7 Ways to Rock the First Week of School

The first week of school can make or break your school year, and this can be especially true for freshmen. Sometimes it’s hard to jump right in because of all the new faces, flyers, and activities. They can prove to be pretty overwhelming! However, with a little planning beforehand and an open mind, the first week of school (and all of the weeks after) can make your college experience one to remember. So, here are seven quick tips to make your first week on campus a little less daunting!

1.     Socialize

This is important whether you have a bunch of friends coming to school with you or you don’t know anyone at all. During the first week, randomly going up to someone and introducing yourself is commonplace, so don’t be shy! Branching out and meeting lots of new people is important. You can always decide who your closest friends are later in the year, but it can be hard to start friendships in the middle of the semester.

Also, let’s not forget socializing with professors and teaching assistants. Some of your classes may have hundreds of students in them; introducing yourself to your professors is one way to stand out. This can easily be done before/after class or during office hours. You definitely won’t regret playing teacher’s pet with your professors at the end of the semester while they are deciding your final grades!

2.     Get involved… But not too involved

At the beginning of fall semester lots of clubs and organizations recruit for new members (including Her Campus!) Many of them have sign-up sheets and listservs to communicate with possible new members. Joining clubs are great for meeting new people as well as boosting your résumé. But, I would definitely caution those people who are tempted to put their name on every new member sheet and listserv sign-up sheet they come across. Go for a few organizations that really interest you. This is important because you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with meetings and events, especially if this is your first semester. Plus, there is nothing worse than getting emails all semester from the “Save the Whales Club” and a million other random organizations that you will never get involved in.

3.     Take advantage

During the first week there will be TONS of free t-shirts, food, and other goodies that are available. In some social situations taking free things can be somewhat frowned upon (especially if you don’t intend on joining the organization that’s providing those free things.) Thankfully, this is not the case during the first week of school! It is completely acceptable to eat the free pizza just because you’re hungry. Also, there won’t be too many more opportunities for you to get free things with no strings attached during the school year, so don’t miss your chance. Plus, eating free food will save you from the dining hall just a little bit longer; this is great because it doesn’t take long to get sick of cafeteria food.

4.     Participate

Participation definitely goes hand in hand with tip number one: socialize. Going to events that you may not be interested in, can end up being fun just because they are easy opportunities to meet new people. This may be difficult for all of my wallflowers out there but you will thank yourself later for mustering the courage to go to these different events, even if you don’t know anyone else who’s going.

Plus, these first week of class events aren’t designed to be boring! Sometimes the events are sports-related or involve a musical performance, and they almost always involve food (refer to tip number three.)

This tip also includes academic participation. Raising your hand and answering questions in class will make you memorable to your professor or teaching assistant. Also, joining study groups are a great way to meet and participate with your classmates while brushing up on difficult material at the same time.

5.     Take a map/ map out your classes

College campuses are generally very large and getting lost is commonplace. Don’t be embarrassed to take a map in order to avoid walking into lecture twenty minutes late because you couldn’t find it. If you want to be more discreet, you can always use your phone to snap a picture of your campus’ map so you don’t scream, “I’m lost.”

Mapping out your classes beforehand is also very helpful to avoid first day of class woes. Grab one of your new friends and figure out your where your classes are beforehand; you can even plan a time to meet up for lunch. Figuring out the location of your classes is also a great way to get comfortable with your campus in general.

6.     Ask for help

This tip is pretty important because the first week is sometimes frustrating and often times confusing. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help; whether it’s deciding that your map just isn’t doing it and you need directions or figuring out which dining hall serves the best food. No one expects you know everything and almost everyone you run into will be willing to help.

7.     Have fun

The first week is not only a time to meet new people and get used to your new environment but it is a time to have a blast. Your classwork won’t be too difficult so enjoy this stress free time at the beginning of the semester!



Picture 1:

Scholarship Room


Picture 2:

Rainy Day Pennies


Picture 3:

The Odum Institute


Picture 4:

Reese News Lab