This post was originally submitted on 17 October 2015 on Dear First Generation Students. The original post can be found here.
Your first week of college will probably be a twister of emotions, experiences, headaches, and names! From moving in and seeing your family go back home to meeting brand new people. The first week of college can be either a pleasant one or an unpleasant one filled with confusion, awkwardness, or even great memories. So, here are 5 tips that I’ve provided to help you push through your first week of college.
Tip #1: Introduce yourself. Now, for those living off-campus, it may be difficult but you can always find ways to introduce yourself at events. For those living on-campus, it becomes easier because you’ve been given an advantage. You live with other people! First, accept the fact that you’ll forget names, but don’t be afraid to ask others for their names again. You can even be sneaky and ask them for their name, and when they mention it, just let them know you wanted to know their last name. Don’t be afraid to go around your residential halls and knock on doors and introduce yourself. A simple, “my name is and I am from this place, majoring in this subject. What about you?” Anyone and everyone you see, just say hi and introduce yourself.
Tip #2: Go to every event possible. Along with introducing yourself, you definitely want to join in on the events happening around campus. Go to the college’s Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or even look at their website. Chances are, they may be promoting some sort of event. Go to these events! Introduce yourself! There may be a possibility that a person you meet at these events could help you during your college journey, whether they’ve been at the college for several years or just starting out, just knowing you’re not alone can help you in the long-run; you can journey the experience together.
Tip #3: Explore the town/city. You may come across a hole-in-the-wall restaurant or a great shopping outlet. There will be times later in your college journey where you may want to go out and have fun, or watch a movie, or just unwind somewhere. Exploring the town at the very beginning can help you find a place of entertainment such as the movie theaters, or just a personal place where you can de-stress.
Tip #4: Variety can help in the long haul. Being adventurous, trying new things, or just stepping out of your comfort zone can help you build yourself as an individual and as a student. Rather than sticking to what looks good at the Dining Hall, try something new! Go to an event that you could never imagine going to—maybe it’s karaoke night! Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. It’ll be difficult at first, but trying to do so at the very beginning can ease the process later on.
Tip #5: Explore the campus! Even if you explored the campus during orientation or move-in day, explore it again! Do a dry run to classes. See how long you need to take to walk, run, or take the bus to class. Make sure you know where all your classrooms are. This way, once classes start, you won’t look like that person who’s pacing back and forth trying to find their classroom.
These are my 5 tips for the first week of college. What do you think? What can you add to the list?