4 Essential Tips to be Prepared to Come Back to School

With winter break coming to an end, most RIT students are ready to come back from their month off. Some may believe it went by too fast, but ready or not the new semester is here! Whether it’s the second semester of your first year at RIT or possibly your last, preparing for another semester of college can still be a little taxing and time consuming. Here are a few tips on how to best prepare for coming back to campus!

  1. Make sure you’re getting yourself as organized as you possibly can. That doesn’t mean start color coding everything and creating an intensely documented planner, but more so making sure you have everything you need and in order for the next few months of school. When you get back, clean out your room and take inventory on what you still need. Being organized can help lower stress, which affects a large majority of college students. If you happen to get your syllabus before class has started (some professors may post theirs on MyCourses), try to go over what you will need from the class. Barnes and Noble @ RIT has a good way of keeping track of what books may cost, what materials you need, and so on. Many students put off buying or renting books before the first day of class, but by reading the syllabus, you may figure out quicker which textbooks will be utilized.
  2. Start marking your calendar. Also in the syllabus, to stay organized be sure to mark dates of importance to see what projects, exams, or papers may overlap since those are the times when college can be at its most stressful – when you have three papers due on the same day and a midterm the next.  Being able to plan beforehand may help you figure out how to keep track of your work and keep you from getting too stressed.
  3. Adjust to a new schedule and have a plan to stick to. Your classes last semester may be completely different this time around. You may have to suffer from eight o’clock classes or be stuck in a lab until late at night because there was no other way to schedule your courses. This may be a little overwhelming at first, but time management is something all students learn to get better at. Don’t stay up studying all night or drink loads of caffeine to try and balance out your work – rather take time to adjust to the new schedule and try and establish a good routine for juggling your workload and social life. Set some goals for yourself to try to accomplish this semester to help keep yourself focused.
  4. Research ways to get involved. Lastly, whether it’s your first year or last, coming back to RIT is always fun because our campus is full of activities, clubs, events, and so on. There’s always something happening here and it’s never too late to get involved! Whether it’s a club, a sport, something local, and so on – college is your time to do what you want to do! Look into opportunities on campus to be involved at the campus events calendar, check out The Link to find all of RIT’s amazing clubs and organizations, and try to remember that these are your college years – don’t be afraid to get involved and try something new!

Enjoy your last few days of break, you’ll definitely miss it in a couple weeks. However, also start to get excited to come back to school, because spring semester, we are ready for you!

Ways to be Productive During Winter Break

Somehow, it’s the end of the semester and just like that, four months just passed us by. Whether it’s your first year as a freshman at RIT or you’re one semester away from graduating, you’re going to wonder where all that time went. But right now, you’re looking at a month of time away from brick city and even though many of us feel like sleeping for the next few weeks, it’s good to be as productive as possible! Use your time wisely while you still have it because being in college is something you’ll definitely look back on one day and think about everything you used to do or could have done. It’s important to be productive over break and to use your time off to be as constructive as you can!

Now, you may just want to take a break and relax – and that’s perfectly fine! Everyone needs a break and having just taken a plethora of final exams, presented a ton of projects, and written countless pages of papers, you definitely deserve a few days to sleep in and put the stress behind you. However, the more productive over break you are, the more prepared you will be for the next semester.

Something most students are beginning to focus on is their resume. Whether you’re trying to find a co-op/internship for a semester or the summer or are just looking to find a part time job, a good way to use your time over break is to focus on your resume! Begin to build it, start to find examples of how to make it stand out, email your advisor for their advice because they want to help and watch you succeed! RIT’s Office of Career Services and Cooperation Education has amazing information on how to help as well!

College students are known to (stereotypically, of course) live off of ramen and load up on caffeine. A good way to use your month off would be to find a part-time or seasonal job where you can save up some money for your own funds during the new semester! Like time management, managing your money can be hard when you’re an undergraduate and learning how to save up over break can do you wonders when you return in the spring.

Another option for how to be productive over spring break is to look into travel options. Maybe you already have a vacation planned with your family, but that may not be enough. After college, it’s unlikely you will ever have a break as long as you do now and so you should take this winter to go out into the world, or at least research how to do it! If travelling is something you really want to do, you can start looking into study abroad or work abroad – RIT provides a lot of information to students on how to either study or work in different countries around the world and encourages students to go! This break may be a good opportunity to start looking at that information and take some time to go over it with your family to see if there’s something that is right for you!

Winter break may be a bit shorter this year, but you still have a month to take some time off. Though a good number of students will most likely just want to get rid of all of their alarms and stay in bed for a few days, it’s not a bad thing to get a head start on what’s coming next. It’s almost 2018 and time doesn’t seem to be slowing down! So, be as productive as possible, make sure to relax, and have an amazing, well-deserved time off, Tigers!

Let’s Get Ready for Winter Break

It’s that time of the year. The weather grows colder, the holiday season approaches, and the study grind for finals begins. One thing to look forward to post-finals, is winter break. From December 20 to January 15, you’ll have no obligations, and some time to relax before the spring semester craziness begins. But before you head home, on vacation, or wherever you may be spending your break, it’s important to ensure that your dorm/apartment is prepared for your time off.

Housing Closing Procedures

Residence Halls

Residence Halls close on Wednesday, December 20, and all students must leave their rooms during the entirety of the break. For students planning on staying close to campus, don’t fret, rooms at the RIT Inn and Conference Center have been reserved for
you, just ask your RA for more info. If your roommate this semester is planning on moving out (or if they already have), it is important to ensure that your room is prepared for someone new to move in. This will consist of removing your personal belongings from their side of the room. In the hustle and bustle of finals week, many students forget to empty their garbage prior to leaving for winter break. We’re sure you can imagine how lovely the room will smell upon your arrival back to campus if you forget to do so! Aside from throwing out last minute trash, it is imperative that you close, lock, and pull down the shades on all of windows in your room. This will help prevent pipes from freezing. Just like your garbage, it’s just as important to remove all leftover food in your mini fridge prior to your departure from RIT. Lastly, don’t forget to unplug all electronics, and lock your door when you leave!


