Hey, pretty girl!
I recently moved back on campus and it feels so nice to be back in my element! I moved in one day later than last year, but have over a whole week before classes start to settle in. I’m a welcome days leader for the freshman and have been working hard the last few days training to welcome them onto campus. In my training, I’ve been thinking a lot about advice I would’ve wanted coming into college last year. I’m giving the incoming freshman ten pieces of advice when it comes to college.
Tip #1: Sort your items into sections when you pack.
Unpacking didn’t take me nearly as long as I thought it would, because I sectioned my items into where it would go into each section of my room (ex. closet, bed, dresser and desk).
Tip #2: Leave your door open/reach out to people on day 1.
It can be intimidating to leave your door open the first week, but it truly is the best way to meet new people. It gives people an easy way to meet you and makes you appear more open/friendly! I definitely would have closed myself off a lot more if I left the door shut.
Tip #3: Participate in the Welcome Week events.
These events are silly/childish, but they really do help you get comfortable at school and meet new people! I didn’t end up being friends with many of the people I met at these events, but it was nice to see familiar faces from the events while walking around campus. It makes you feel more at ease and at home on your campus.
Tip #4: Get your partying out during Welcome Week.
Soon enough you’ll be drowning in homework – even on syllabus day – so if you want to party, get it out during welcome week! Just refer to tip #9 if you choose to make this decision.
Tip #5: Get involved in clubs right away!
Most of the friends outside of my main friend group/upper classmen friends came from joining Student Government. Find a club you are passionate about and you are likely to meet others with similar interests! However, this is not high school, so don’t just randomly join clubs because you think it will look better for a resume. Trust me, less clubs but more involvement looks a million times better.
Tip #6: Try to avoid only hanging out with your HS friends.
I notice a lot of students clinging to their high school friends during the first few weeks. While this is a comfortable choice, it is not going to help you grow as a person and meet new people. Try to branch off from these friends, as if you all make new friends you can meet TONS of new people!!
Tip #7: Go to the dining hall with friends.
This is a bit tricky with coronavirus, but the dining hall is one of the best ways to get to know people. One of my current roommates this year, Skyler, I really got to know well when she began stacking salt and pepper shakers in the dining hall (her crazy energy is why we’re friends). It’s an easy place to make conversation and will help you get closer to people.
Tip #8: Be adventurous and get out of your comfort zone.
Most of these tips involve doing something that may make you nervous or uncomfortable. I was SO on edge the first few weeks at college and worried about forming a friend group. Use the nervous energy to your advantage because everyone is nervous!! Funny story – during an early move in event with the Honors Program, I didn’t want to drink the pop we were given with lunch because I said I didn’t like it much. One of the upper classmen assistants gave me great advice and said, “college is all about new experiences, even with the simplest things like drinking pop.” .You will enjoy college so much more if you push yourself to enjoy all the new experiences you have in front of you (even if it’s just a carbonated beverage).
Tip #9: Don’t make decisions you will regret.
Keep it legal and remember that you WILL run into people on campus again, don’t make things awkward for yourself. That’s all I have on that.
Tip #10: Be yourself!!
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT!!! If you pretend to be someone you are not, you will find yourself extremely lost! If you are yourself, you will find your place at college. It is a fresh start, but fresh starts are not for faking your personality.
You got this girl!! Good luck in college!!
With Love, Marin