Learn your General Orders! (There are 11, google them, they will make your life so much easier the earlier you memorize them)
The Sailors Creed (Again, memorize this! You will be the god/goddess of IDOC Week if you do)
Study Marine and Naval ranks/insignias/ect. These are going to be used almost every single day of your life. (And you’ll be expected to be able to recognize, say, the difference between double silver bars (Officer - Lieutenant) and double gold bars (Midshipman - Probably a Platoon Sergeant)
Start practicing using military time. I know I had some issues switching over at first, but once you set your watches, phones, computers, etc to military time, it makes it a lot easier
Start making a four year plan as soon as you can. Your freshman advisor will probably ask you to make one, and they are not all that pleasant to make on a time constraint. Even if it’s only half complete, a started one is better than none at all.
Understand that uniforms can be a pain in the ass because they will probably take up 50% or more of your closet (Depending on whether or not you’re scholarship or college-option). For example, in my closet atm, I have NWUs (Naval Working Uniforms[which are for scholarship students only]), SDB (Service Dress Blues), Tri-Colors[which are usually only for college-option, but for some strange reason, we have them], Khakis, the jacket that goes over khakis, four different covers (hats), an ungodly number of anchor pins, nametags, etc, my own personal pair of khaki pants which I wear with our unit polos (which is pretty much a black polo shirt with our NROTC Unit insigna on it), three different types of issues socks, drill shoes, black dress shoes, tan combat books for tri-colors, black combat boots for NWUs, shirt stays (GET SHIRT STAYS FROM YOUR SUPPLY OFFICER AS SOON AS YOU GET KHAKIS!), all the little bits and pieces that go with your SDBs, and I’m probably forgetting something, but yes… it takes up a lot of space in your room… I will neither confirm nor deny that the majority of my uniforms on hanging on random cabinet hinges strewn about my room… and that my roommate may or may not hate my guts for it.
I will need and want your own iron! End of story! One morning, when it’s uniform day, you’re gonna find some big ol’ wrinkle in your khaki pants, you’re gonna flip a bitch of you don’t have an iron to make your pants look lovely and professional.
You will, almost without a doubt, screw up your first inspection. Such is life… I will probably make a more indepth post about this very topic later on.
Always be sure, before you step out into public/into your NROTC building, that you know what time it is. This is crucial in that Navy is big on saying the “Greeting of the Day” which, depending on the time of day, is either Good Morning, Good Afternoon, or Good Evening.
Not everyone is called Sir/Ma’am (contrary to popular belief). A Gunnery Sergeant is called Gunnery Sergeant, Officer Candidates are OC, Staff Sergeants are Staff Sergeant, Midshipmen and Midshipmen, anyone that is a male officer (Ensign, lieutenant, captain, etc.) is called Sir, anyone that is a female officer is called Ma’am. Know your titles, or suffer the wrath of an angry Gunnery Sergeant.
That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll probably make a Part Two to this one if I think of anything else that might be helpful to know.