Just like the residence halls, on-campus apartments also need to be prepared for your absence during winter break. Aside from preparing for a new roommate, locking windows, taking out garbage, and moving unplugging all electronics, it is important to adjust your apartment’s temperature prior to your departure. Your heater should be set to automatic, and the room temperature should be set to at least 65 degrees. While adjusting your apartment’s temperature, be sure to leave the HVAC covers in place, and do not turn off the valves to the HVAC unit. With most campus apartments having multiple roommates in one unit, it is important that you create a comfortable living space to ensure new roommates are welcome.

Dining Services

All of the dining halls will close December 20th, 2017, and will re-open at the start of spring semester 2018. For a full list of hours and operation, please visit the RIT Dining Servies website. 

Good luck on finals, and have a wonderful winter break. See you next semester!

Prepare for Thanksgiving Break at RIT

Thanksgiving break is quickly approaching and if you’re planning on staying on campus, you might want to plan ahead. The university is closing on Wednesday, November 22 at 2pm and will re-open on Saturday, November 25, which means not everything will be running as usual. Behind the Bricks has asked the essential questions for having a fun and relaxing break at RIT:

What buildings will be open?

Student Life Center and Gordon Field House

  • Open Wednesday from 6:00am to 4:00pm
  • Closed Thursday and Friday
  • Open Saturday from 8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Open Sunday from 1:00pm to 11:00pm

Aquatics Center

  • Open Wednesday from 6:45am to 8:45am and 12:00pm to 1:45pm
  • Closed Thursday and Friday
  • Open Saturday from 2:30pm to 4:30pm
  • Open Sunday from 2:30pm to 4:30pm and 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Residence Halls

  • Open during the full break
  • Laundry rooms will also be open
  • RITchie’s will be closed

Student Health Center

  • Open Wednesday from 8:00am to 2:00pm
  • Closed Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • Sick over break? You can reach the after hours nurse service at (585) 475-2255

Counseling and Psychological Services

  • Open Wednesday from 8:30am to 2:00pm
  • Closed Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • Alternate options include calling 1 (855) 436-1245 to speak with a mental health provider or calling (585) 475-3333 to speak with Public Safety

Center for Religious Life

  • Open Wednesday until 2pm
  • Closed Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
  • Open Sunday 8:00am to 9:00pm


  • Open Wednesday from 8:00am to 2:00pm
  • Closed Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

Post Offices

  • Closed Wednesday at 2:00pm
  • Closed Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

What staff will be on campus?

Student Health Center Staff

  • They will be here until 2:00pm on Wednesday
  • Otherwise, there are after hours care if you need immediate non-emergency assistance. The options are listed on the Student Health Center Website.

Public Safety

  • Public safety will be here 24/7 throughout the whole break
  • Check out their website for contact information or updates.

Resident Halls

  • Not all RA’s will be here on Thanksgiving Day, but they will return the weekend after.
  • Maintenance and FMS will be off Thursday, but will resume the weekend after.

Where can I eat?

Because the university is closed over Thanksgiving break, the dining halls will not be running as usual. Because there are limited options, check out this detailed list of dining hours and plan ahead for your meal plans over break.

Another option is to gather your friends and ride the RIT bus to Wegmans. Take advantage of your kitchens and have a potluck Friendsgiving.  Be sure to check the Bus Schedule on the RIT Parking and Transportation website.

Where can I take the bus off campus?

On Thursday, November 23 there will be no RIT bus service. Hours and locations for the busses on the other days of Thanksgiving Break are listed on their website. Also, check out My Bus Home for alternate ways to make it home for Thanksgiving break.

What can I do off campus?

Rochester is a cool city, go explore! There are tons of cool coffee shops to hang out at, great movie theatres right near campus, shopping, museums, and parks. Over break, there are tons of events going on around the Greater Rochester Area. If you don’t have a car, check your bus route options or carpool with a friend. Here are just a few of the events you can check out around Rochester:

  • Annie the Musical at the Kodak Center for Performing Arts on November 24 at 7:30pm, and November 25 and 26 at 2pm
  • Turkey Trot Fun Run in Webster, NY on November 23 at 10am
  • Turkey Burn Free Pilates Bootcamp Workout at MetaFITx in Pittsford, NY on Friday, November 24 at 9am

Check out visitrochester.com for more events happening in Rochester over the break.

What can I do on campus?

University Gallery

  • Closes at 1:00pm on Wednesday
  • Will reopen on Monday at 9:00am

Red Barn

  • Closed Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
  • Open Saturday and Sunday

Ritter Open Skate

  • Closed Thursday
  • Open Friday 11:45 to 12:45pm and 8:00 to 10:00pm
  • Open Saturday 3:00 to 4:30pm and 8:00 to 10:00pm
  • Open Sunday 3:15 to 4:45pm

What are some ways I can spend my time?

Want to stay on campus over Thanksgiving break? Here are some ways that you can spend your time on campus.

  • Catch up on work and make your studying load before finals a little easier
  • Go to the RIT Men’s Basketball Tournament in the Clark Gym on Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 26
  • Catch up on sleep
  • Hang out with your friends on campus or make some new friends with other kids staying here over break

Have a relaxing and fun Thanksgiving Break Tigers!