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Things to do at orientation that aren’t orientation

Orientation is one of the weirder parts of college. Some people are set up with a roommate they’ll live with for two days and never see again, while others find the best friends of their lives. But one thing about orientation is universal: You don’t really have to go.

Franz Lino / Photo Editor

And by that, I mean you don’t need to go to most of it. Almost all of the information you’ll get there is on Binghamton University’s website. The only thing you actually need to do is register for classes. Seriously, if you miss that, you’re screwed. But otherwise, ignore the orientation schedule and take the time to discover the best of what Binghamton has to offer.

1. Familiarize yourself with campus – The real orientation is getting oriented around campus. Your orientation material should include a map – pick it up and stroll through the grounds and figure out where everything is. The campus isn’t as big as it first seems, and once you figure out how to get from your dorm to the Lecture Hall, and use the passageways between the two Unions, you’ll be a step ahead once the semester rolls around.

2. Hike the Nature Preserve – It won’t be this nice all year-round. In fact, you’re fortunate to be in Binghamton during the summer, when the Nature Preserve is at its most beautiful. Take a few friends and go through Pond Trail. Check out the pond and savor the break from the bustle of campus. There are a few entrances – the one right behind Mountainview College is the most convenient.

3. Scope out the bars on State Street – You might be spending a lot of time there, unless you’re under 21, of course *wink. After a long week of classes, you’ll want to know where to go on a Friday or Saturday night. Or a Thursday. Or Tuesday for beer pong. Or Wednesday for trivia. Suffice to say it’s a good place to be familiar with.

4. …and the restaurants – If the town you came from is overrun by chain restaurants, you’re in for a treat. Binghamton has a slew of local restaurants offering a range of different cuisines. Little Venice uses recipes decades old – the restaurant was founded at around the same time as this paper – and saké-tumi has Asian cuisine far beyond typical Chinese takeout. Be sure to go to Restaurant Week, which happens once every semester. This fall, it’s from Sept. 16 to 25.

5. Like Binghamton University’s viral Facebook pages – Be the cool friend who tells all the other freshmen you know about them. Or just ignore them (seriously, Bing Crushes, you need to chill with the posts). Check out Humans of Binghamton University and then go on over to Doors of Binghamton University. Send in something you’ve never told anyone before to Bing-U Secrets and, of course, submit something you heard at orientation to Overheard at Binghamton University.

There’s a lot to love about Binghamton, so you might as well start falling for this place now. You’ll figure out where the advising offices are later.