So, you’ve moved in, said goodbye to the family, and are now living the independent lifestyle of a college student…but now what? The first week of college can be one of the best, worst, and most stressful weeks of the year. The stress of making new friends, fearing you’ll eat alone in the dining halls, finding your way around campus, and getting along with your roommate all seem dreadful, but trust me. If you go into this with a positive mindset and follow my tips you’ll be able to handle the first week like a pro.
Stay Connected with Orientation Friends
Going back a few months to orientation…I remember first going into orientation with so many preconceived notions. I didn’t think I would make friends, I didn’t think I would have fun, and I was scared to see the reality unfolding that I would be heading off to college only a month later.
I just want to address the fact that all of these worries couldn’t have been more wrong. First off, I loved my orientation group and got along really well with everyone in it, and secondly, I made great friends! It’s important to be outgoing and optimistic throughout the orientation process because that’s how you’ll meet people and make friends. For me, I made an amazing friend at orientation whom I ended up texting, maintaining a Snapchat streak with, and Facetimeing all the time.
Meet People on your Hall
It has been said that the people who live on your floor will ultimately be the people you are closest to. Don’t be afraid to go with your roommate and introduce yourselves to your neighbors and other people on your hall after or during move in day. Trust me, this is crucial…these are the girls who you’ll be ordering late night pizza with, binge watching the Bachelor with, walking to class with, and maybe even studying with. Don’t be afraid to make a group chat with the people on your floor and get to know them better!
Get Familiar with your Campus
You’ve got some time to kill before class starts, so why not make the most of it! Take the time you have to run through your schedule and learn what buildings your classes are in. I suggest doing this mock run through everyday leading up to class. Getting familiarized with your new school will make the adjustment even easier and you can help others find where they are going as well. All classes aside, also learn where the campus rec center, dining hall, counselor office, and other important amenities your school has to offer!
Go Grocery Shopping
Whether of not you have a mini fridge or a microwave in your dorm room, you will definitely want to stock up on some goodies! If you or your roommate has a car on campus, I highly suggest that you both take a trip to your local grocery store or even a Walmart or Target. Stock up on your favorite food items that are easy to keep in the dorm, won’t rot easily, and can be quickly prepared. Some no brainers that I’d recommend would be granola bars, cereal, yogurts, crackers, microwavable mac and cheese, water bottles, fruits, veggies, etc.
Join Clubs and Socialize
I highly recommend joining clubs and getting involved right away. It’s important not to overload yourself with clubs and other activities but it will definitely help you become acclimated quicker. If you’re into sports, then join an intramural and if your highly involved with your church or youth group back home, then join a youth organization such as RUF or Campus Crusades and lastly, if you’re involved with your culture, ethnicity, or just want to learn a new language, then get involved with language clubs your campus might have to offer.
Another thing I’d recommend is if your school doesn’t have the club you want, then most likely you can petition to create it. The point is that there are so many clubs and ways to socialize on college campuses that if you choose 2-3 you’ll be making friends in no time.
Prepare to Expect the Unexpected
College is definitely a big transition from high school and there will be tons of people who are different and similar to you. Your professors will expect more from you, your parents won’t be there to hold your hand, and you are totally on your own. Understand that college is the time to make and meet people that you may have not associated with in high school. The first week of college is the perfect opportunity to do this! Take advantage of talking to people who may have different interests than you and who knows? They could end up being your best friend!
Make a Schedule
Creating a routine that was somewhat similar to my routine at home was a huge help to get adjusted to campus life. I planned out the days I would workout, go to my clubs, shop for groceries if needed, and of course study and do homework. Making a schedule that worked with my school life and social life was key and I felt more relaxed going into the first week of classes.
Overall, my biggest tip is to just enjoy every minute, don’t take anything for granted, don’t judge a person before getting to know them, and of course just BE YOURSELF! The first week will be filled with homesickness, craziness, temptations, and so much more, but if you keep a strong head and follow my tips than I guarantee you that you’ll have a memorable and easy adjustment.
Do you have any tips for the first week of college?
Hi! I’m Lauren – a Freshman at the University of Mississippi studying Business. I live in the sunny, humid, and beachy state of Florida. I decided I wanted the real college experience by attending an SEC school, so I packed my bags and moved to the culturally shocking state of Mississippi. I’d love to have you guys stick around and join me on my blogging journey throughout college! You can find me on my blog, Instagram and Twitter!