’ve checked in, you get your group and orientation room/ roommate assignment for the duration of orientation (not the school year!) and then the beginning of your college life begins. Over the course of orientation, you will meet with an academic advisor to decide on your fall class; get your ID picture taken (so look your best!.. although no one ever looks good on their IDs), learn about university resources, and meet your new classmates.
It can all be a little overwhelming with getting to know campus and ice breakers and everything that goes on. But there is plenty of down time and chances to just take everything in.
Want more information about June orientation? Click here!
This orientation isn’t all of the prep you’ll get for becoming a Wildcat though…
The fall semester kicks off with a weekend that’s all about Freshmen. Before those days, there are a few pre-Wildcat Days programs to choose from: PAWs, Proves, and CONNECT. No matter if you do those programs or not, the Saturday through Monday before classes is all about you—the class of 2018. With the few exceptions, the campus is only Freshmen and this is the chance for you to roam free without a guide and without your parents.
During Wildcat Days, you get the biggest welcome the university can offer. The weekend includes a picnic and your class picture (that will be hung in the MUB), WildACTS, a peprally, Juke Box, and the college meetings.
These are some of the best days of the semester. You start making friends and making the campus yours. And just think, this is the last time (probably) that you’ll be able to say “I’m bored” since classes start that Tuesday (eeek!)!!!
Before I close out this first section of my Freshmen Guide to UNH, let me just give you a few terms that you’ll need to know for your orientations.
Orientation Terms to Know
MUB– Memorial Union Building. This is the UNH Student Union building. Inside you’ll find the UNH bookstore, the movie theater, Union Court, the information desk, the game room, the entertainment center, and much much more! It is a great place to just hang out. Plus, the move theater there gets all the hit movies before they go to DVD and you only pay like $3! (And they take Cat’s Cache!) Also, the MUB is attached to HoCo and the Dunkin Donuts
Stillings– This is one of the three dining halls on campus and where your ID pictue is taken. It is also, arguably, the best dining hall on campus.
Stoke Hall– This is the hall that houses you during June orientation. The eight story residence hall houses 611 students along with business services, financial aid, and the registrar’s offices.
PAWS– Pre-Orientation Adventures for Wildcats.
Proves– Pre-Orientation Volunteer Experience
CONNECT– One of the pre-orientation options for freshmen.
WildACTS– A weird but awesome play that gives you a humorous introduction to campus life. Also, Condom Fairy…. You’ll understand later.
Jukebox– A get together in the MUB/Union Court where you can get food, meet new people, get free things, and find out about all of the clubs on campus.
HoCo– Holloway Commons, the largest dining hall. Attached to the MUB.