August 8th, 2008 Jamie
For a most students, the first week of college is a big fat tangle of emotions. You’re excited to be out on your own, nervous about what’s coming, maybe even a little homesick. Want to know what it’s going to be like? I’ve got you covered.
You (and probably your parents) will spend a good portion of the day unloading your stuff, meeting your roommate, and running errands to hunt down the super important things you somehow forgot to pack. You might check out the campus a little, maybe eat lunch or dinner with your parents, and then, suddenly, it will be time for them to go.
The first night in your room with a new roommate might be a little awkward, but that’s just because you don’t know each other yet. Try to get things unpacked a little-at least find your toothbrush and your pillow-and if you’re feeling homesick, put up some pictures from home, too.
Whether or not your school calls it “Welcome Week,” the first week at most colleges is usually geared toward getting freshmen settled in and acquainted with each other and the campus. That means there are lots of activities planned-UCSD had over 100 activities planned for our first week, from a huge all-school rally to dances, beach trips, and bonfires-so go to them!
Everyone’s a little nervous the first week, so it is the BEST time to make friends! You don’t have to go to every activity, but if something sounds interesting, check it out, and don’t be afraid to say hi.
First Day of Class
College classes are different than high school classes-sometimes very different. Rather than passing out worksheets the first day, college professors are more apt to give you a scary-looking syllabus, start lecture, or to say things like, “The person to the right of you and to the left of you will drop this class.” (By the way, that’s not true, even for the hardest classes-most of the class tends to stick around.)
Don’t be intimidated! Once you’ve been to a few classes, you’ll start to recognize faces and get used to the professor’s lecture style. It’s a change, but it’s not as bad as it seems!
One tip: Walk around campus the day before classes start and find out where your classrooms are-it will save you from walking in late in the middle of your first class. Also, be sure you ask someone if you’re in the right class when you walk in the first day. Everybody else feels disoriented, too, so it’s not a big deal. (I still asked even during my senior year—good thing too, because once I ended up in an engineering class when I should have been in a poetry class!).
Last fall I wrote a whole month’s worth of posts about the basics of your first few days of college. Check out these entries for more info on whatever it is that’s worrying you, or feel free to email me with questions.
- What to Expect from College Classes
- What to Expect from College Professors
- What to Know About the First Week of College
- Setting Roommate “Ground Rules”
- How to Meet New People in College
- Three Ways to Beat Homesickness (& Three MORE Ways to Beat Homesickness)
- How to Stay Awake in Class
- How to Do Your Laundry (the Easy Way)
Entry Filed under: what to expect