September 6th, 2007 Jamie
Some of you have already had your first week of college, others won’t even move in to the dorms until late in September. Either way, there are some things to know about the first few weeks of college:
The PERFECT Time to Meet People…
…is right now. The first couple weeks are probably the easiest time to make friends. Why? Because everyone else is just as freaked out as you are by all the newness of college. A few people will have high school friends around, a few will know people from orientation, but for the most part no one has formed a clique, and no one has been labeled as a “jock,” “geek,” “prep,” “punk,” etc., so it is easier to mix and mingle now.
Go to College Activities
Colleges put on a lot of great activities your first week or so, because they want freshmen to meet each other and adjust to living away from home. Sitting in your room will just make you feel homesick, so keep busy—get out there and do things, even if you have to go by yourself.
Find Out Where Your Classes Are
Move-in day is usually before the start of classes, and some college campuses can seem huge (I remember my first day at UCSD thinking I would never, NEVER, learn my way around… It only took a few weeks). Get ready for classes the day before: walk around campus and find where the rooms are so you don’t feel pressured or get lost right before class starts.
Ask Questions of Other Students
College kids are usually a little more mature than high school kids, so don’t feel like you can’t ask some Sophomore where the math building is (trust me, they remember what it’s like to feel lost). Also, I used to check to make sure I was in the right classroom on the first day of classes. You can just ask someone next to you, “Is this (whichever class)?” Pretty simple. And better than sitting through a complicated engineering lecture when you meant to be in the poetry class next door.
Call Home to Check In
Mom and Dad miss you… Humor them and just let them know you’re okay. Trust me, it will make your Mom’s week if you call her.
Stick Around on Weekends
That said, it’s a good idea to wait a while to go home for a visit. Obviously weekends are a lot more social than school days, so if you’re back at home you miss a opportunities to meet people. Also, going home too soon can make you feel more homesick during the week—give yourself the chance to settle in and really start enjoying college.