In August, thousands of new students will be arriving at Illinois State University. This article is for you, #FutureRedbird. Your Redbird family wants to make sure you are properly prepared to embark on this exciting journey as the University plans for a return to a more traditional campus experience. So our campus tour guides offered up the following five things every incoming Illinois State student should know once the fall semester arrives.

1. Take the bus.

Connect Transit bus driving on campus.
Connect Transit bus riding around Illinois State University’s campus. (Photo credit: Connect Transit)

If you do not have a car or you can’t bring yours to campus, you can catch a ride with Connect Transit, which partners with Illinois State to offer free bus rides to students, faculty, and students to points across campus and throughout Bloomington-Normal. Downloading the Connect Transit app will make getting around town that much easier. Whether you are attending a concert in Downtown Bloomington or grabbing a pizza with friends, Connect Transit will take you where you need to go.

“Our bus system is really incredible,” said campus tour guide Bri Golden, who is a senior acting major.

2. Get involved.

Students looking to get involved at Festival ISU. (This photograph was taken prior to the coronavirus pandemic.)

Illinois State University’s Division of Student Affairs is committed to helping you live your best Redbird life. With over 400 registered student organizations (RSOs), there is a group for every student. No matter your passion, you will be able to find your niche.

“I recommend choosing one club that’s related to your major, and then choosing one for fun,” said campus tour guide Hannah Sternberg, who is a sophomore elementary education major.

3. Step outside of your comfort zone.

Freshmen participating in Welcome Week events. (This photograph was taken prior to the coronavirus pandemic.)

Going away to college is the perfect excuse to take on new experiences and opportunities. Take this time to be fearless, new Redbird. Try new things and get to know the people in your residence hall. Enrich your time at Illinois State and create memories that will last a lifetime.

“Understand that everyone who is there as a freshman is going through the same thing,” said campus tour guide Jeremy Tang, who is a recent international business and economics graduate. “There’s no need to be really shy or scared, because you’re all in this together.

4. Manage your time wisely.

Student studying
Students studying in the bridge between the Student Fitness Center and McCormick Hall. (This photograph was taken prior to the coronavirus pandemic.)

Now that you’re at Illinois State, time is for you to manage. Participate in Welcome Week activities and pick up a 2021-2022 Illinois State University Academic Planner to help you manage your social life, campus involvement and activities, study time, and, of course, sleep.

5. Use these University resources.

Students at Student Health Services
Student Health Services in the Student Services Building. (This photograph was taken prior to the coronavirus pandemic.)

At Illinois State, faculty and staff are committed to assisting students in the best way possible. The University offers a variety of campus resources to help you succeed inside and outside of the classroom. By utilizing resources provided by Milner Library, the Career Center, the Office of Financial Aid, Student Health Services, Student Counseling Services, and University College, you can fly higher than you ever imagined as a Redbird.