1. Get in touch with (call, e-mail) your future roommates so you don’t show up with six TVs and no lamps.
2. Buy your own copy of the freshman facebook. Inevitably, one from your suite will get lost and when crunch time for screw dates draws near, you’ll need several copies.
3. Make sure you send in a good photo for the facebook and your ID. This photo will stay with you for a long time and may determine your romantic future.
4. Try to set up a cleaning schedule for your suite. It won’t last forever, but if you start off the year splitting up chores, you may be able to prolong the time period before the two neat-freak suitemates end up doing all the cleaning themselves.
5. Your suite will need more than one phone. One of your suitemates will repeatedly lock the cordless in his/her room and you will miss many important calls. It’s a good idea to mount a regular phone to the wall in your hallway or common room in addition to buying a cordless, so your parents don’t call the police and report you missing when you never return their calls.
6. While your parents are here moving you in, stock up on toiletries and school supplies. When it’s 12 degrees outside and you have a headache, you’ll be grateful for the economy-sized bottle of Advil you bought at the end of the summer. Also, at 3 a.m. the night before a final, you don’t want to be dashing out to look for more index cards.
Once you’re settled in —
7. Join activities early. Yale is different from many colleges because seniors, for the most part, don’t participate in extracurriculars. All of the presidents, editors in chief, and chairpersons of clubs are juniors. If you want to rise through the ranks of any particular organization, it’s best to get in on the ground floor as early as possible. (But don’t be afraid to quit activities you don’t like and start all over again sophomore year).
8. Take advantage of shopping period. If you don’t like a class, try a new one. If you like a lecture course but hate your section leader, switch sections.
9. Know yourself and your own habits — pick classes that you know you’ll be awake for. No matter how industrious you are, if you’re not already an early riser, you’re just not going to get up for that 9 a.m. calculus course every other day. If you’re a hardcore partier, you will probably want to avoid that Thursday 8 p.m. section, too.
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