Geneseo’s declassified school survival guide

For the many seniors, this spring semester is their last at Geneseo. For many other students, however, it is their first. For those transfer or wait-listed students, Welcome to Genny! As a new member of the Geneseo student body, there are some important “need to know” tips to get by—assuming you haven’t already figured them out in your first two weeks.

One of the biggest things to remember on the Geneseo campus is that walking to class can be a hassle—especially when dealing with the incredibly unpredictable Geneseo weather. If you’re living on South Side, be warned that the townhouses act as a makeshift wind tunnel; be careful not to be blown away. It’s not a bad idea to have an umbrella on hand, either. Even if the forecast says it’ll be sunny, there’s always a chance for a sudden shift to a downpour or 30 mile-per-hour winds.

Finally, the infamous hill will not get better. This landscape can be overlooked or underestimated at first glance, but even a tri-sport athlete can feel the burn on the trek to their 8:30 a.m. class. Luckily, with practice and an openness to explore, it’s easy to find a route that suits you and makes the commute less intense. Learning to navigate the “tunnels” between buildings like South, Welles and Fraser Hall can help you avoid both the hill and bad weather.

You may also encounter certain culinary issues here. For the first month adjusting to a new school and dining halls, home-cooked meals or familiar fast-food will be a constant craving. But since both transfers and freshmen are required to have the Gold or Platinum meal plan, be sure to take advantage of those dollars while you still live on campus.

Another thing to note is that the Geneseo meal plan is set up differently than many other colleges, with items or buffets having monetary value instead of “swipe” value. “[The meal plan format] takes some getting used to,” freshman transfer Mary Pezzimenti said.

Try to follow the “Balance Sheet” posted online and at registers; it’s easy to lose track without rationed meals. Depending on the student’s appetite, it’s likely they will either have no meal plan or too much when the end of the semester comes around. And never forget, food truck Chow Hound is the pinnacle of fried foods here; their mac-n-cheese bites can brighten any day.  

You may just be missing the feeling of home in general. Geneseo is definitely different from Long Island or New York City—we’re in the middle of rural nowhere. The campus can be unearthly quiet at times, unlike the hustle and bustle of the city. “If you drive five minutes any directions, you will find yourself in a cornfield,” freshman Marc Lattanzi said.

The small-town feel of Geneseo does come with perks, however. Nature will always be around the corner, whether you drive out to the nationally-acclaimed Letchworth State Park or simply take a walk in the Arboretum. In addition, you will grow to become keenly aware of the unusual myriad of stray cats, seagulls and squirrels that frequent the campus.

No matter if you’re from the city or a small town like Geneseo, you will be able to make friends here—Geneseo has a warm and friendly student body. It’s not too hard to start up a conversation in one of the dining halls or at a sporting event. Moreover, sports are a big part of Geneseo culture. People from all different majors and clubs come together to watch an ice hockey game or a game under the lights—especially if it’s against our rival SUNY Cortland.

Geneseo will be a home away from home in no time. It will become a place where you will not only learn, but you will also make connections and memories that will last forever.