To the class of 2020, I am so proud of you. Not only did you graduate high school in the middle of a pandemic, but you're also embarking on a monumental and crazy journey that is attending college. I know that your senior year ended abruptly and you weren't able to spend time with your friends in the last moments of high school like you wanted to. I also know that you might be nervous about attending a new school and this might be your first time ever being alone. All of your feelings are valid and understood. And although the beginning of your collegiate journeys might not go as planned, there are still so many things you can do to have a great start to your college career. Here is a list of 9 ways you can have an amazing freshman year, even during a pandemic.
Make Your Dorm A Home
Dorms can be cold and bland when you first move in. Make your on-campus living space feel more like home with posters, pictures, christmas lights, stuffed animals, cute bedding - anything that will make you feel safe and relaxed in your space. Talk to your roommate to figure out if you all want to coordinate your decorations, but be sure to follow your hall guidelines for decor as well.
Find A Safe Space To Study On Campus
Social distancing is one of, if not the most important, ways to keep yourself and others healthy during the pandemic. However, exploring campus and finding study spots is also important. Look for unpopulated libraries, classroom buildings, and other hangout spots on campus. These are definitely the best places to study on campus. You always need a quiet getaway from your normal hangouts and your dorm room.
Get Know The Other Students In Your Dorm
It's easy to only want to hang out with your roommate or the people in your hallway during your freshman year. But attend building-wide events (as they are modified for COVID-19) and meet new people who live in your dorm. You never know, you might meet your new best friend doing laundry one night.
Talk To Your Hall Staff Often
As a former RA, I will say that dorm staff members love getting to know the residents. Speak to the RAs as you pass the desk in the lobby every now and then. Talk to your RA often, they're one of the best resources for all kinds of campus related information.
Go On A Local Restaurant Crawl
Every college town has that one amazing burger, taco, or pizza joint. Scope it out with your new friends and order take out. Try a new restaurant every couple of weeks. You won't regret it, and when family comes to visit you'll always have a new dinner suggestion.
Visit Local Parks & Trails
Outdoor activities have kept a lot of us sane during the pandemic. Going away to school doesn't have to change that. Look up local parks and trails to go hiking, play basketball, or to form a study group in your new city.
Use Bumble BFF To Meet New Friends On Campus
Dating apps have been all the rage during the pandemic, but many have options to make platonic connections as well. I suggest using Bumble BFF to meet new people in your new area.
Take Lots Of Pictures
We carry around cameras in our pockets and purses every day. Use your phone to take pictures of everything. Create those photo albums (digital and physical) so that you can look back on all the memories you made in college years from now. You won't regret it!
Enjoy The Little Moments
Life is always moving fast. That's why it's important to slow down and cherish the small moments of joy you experience. If you're able to stargaze by the library on campus one night, do it. If your friends want to have a car picnic off campus somewhere - go for it. Enjoy every moment that may seem small during your college experience. I promise that one day you'll look back and realize it was more significant than you once thought it was.