The blue book you get in your matriculation package contains a lot of information on administrative issues like housing, dining plans, etc. The purpose of this section is to provide you with some useful advice.
- Dining plan – The dining plans have a fixed board plan for the marketplace (an on campus canteen where you’ll eat most of your meals). They differ only by the amount of additional food points you can use at the other on campus merchants (such as McDonalds, Subway etc). We recommend that you take the cheapest option because you might not know your eating habits on campus yet. Besides, you can always go online to top up your food points easily.
- Dorm Housing – Your housing application affects the roommate you’ll get, so fill this in carefully. You will be asked on preferences (e.g. do you smoke, do you listen to music when you work etc). While RLHS does try to consider all preferences, be mentally prepared that your roommate may not fit all your preferences, and that personal habits may change once people enter university.
Lastly, don’t bother with the phone and cable service first. Landlines are not very useful because everyone has a cellphone these days and you get free cable TV for the first week of school so you can always decide later.
- Duke Card – It is nearly a necessity to set up a flex spending account. The flex account allows you to use your Duke Card like to credit card. You’ll need it to pay for laundry and can use it to pay for school supplies, books, event tickets etc. You can deposit cash inside your flex account on the first few days of school. Typically they will set up a booth at the marketplace for you to do so. You can either bring some cash along on the first few days to do so.
Registering for classes – You’ll be notified of when you can register for classes. Minutes before registration, people generally camp at their computer (with a reliable internet connection) to wait for the enroll button to show up. It is a good idea to do this because your position on the waitlist for registration depends on how fast the server receives your enrollment request when the registration window opens. Many a time, this would make the difference between whether you get into a particular section of a class you want to take. Using a wired connection instead of a wireless one may also help you to get an earlier queue number in your enrollment request. Refer to the ‘Academic Advice’ section to hear our thoughts on registration.