The new school year is upon us and that means a new class is arriving on campus.
My first day on campus I had my lanyard around my neck holding my room card and keys, a map in my hand of the campus, and a tragically nervous look across my face. I'm sure the upperclassmen could spot me from a mile away. I didn't have anyone telling me the do's and don'ts, but rather I had to learn from my silly freshman mistakes. But I care about you freshmen, and want you to have all of questions answered. This is your survival guide, refer to it as many times as needed your first few days at school because you might need the reminders
1. Be fully present at orientation weekend.
You probably don't want to be doing ice breakers or attending a huge amount of events and games you have no interest in. But to be completely truthful, what would else would you be doing? Don't forget, you have zero friends. So put yourself out there, attend all of the events that your school worked hard to put together, and meet some people.
2. Whenever you meet someone, ask for their number or any social media that you can use to communicate later on.
I know that can sound scary and weird but you all just want friends. I am sure you are willing to hand out your number to anyone and everyone, and so are other freshmen. It will be actually be more comforting for you if you see people from your school on Instagram rather than from your hometown.
3. Ask questions.
Every single question that comes into your mind, just ask it. There will be so many amazing resources available to you whether it is upperclassmen, advisors, mentors, or professors. If you need an answer even to the silliest question (which does not exist), get it now while you are still figuring out the school. Plus the more you talk, the more connections you will make.
4. Try to figure out the atmosphere and standards at your school.
The first weekend at school will be hectic and full of new people. It will also be filled with new experiences and you may not know what is acceptable since it is a new environment. Talk to upperclassmen, especially any mentors or advisors you have. They will always be honest with you to ensure your safety and well-being, which is more important than you think.
5. It is okay to feel like you don't fit in right away.
I mean you don't know anyone, you aren't involved any organizations, and classes haven't started yet. You haven't even begun to make a life here yet. But you chose this school, and it chose you. You just need to give it some time and you will find your place.
Welcome to the first day of the best four years of your life.