As pre-collegiettes quickly approaching your first year at college, it’s normal that your nerves and worries are kicking into high gear. You’re about to enter uncharted territory, an entirely different world than high school (as much socially as it is academically). That said, the first week of college is a complete blast and you’re going to love it. This is the time to put yourself out there, meet a huge variety of people, and start school on a high note. Most importantly, though, the first week is the time to be a carefree and happy collegiette!
…but wait pre-collegiettes—before you get too giddy, notice that I said carefree… not careless. Yes, a carefree collegiette may be (and obviously is) chill and cool, but most of all she’s definitely classy.
So, we’ve prepped you on proper dorm etiquette and navigating your first frat party, but now it’s time to hit you with an all-too-necessary list of things NOT to do that first week on campus. Take note, pre-collegiettes, don’t do these things…
1. Hook up with multiple guys in the first week
Welcome to the realm of college boys. You’re far away from (hopefully) immature high school boys with teenage acne and cracking voices. To put it as simply and politely as possible, just because you now believe what your mom said about there being many fish in the sea doesn’t mean you have to catch as many as you can. If you’re patient the first week and actually make a habit of getting to know the guys you meet before getting ‘intimate’ with them, then your chances of catching a keeper improve significantly.
Caution: We don’t advocate first-week dormcest. HC University of Alabama campus correspondent Jaime warns, “don’t hook up with anyone on your floor.” We agree, Jaime. Getting down with a guy on the floor too early on opens you up to a long year of super awkward encounters.
2. Pick teams
Avoid hanging out at the same place every night. Don’t spend all your time in the same guys’ suite/frat house/hockey house (you get the picture: don’t pick one and only one nightly hangout spot).
We get it—you don’t know many people yet and having a familiar place to go is comfortable. But we promise you that if you keep an open mind and don’t limit yourself to one place and/or one group of people, you’ll be more comfortable at your new school in the long run. This is the time to branch out and, trust us, it’s harder to branch out and randomly introduce yourself to people the further into the school year you get.
3. Pick your besties
Why do we mention this next, you ask? To emphasize, underline, and highlight the point that you can’t be closed-minded when it comes to meeting new people. You cannot, should not (and will not, right collegiettes?) choose your best friends and play ‘favorites’ the first week at school.
As HC Contributing Writer Tarina from Harvard says, “The first week is an opportunity to hang out with lots of different people and see who you really click with.” Don’t let one person or one group of people hold you back from meeting more. “Plus, a girl’s circle of friends changes up a lot during the first year of college, so it’s important to mingle a lot from the beginning to get to know a variety of people,” Tarina says.
4. Run your mouth
Don’t talk about people you just met (or worse, people you have yet to meet) behind their back. This is probably one of the easiest ways to repel friends, not make them. Enough said.
5. Get dolled up the first day
Don’t get overly dolled up for your first day of class. This isn’t the first day of freshman year in high school where you try to impress your classmates by having the cutest outfit or being the best dressed. Dress for yourself: wear what makes you comfortable, and wear it with confidence.
That said, while you want to make a good impression on your peers and potential future friends, you can’t forget about the other important group of people you’re meeting for the first time: your professors. Even though we say you should dress comfortably, do not wear sweatpants or pajama pants on your first day of class (or any day of class, ideally). This is a dead giveaway to teachers that you just don’t give a sh**.
6. Be a homebody
You didn’t move away from home just to go running right back (metaphorically speaking) to your mom and dad. Try to avoid the urge to call home every time a problem arises. For example, before you pick up the phone to ask for the step-by-step directions about how to do your own laundry (yes, you are a grown-up now—well sort of), try asking someone in your suite or hall if they want to brave laundry day together. Chances are, you’re probably not the only one who is unsure about whether to wash in hot or cold water… So, how about it? Instead of being a homebody, try meeting somebody.
7. Make too many “friends”
The majority of collegiettes agree hands down that you should not friend everyone in your freshman class on Facebook. HC Belmont Campus Correspondent Bianca puts it aptly: “Going on a crazy Facebook-adding spree during orientation will not only creep people out, but you’ll end up never seeing half of the people again. Try and be selective with your friend requesting and add people you truly think you’ll become friends with!” We couldn’t agree more.
8. Underestimate the juice
Don’t mistake the jungle juice for regular juice. If right now is the first time you’ve ever heard of this infamous concoction, just remember this: jungle juice is not a Welch’s flavor. That said, HC’s RIT Campus Correspondent Jenna warns that even if you may be caught up in the excitement and folly of college parties, “don’t get too drunk and make a fool out of yourself.”
Honestly, the last thing you want is to do something foolish in front of people you just met. For example, it wouldn’t be ideal to get totally smashed and decide to take your first keg stand in a mini skirt… and a thong. Even (especially) if you don’t remember it, everyone else will. Take Jenna for example: To this day, “I still remember ‘the kid who puked all over 188’ and so do many other people!”
Which brings up another important point—not only can drinking above and beyond an appropriate amount severely impact your judgment, it can also significantly affect your stomach. Just like the keg stand scenario, you can be just as easily remembered if you as 'that freshman girl who was so bombed she got sick all over the dance floor'. Be smart (it shouldn’t be too hard, you did get into college…).
9. Fear the front
Again, this isn't high school. The front row of class isn’t reserved for “nerdy losers,” “brown-nosers,” “teacher’s pets,” etc. Don’t fear the front row! In fact, you’re probably better off sitting up front because those who don’t are going to wish they were you come midterms and finals. Trust me, sitting in a spot where you’ll actually be able to pay attention will only benefit you during exam week, when others are scrounging to learn a semester’s worth of material.
An added bonus? Less stress = a better, happier attitude with which to meet new people! So remember, less stress does not come from not doing your work. Sitting up front helps you absorb the material, which helps you stay on top of your work, which means less stress, which means … a happy you!
10. Be a snore
Don’t develop a sleeping disorder. Whether it’s oversleeping or not sleeping at all, it’s important that you try to nail down a solid sleeping schedule that first week. Bad habits are harder to cut once they’ve begun, so don’t get in the habit of going to bed every night at 3 a.m. the first week. Sleep has to happen sometime and if you don’t sleep at night chances are you’re going to crash during the day, sleep through class, and probably miss out on some fun daytime activities with your new friends as well.
Former HC Marketing Intern and Tulane student Stephanie says, “I pushed myself too hard and was way too busy before moving in to college. When I finally got to campus, I was exhausted and ended up sleeping a majority of that first week. Don’t do this. I ended up missing out on a lot of campus stuff and opportunities to meet people that I wish I’d been awake for (and my roommate thought I was a weirdo).”
11. Drastically change your ways
When all is said in done, you really don’t have a lot to worry about as long as you’re being yourself. Who else would you be, right? It’s as simple as it sounds: don’t drastically change who you are the minute you step on campus. It’s true that college can be the perfect time to “reinvent” yourself, but whoever coined this phrase needs to include an addendum to clarify that what this really means is you have a clean slate to be yourself in a new place and with new people. If you choose the first week to completely shed your values, and whatever else makes you you, you’ll be more lost than ever. Reinvent the way people see you? Go for it! Just up and trade yourself in for a ‘newer’ you-model? Just nope.
So, there you have it, collegiettes (yes, no longer pre-collegiettes--after reading this article you’ve officially become collegiettes!), a couple of things that we at HC say you should NOT do the first week on campus! Even if you choose to ignore this beyond enlightening list of things to do, at least remember: the one thing you must do the first week at college is, as the proverbial saying goes, let your true colors shine.
Have some advice you’d like to add to the list? Leave a comment below!