It’s the Final Countdown!

25 Things I Wish I Knew Before August 1

Hello Class of 2015!! I hope you’re all getting incredibly excited to start a two-year journey of personal growth, academic rigor, and awesome theme parties! I know when I was in your shoes last summer, I was anxiously checking the Class of 2014 Facebook page every hour looking for updates and trying to figure out who my future friends were going to be (I was pretty bored at home). I also had plenty of logistical questions that my Fuqua Buddy (a second-year student) was kind enough to answer, but in case you’re scared of sounding silly or just think your question is obvious (and because this school loves lists of 25 things), I’ve compiled my own personal 25 Things I Wish I Knew Before August 1. Enjoy – and start getting excited!!!

MBA students at Triangle Training

Do your academic prep before Orientation so you can fully enjoy activities like the day at Triangle Training.

  1. Build up your sleep reserves now. You’ll want to do anything and everything when you arrive in Durham, so take advantage of whatever down time you have between now and August by taking as many naps as possible.
  2. Pack the best ‘80s gear you can find. You will be talking about the ‘80s party LONG after Orientation, so make a statement.
  3. Do your Business Computer Applications (BCA) for the required Excel class (Decision 383)!! Fairly obvious, but seriously, you don’t want to be late to a Fuqua Friday because you were uploading a spreadsheet.

    students at campout

    Start planning for Campout now!

  4. Read for fun now. You’ll have plenty of assigned reading starting in August, so enjoy your favorite fiction books while you still have bandwidth.
  5. Plan to move into your apartment at least 5 days before Orientation. I did it about 2 days before, and it was quite hectic. Get your Target runs out of the way because you won’t have a ton of time to shop after programming starts.
  6. Enjoy home-cooked meals (if you’re home).

    mba students at concert

    Get together with your new classmates and plan some outings, like to the Koka Booth Amphitheater.

  7. Buy binders – lots of them. You’ll understand when you buy your coursepacks.
  8. Start strategically thinking about who would make a good candidate for your Campout team. This is very serious. You might even consider reserving a U-Haul now, if you’re a true Blue Devil fan.
  9. Find fun events happening outside of Fuqua during August and organize a group to go. We went to an Old Crow Medicine Show concert at the Koka Booth Amphitheater and it was one of the most fun things I did before the second-years returned.
  10. Order two Fuqua name tags. While they’re not the cheapest things in the world, if you’re like me, you’ll probably lose one before recruiting even starts.
  11. Speaking of recruiting, if you have some time, start combing through the alumni database and make a list of potential contacts you’d like to reach out to when recruiting begins (I would wait until meeting with the Career Management Center before actually contacting them). Having a tentative list will save you time later – trust me.
  12. Wear sunscreen during those life-changing Station Nine pool parties.
  13. Attend Fuqua get-togethers in your city before school. I never went to any of these, and I was jealous of the people who had friends before Orientation. Find events in your area on your class Facebook page. You may also want to check out the Admissions Events page.
  14. With that being said, remember, business school is a marathon, not a sprint. I met some of my best friends at Fuqua three months after school started – don’t think that you’re going to be left behind if you don’t do every single activity, every single day.
  15. Establish a work-out routine. When you’re going through so many changes (moving, social, etc.), it is nice to have something you can fall back on with regularity. And exercising makes you feel good and gives you more energy to socialize!
  16. Don’t stress about summer internships yet. PLEASE.
  17. Do your accounting modules before Orientation – you’ll thank me later.
  18. Get a group together and go to a Durham Bulls game. I’m so jealous that you’ll all be there in August when they’re still playing! The games are great, and it’s a lot of fun to go out nearby afterwards.
  19. Enjoy Shooters before the undergrads return!
  20. Play golf at the WaDuke, run the East Campus Loop, swim in the Eno River State Park lagoon, or bike the American Tobacco Trail. Enjoy being outside while it’s nice and you aren’t swamped with four classes and recruiting!
  21. Check the Class of 2015 Facebook page once or twice a day (try to avoid looking at it every 30 minutes – not THAT much changes, I can assure you).
  22. Spend quality time with your loved ones, even if they’re moving to Durham with you. You’ll be extremely busy during the first few weeks, and it’s hard for people who aren’t in business school to understand. The more time to you spend with them now, the stronger you relationship will be in the fall.
  23. Bring comfortable walking shoes if you have a Green Lot parking pass. Sorry, it’s the truth.
  24. Pay your tuition bill on time! The $88 late fee is just annoying (speaking from experience here).
  25. Reach out to any second-year if you have any questions, and start getting excited – you’re about to have the best two years of your life!!
Sarah Feagles

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Daytime MBA, Class of 2014. Find out more about me...

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