What to Know about AARO

AARO sessions are right around the corner! To tell you all about what to expect, prepare for, wear, and look forward to is one of our Orientation Leaders, Erika Olson. Erika is a junior from Freemont, CA studying Finance with a minor in Education and can’t wait to welcome you to the Hilltop this summer!


What to Expect
AARO will be the first time you officially get to be an SMU student.  You’ll have the full experience of living in a residential commons, signing up for your classes, and hearing the ins and outs of college life.  Don’t be nervous because you definitely aren’t expected to know everything going in, but hopefully you can feel more confident about arriving in August by the end of your session.

What to Prepare For
1) ID photos – One of the first things you will do during registration is take your ID photo.  No one told me this at the time, but you will keep this ID for your entire time at SMU (so maybe pick a shirt you won’t totally hate four years from now).
2) Signing up for Classes – You will be probably be signing up to 4-6 classes this semester, so have an idea of what you want to be taking.  Don’t worry, you don’t have to know what you want to major/minor in, but have an idea of what common freshman classes you might be taking.  First semester you will want to sign up for a DISC and a PRW.  If you do know your intended major, figure out some of the intro classes to sign up for and stay on track.  If you don’t have an intended major yet (no worries at all), start looking at the potential majors and see if there is something that interests you and keep that in mind.  Your advisors will help you work out the logistics but knowing these things in advance will make signing up so much easier!

What to Wear
Already said it, but you will be taking your ID/yearbook picture so keep that in mind when choosing a shirt.  Also keep in mind it gets super hot in Dallas in the summer.  I definitely recommend loose, comfy clothing like shorts, dresses, etc. You will also be walking around a little bit so wear shoes you don’t mind being in all day.

What to Look Forward To
One of my favorite memories of AARO was sitting in Love Field Airport, texting all the amazing people I had met, saying I couldn’t wait to see them in just a month.  Previously I didn’t know anyone going to SMU, so the friendships that I made at AARO meant a lot to me.  Walking into your first lecture hall when you come back in the fall will be so much more exciting because you know at least one familiar face.  At AARO, you will get a sneak peek at what your life will be like and meet some of the people you will share so many experiences with.  Be yourself, but also be open to new ideas, people, and experiences.

For even more info about how to prepare for AARO, read this post from last year’s blog, written by one of our Orientation Mentors, Raj Suppiah!