The moment you arrive at college for the first time can be a seriously exciting and intimidating experience. It’s often enough to leave a lot of people with their heads spinning and no idea what they’re supposed to be doing. However, the first couple of weeks can be the most formative period that you’ll have in your first year at college, so it’s important to try and make the most of it. But where should you start? There are so many different things going on that it can be really difficult to figure out how to make sense of it all. Well here are just a few things that you should definitely do during your first few weeks at college.
Let’s face it, the idea of having to spend a full year living with someone you hate is pretty much at the top of most freshmen’s list of fears when it comes to arriving at their dorm on the first day. That’s why it’s a really good idea to get to know whoever you’re sharing your space with as quickly as possible. The longer you leave it, the more awkward it’s going to be. There’s nothing weirder than trying to make awkward conversation with someone that you barely know despite the fact that you’ve been living together for months. Not only that but it’s much harder for you to be patient with each other if you don’t know or get on with each other. If your friend asks to borrow your milk, then that’s no problem, but if your roommate, who you barely know, decides to use it then that’s practically a declaration of war! Go out for some food on the first night, find out what each other’s major is, do what you can to learn what they’re like. Not only is this going to make those precious first weeks a lot less awkward but it’s also a great way to deal with that feeling of isolation that can often come with being away from home for the first time.
Join a club
When it comes to college, there is always something to do. That might sound like an exaggeration, but it’s one-hundred-percent true! There are so many clubs and organizations on every college campus that you’re never going to find yourself in a position where you don’t have something to do. Whatever kind of person you were in your hometown, you’ve now got the chance to try something new. Check out some of the clubs that are available on your campus and see what piques your interest. You might be surprised by what you find. You could end up joining a sports team, or perhaps spending your nights playing D&D with a bunch of people you’d never expect to be friends with. One thing to be careful of though is that you might find yourself discovering a passion that you never knew you had that may well take over your life. You might check out the marching band during the first week just to see what it’s like, and before you know it you’ll be buying a new color guard accessory every week as your dorm room slowly fills up with more and more stuff. Then again, as problems go, that’s one of the best ones you could possibly have. Not only are you likely to find a new hobby that you can throw yourself into with plenty of enthusiasm, but there’s also a pretty good chance that you’ll be able to make a whole bunch of new friends.
You’re going to get lost during the first couple of weeks after you arrive at college, there’s nothing you can do about that, so it’s better just to come to terms with it straight away. The best thing to do is to take some time where you don’t have to be anywhere, and just wander around campus, getting lost and getting to know the space a little bit better. There are few things more stressful than finding yourself totally lost when you’re already late for class, so it’s definitely a good idea to learn your way around when you don’t have anything to do. Not only is getting lost a great way to make you campus seem a little less intimidating but it can also help you find some fun little places that you’d never discover under any other circumstances. College campuses almost always have all kinds of surprising little nooks and crannies that make the perfect places to study, relax, or just get some alone time.
Find the best places to eat
The food halls at any given college are usually something of a mixed bag. Some places are going to offer you the best sandwiches you’ve ever had in your entire life, and others will be legendary for the dangers of eating their tuna melts! The only way you’re going to figure out which is which without trying them all out. Don’t just assume that the place you found on the first day is the best you’re going to find. Experiment, try things that you wouldn’t normally give the time of day to. Not only will you discover the places that serve the best food, but you’ll probably find new foods that you never even realized that you liked. At least that way you don’t have to tell any white lies when your mom calls and asks if you’re eating properly.
Create a schedule
College is such a busy experience that it can be pretty intimidating for a lot of freshmen, and nothing makes that more difficult than trying to fly by the seat of your pants the entire time. If you really want to make sense of all of the things that you have to do at college, then it’s best to create a clear schedule that you can easily follow. Print it out and stick in on the wall of your dorm room so that no matter what you’re doing to you can keep track of where you should be next. You could even color code it so that you only have to glance at it to know whether you should be in classes, clubs, or if you just have some time to yourself where you can actually relax. Trying to wing it is just going to leave you feeling weighed down by the sheer amount of things that you need to do every day.
Start writing everything down
Seriously. Write everything down. You might think that you’ll be fine to hold the information from your classes in your head, but unless you’re a very special case, then you’re almost certainly going to forget every single world within a few days. Learn to take notes quickly and efficiently so that you can keep up with your professors and still be able to read what you wrote. There’s nothing more frustrating than looking over your notes a few weeks later and having no idea what the scribbles on the page are even supposed to mean. But don’t just limit it to your classes. If you’ve never been the kind of person who kept a journal, now is the time to start! You are probably going to change more over the next few years that you could possibly imagine and you’re going be amazed to look back over the things that you wrote in the first weeks of your freshman year and see how different you were. No only that but it’s a great way to hold onto memories that might sleep away when you’re constantly being bombarded by all of the amazing, exciting things that can happen in your first year of college.
This might seem completely obvious, but it’s something that a lot of freshmen seem to forget. There are so many fun things happening when you first arrive at college that it’s surprisingly easy to find yourself forgetting to actually go to your classes. Sure, the parties, clubs, friends and other exciting things might be the stuff that everyone talks about, but you should never forget why you’re actually at college in the first place: to learn. If you’re not doing that, then there’s not much point being there in the first place. If you just want to go to parties, then you’d be better off just staying at home. And make sure that you’re actually paying attention while you’re there as well! There’s no point going to classes if you’re just going to sleep through the entire thing because you stayed up all night partying or talking to your roommate!
College might be an intimidating experience, but once you’re through that first couple of weeks, you’ll barely be able to remember a time before you knew every inch of campus, all the best food places, and had made dozens of new and interesting friends. Getting off to the best possible start is the best way to avoid feeling like everything is too much and getting buried in the sheer number of new things that you’ll undoubtedly experience during your time at college.
I hope you enjoyed the post, what did you do to adjust to the college life?
Thanks so much for reading, as always <3