College is often teens’ first experiences with freedom and is seen as a new start, so the first week of college is typically a whirlwind of events, meeting people, and testing one’s own boundaries. Although everyone’s first week at college is, of course, very different, there are a few things that almost every college student experiences during their first few days on campus.

1. Getting lost

No matter how big or small your campus is, it is a new place. Even those who have the best senses of direction will get lost. For the first several days, campus seems impossible to navigate, but after getting lost once or twice the layout begins to make sense. That is until classes start. You may have the layout of campus down, but the layout of the inside of buildings is a whole new ball game.

2. Walking more than you’ve ever walked in your life

Unless you have a car on campus, most likely you are getting around campus by walking. By walking to and from different events, trying to find your way around campus, walking to parties, and walking just about everywhere else, the 10,000 step a day goal seems like child’s play. You can easily get in between 20,000 and 40,000 steps in a single day. You won’t realize how far you’ve gone until your legs start to feel like jelly and your feet ache.

3. Eating more but still trying to avoid the freshman 15

Dining halls are one of the first times that you have access to all of the food you could want (though it is often food you don’t want). With that being said, the freshman 15 is always looming. In order to avoid following in the footsteps of so many before, many freshmen will try to eat healthy for the first several weeks of school. Others will eat whatever they want and whenever they want without care. Access to daily soft serve, cupcakes, and chocolate milk is ever tempting, plus, events with free food always seem to be happening. By the end of the first week, it becomes clear that eating clean really isn’t an option.

4. Meeting people multiple times and still not knowing their names

During the first week of school, you will meet more people than you have ever met in your life. You meet people in your dorm, your classes, at events, at parties, in clubs, and in other groups. With so many names being thrown at you at once, it becomes impossible to keep track of everyone.

5. Putting phone numbers in with only a first name and maybe some identifying word

As you meet new people you get new numbers and a lot of them. Often, when you get these numbers you only get a person’s first name. That means that by the end of the week you have three “Sarahs,” a “Jake,” and if you’re lucky an “Alex from Party” and no idea of who any of them are.

6. Taking as much free stuff as possible

You probably don't need all of those free water bottles, pens, and bags, but they're free, so you might as well take them.


College is a crazy and exciting time, so make the most of it!