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Pirates offer survival tips for freshmen

Join everything, eat a salad once a day and don't procrastinate, is sophomore Erin Bell's advice to incoming students. "(The salad) is to avoid the freshman 15," she said. When it comes to procrastination, she said that she was warned but "procrastinated anyway and paid the price." Bell added that her freshman year was "overall lots of fun. It was a lot of work, but the tough workload improves your work ethic."In addition, Bell said that, in regards to the workload, the friends you meet are all in the same boat, so they can help and support you. "The best part (of freshman year) … I think everyone picks up in their personalities as freshman – you're always friendly and open to making new acquaintances," Bell said. Graduating senior Kristin Pe said that if there was one thing she would tell incoming freshman students, it would be this: don't be nervous."College is a big place, there are always people there that have the same interests as you and everyone's in the same boat looking for someone," Pe said. One of the things incoming freshmen seem to be most nervous about is living on campus away from home with strangers. According to Cheryl Janus, associate director of Housing and Residence Life, move-in day can be both exciting and stressful."HRL staff will do its best to make the process as smooth as possible," Janus said. She added that the process will be easiest if families adhere to check-in times, which are sent home over the summer, and label their boxes with students' names and room numbers. "We will have some volunteers who are here to help carry items to the rooms, but things can get confused if they're not labeled," Janus said. As for roommates, Janus said that communication is the key to having a successful resident experience. "When freshmen look up their roommate on Facebook or MySpace, they should keep in mind that the best roommate match might not be someone with the same exact interests or lifestyle," she said. "We don't expect roommates to be the best of friends, but we expect everyone to live together respectfully and open to learning new things about themselves and other people." And for roommates who truly cannot live peacefully together, there is always room switch day. According to Janus, room switch day is held on the third Wednesday of each semester, so in the fall 2009 semester, it will be held on Sept. 16. On room switch day, students are allowed to switch rooms "for whatever reason they wish," as long as there is room availability or a student agrees to switch. In order to switch rooms, students have to go to Duffy Hall on Sept. 16 and request the room switch in person. After their request is granted, they will have 48 hours to complete their room change. Another aspect of life at Seton Hall that is often confusing to incoming freshman is Pirate's Gold. Not to be confused with Pirate's Bucks, which come with a student's selected meal plan and can be used in the outer cafeteria area of the Galleon Dining room, Pirate's Gold allows students' ID cards to be utilized like a debit card in areas in and around campus, such as in vending machines, in the laundry room and in the bookstore, as well as at a few nearby restaurants. According to the Seton Hall Web site, students, faculty and staff have the ability to put any amount of cash onto their ID cards and manage their accounts online.Students or students' families must use a credit card to deposit cash on the ID card online, and the student may then use the ID card at any participating locations just like a debit card. Many of Seton Hall's staff say the look forward to meeting the new freshmen, especially popular Gourmet Dining Service employees Eugene and "Uncle Al." "I've been here 19 years and somehow the new freshmen always just seem to fit right in, like they just belong," said Uncle Al, who swipes students into the cafeteria daily. Eugene, who is most often seen making and taking orders for grilled cheese sandwiches at the cafeteria, said that he met a few of the new students who were on tours and felt like they were all very nice people. "I hope they stay for the whole year, and then come back over the summer, and keep coming back (for all four years)," he said.


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