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If two nights and two days can make your head spin, these might be the two. It’s not a bad thing, of course; it is just the amount of information you and your student will take in at that time that can get a bit overwhelming. I believe my first FSU orientation I spent taking pages of notes, marking things I wanted to talk with my daughter about later and highlighting things I wanted to keep close in case situations came up that may make those notes useful (ie: tutoring, healthcare, safety on campus…. honestly they touch on everything you can imagine and many things you haven’t yet.) Later I learned that parents took pictures of the slides – much easier.
The other memory that stands out, for both my daughter and three years later, my son, was arriving at Degraff Hall for check in (between 7 – 8:30 pm on the first evening) to find very long lines. It was rather hot and parents stood around waiting for their kids to get checked in and move their stuff to the room they would be staying in for the next two nights. It is mandatory that students stay in the dorm for orientation and it is really a good thing. They learn almost as much there as they do in the break-out sessions.
Time of Their Own
Just so you know, you will not be spending most of those two days with your student; they have their own sessions. You will, however, be reunited when it is time for them to register for classes and possibly for a breakout session. Try to discuss what classes your student may want to take before orientation as there is very little time to chat when they actually sit down with an advisor for enrollment (at the end of a successful orientation). Remind them that whatever they end up with does not necessarily have to determine what they study for the next four years. This seemed to leave some students in a panic, which in turn if you are anything like me, becomes the parents’ worry as well.
Take the tour and eat lunch, as planned, in the dining room. It will give you a clearer picture of your student when you talk to them months later and can envision where they were and so on. Dress comfortably, bring a sweater (it can get cold in the sessions), bring snacks and drinks (it can get long, and I, for one, like to nibble all day long). Walking shoes are recommended for the tour. Bring an umbrella. It always seems to rain at least once a day in the hot months. Welcome to Florida.
A great deal of what the students cover will require they have access to their student portal. Make sure they are aware of their passwords, etc. This will be the time to activate their FSUID and create a pin, which will then give them access to their FSU email account. Bring any medical forms, copies of insurance cards, etc. you may need.
Be sure to read our blog on meal plans before you register for one during orientation.
Set up banking. If your student will be receiving Bright Futures or financial aid, it is much easier to have it direct deposited to a bank account, rather than waiting for a check….that may arrive in their U-box and sit there for weeks over winter break. FSU has a relationship with SunTrust, so this is where any overages or disbursements would go. My kids bank at Bank of America, which is more convenient for our family and has a kiosk on campus, but money can be directly deposited from FSU to BoA or any bank of your choosing. For out-of-state students, it makes more sense to have a Florida bank checking account. If you are unsure, wait until you head home and you can always open one at your local branch. If you are planning on having your student use their FSUCard as a debit card for on and off-campus, they will need to set up a SunTrust checking account. While it is easier for students to not have to carry around an additional debit card (many put it in a stick on card holder wallet) if your student is anything like mine and loses their id’s, driver’s license, credit card, you may want to give this a second thought.
Register vehicles in advance. It doesn’t necessarily have to be done at orientation, but it is recommended that if your student is bringing a car/motorcycle/scooter that they register online before school begins. Traditional parking decals are basically a thing of the past, but this does not mean they do not need one. Now they use virtual permits which require that their vehicle license plate must be registered each year. Parking permits are from August 15 to August 15; so if your son/daughter is starting in the summer, you guessed it; he/she has to register before summer and before fall again.
Have you made hotel reservations yet? For information about hotels in the area check out our hotel blog and restaurants. You should probably check out our other blogs as well. They are chock-full of good information.
And, of course, head over to the campus bookstore or an area retail store and start stocking up on Seminole apparel- You are about to spend your student’s next four years growing to love the FSU. Or check out some great Seminole gear at Life is Good, Champions on Display; Fansedge.Fanatics.
For those with fancier taste, check out the Dooney & Bourke collegiate collection. and, check out customized skins for your Nole’s laptop, cell phone, gaming devices and even their amazon echo with a customized FSU skin from Skinit. Use code huh25 and you will get 25% off your order (excludes gift cards, e-cards, and shipping)
There are a Starbucks and an Einstein’s just steps away should you need a pick me up at some point in the day. This is not to imply that orientation is boring, but it is long. Orientation ends at about 1 pm the second day.
Items to Bring
Your student will want to bring comfortable clothes, a pillow, sheets, a bath towel, shower shoes and a blanket, a jacket or sweater and, of course, their toiletries. Many of the girls bring duffles to hold all of their belongings. I remember getting my daughters a Vera Bradley duffle because that’s what college girls use. They still use it to this day for weekend trips or trips home when they do not need to bring a suitcase.
Click here for more information on FSU orientation. Early registration is strongly recommended (dates fill quickly). Registering for orientation has to be done through the new student’s myFSU portal.