Arriving at college is an exciting and transformative moment in a young adult’s life. As students wave goodbye to their parents, little do their parents know that college may be more difficult for their loved ones than they imagined. Most students find it difficult to adjust to a new social scene and the challenges that come with it. But don’t worry! While the first week may be challenging, there are steps you can take to make the adjustment easier.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to help you succeed and be your best self during the first week of college.
Do: Make New Friends
College is the time to make friends! You now live in a concentrated area full of people your age, all pursuing the same goal of getting a degree. Befriend your roommates, floormates, those you meet at various freshmen events, and those who you meet along the way. Be open to meeting new people, and don’t close yourself off from others.
Don’t: Become Attached to One Person or Group
Be sure to make friends, but don’t become attached to one person or group. Attaching yourself to one person or group may prevent you from meeting those whom you have not met yet. During freshman year, almost everyone becomes instant best friends with their roommate or floormates. While they are your friends, freshman year friendships are very fluid in the beginning, and you may find your best friend in college from a club or a class you take rather than the first week of class. Be patient, and don’t expect to find your best friend in a week.
Do: Look for Your Classrooms Before the First Day of Class
College campuses are much more difficult to navigate than your high school. Be sure to find out and locate the classrooms for all of your classes, so your first day of class runs smoothly. Knowing the locations of your classes will help you navigate your campus more easily, so you can make it to your classes on time.
Don’t: Skip Buying/Renting Textbooks
You may hear some students brag that textbooks are not necessary, but that may in fact not be the case. Every student learns differently. You may be putting yourself at a disadvantage by not getting textbooks. You never know when a question on an exam may come straight from the textbook you never bought.
Pro Tip: Wait to rent or buy your textbooks until after the first day of class, and be sure to use our Textbook Save Engine to help you find your textbooks at the cheapest prices.
Do: Go to Class
College students pay up to tens of thousands of dollars each year for their degree, so skipping a class means you are wasting your tuition money. College usually involves less in-classroom time, but you have to put in much more effort and many more hours of studies to be successful. Beginning the semester by skipping class is not setting yourself up for success. Attending all of your classes during the first week of college will also help you decide if you like the subjects and if you want to keep or drop a particular subject.
Don’t: Become Distracted
It is easy to be distracted with all the technology surrounding us, but you need to stay focused. If you are using your laptop in class, be sure to pay attention and focus on the course material. While in class, put your phone on airplane mode. Refrain from checking your phone during class. By staying focused during the first week of college, you are cultivating good habits that can pave the way to success.
Do: Establish a Routine
If you are looking to keep off the “Freshman Fifteen” or keep your life organized, take control of your college life on the very first day. Taking time to establish a routine can help you achieve your goals. Once a routine is established and followed for some time, it will soon become a habit and feel less of a chore. Be sure to have a routine for bedtime, studying, exercising, and extracurricular activities.
Don’t: Get Lazy
While it may be tempting to sleep away most of the day if your first class is in the afternoon or evening, you should make it a point to wake up at your usual time and get things done. There is so much to do in college, so get involved. Join a club and explore your college town. You can also get a job, exercise, and socialize. Above all, find time to study. Don’t waste your college years! The four years will fly by, and you don’t want to look back and have regrets.
Do: Stay Organized
Be sure to stay organized in college. Staying organized can help keep your room neat, your grade in check, and your life in order. If necessary, take time out of your schedule to pause, reset, and reorganize yourself at the beginning of each week, or whenever you need it.
Procrastination often lands students in trouble. Students who procrastinate find themselves cramming for exams, or sacrificing sleep to complete an assignment or essay that they had ample time to work on. Discipline, on the other hand, would mean more sleep, less stress, increased productivity, and higher grades. So, don’t procrastinate and put yourself into a bad position.
Do: Make a Good First Impression
Be sure to make a good first impression at your university. You can do so by introducing yourself to your peers, professors, classmates, etc. First impressions are lasting impressions, so be sure to make them count. You can make a good first impression by sitting towards the front of the classroom, looking presentable, being an active participant in class, and being friendly to your peers.
Don’t: Ignore Personal Hygiene
While you may not want to dress up every day, it is important to be well-groomed. No one wants to live with a smelly roommate. Practicing good hygiene is always important, so always make time for it.
Do: Be Sociable
It’s your first week of college! Be sociable! College is the time to meet new people and expand your network, so being sociable in the first week of school will help you make friends. You may feel nervous about your new environment, which is totally understandable, but you should still make the effort to attend campus events and meet new people.
Don’t: Stay in Your Room
While you may feel tempted to stay inside your room, you should aim to explore your university’s campus, libraries, academic buildings, dining halls, and everything else your university has to offer. The first week of class is often when your workload is lightest, so it is the perfect time to explore your new home. It is normal to want to be alone in your room, but it’s better for you to be out and about getting to know your new environment and opening up opportunities to make friends.
The first week of school can be nerve-racking, but these do’s and don’t’s can help your first week of college run as smoothly as possible, both socially and academically. Good luck with the beginning of a new school year!
Vanessa Sewell is studying Economics and Communications at Boston College. She is from Bronx, NY. Vanessa has worked on topics related to lifestyle, fashion, culture, and education during her time at Boston College. During her free time, she can be found playing piano and guitar or jamming to Spotify.