As we move into May, there is a final event in your accepted student’s time period that you should be looking forward to, New Student Orientation also known as, NSO.
NSO is the last event before you officially become a real-life Penn State student. Although NSO will only last a day and a half, there is a lot to be done. Buckle your seat belt kids because you’re in for one wild ride.
When you first arrive, you’re going to be directed to the residence hall where you’ll be staying for the night. Right away, you check in, get your room key, and drop off your luggage. But don’t get too comfortable because you have a full day of activities ahead of you. Many residence halls are not air conditioned; I recommend bringing a fan if possible.
Once you’ve checked into your room it’s off to meet your wonderful NSO group and group leader. I remember one of the NSO leaders during my NSO carried speakers on our walks to and from buildings. It’s always nice to hear some Kanye or The Chainsmokers while you’re walking in 80-degree weather.
You basically spend your entire afternoon with your group doing icebreakers, playing games, and learning about your new home.
If you’re not hungry after all of that, then I don’t know what you would be. You get to sample the lovely cuisine of the Pollock Dining Halls. Cheeseburgers, and pasta, and soft serve ice cream oh, my! You’ll come to learn that there are better dining halls to eat at than others, and Pollock is one of the true gems of Penn State dining.
After a few activities to close out the day, you’re pretty much free to do whatever you want (there are a few things that you’re not allowed to do, however your NSO leader will explain that to you in further detail). My suggestion would be to go to The Creamery. Not only is it where most people will be, but an amazing scoop of ice cream will be nice after a long day.
I hope you don’t mind waking up early because breakfast starts between 7 and 8 a.m. You won’t be with your group as much on day two because this is the day that you finally get to schedule classes. Yay! But before that, you’ll be meeting with advisors and other staff in your academic college to make sure that is where you want to be.
So after all of that, it’s time to pick your classes for your first semester of college. Sometimes you will get to sit one on one with an advisor from your academic college, but most of the time you will do it in a small group.
Now, don’t get overwhelmed when they explain to you how LionPath and all the nuts and bolts of scheduling. I thought it was so complicated, and I never thought that I’d be able to schedule for the Spring semester. However, you will get the hang of it. If you feel like you still don’t know what you’re doing, your best resource is your advisor.