I’ve only been living on campus for four days, but it feels like forever. My weekend has been filled with endless orientation activities, and constant assemblies with professors and peer mentors. With my crazy schedule, it’s hard to find time to relax or make friends. Luckily, I’ve managed to find a nice group of friends during my first day. As my friends and I struggled to keep up with our busy schedules, while also trying to learn the lay of the land, we managed to learn a few quick lessons.
Use your damn map
Initially, no one wanted to even think about pulling out a map. We’d rather stumble around lost and confused than have an upperclassmen see us consulting a map as if we were lost freshman. However, we were lost freshman, and everyone knew it. Honestly, it’s easier to just accept the fact that you’re lost, there are other people who are lost, and you’ll find your building a lot faster if you just use your map.
Campus Maps will save your life
Speaking of maps, if you’re going to a university with a HUGE campus, you should probably download the app Campus Maps. It’s so easy to use. You pick out which school you go to, choose a building, and it’ll give you directions on how to get there. (It saved my life this weekend).
Operating buses are way harder than it looks
When you don’t know the route, riding a bus can be a challenge. You have to constantly check to make sure you’re going in the right direction, and even then you won’t be 100% sure.
Fraternity Row will always have parties
The first party me and friends went to was way off campus. We had to take a bus that dropped us off down the street then hike the rest of the way. By the time we got to the party, it was so crowded that you couldn’t move without being pressed up against somebody. Frustrated by the atmosphere, my friends and I took a bus back to campus then hit fraternity row. That night, there were at least three different parties on the same block. So if you and your friends are struggling to find a fun place to go, you might want to check out a few frat houses.
You should perfect the art of coming home from a party
No one wants to wake up at three in the morning because their roommate is stumbling in from a frat party. Even if your roommate (like mine) says that it’s okay and they don’t mind, you shouldn’t make this a habit. It’s understandable if you accidentally wake your roommate up the first time you go out, but any more times than that and you’re just being rude.
Lay your pajamas out on your bed before you leave, so when you come home, you aren’t fumbling around in dark looking for them. When you come into the room, shut the door quickly and quietly so that the light from the hallway doesn’t wake your roommate up. And don’t shine your phone flashlight all over the place, keep it pointed to the ground. No one wants a bright light in their face that early in the morning.
You’re going to be alone sometimes and that’s OK
Everyone’s schedule isn’t going to work together nicely. Sometimes you’ll have to wake up earlier than your other friends, and other times, you’ll have to go to a class or event that no one else is going to. This means you have to be comfortable walking alone and eating alone. At first, it’ll seem awkward, but eventually, you’ll grow used to it.
Make friends fast
Although it’s okay to be alone every now and then, you still want to have people that you can hang out with. While at orientation events or even in your dorm, you should try to make friends. Talk to people you see, and try to find a nice group of one or two people who have similar interests. If you’re still struggling to find a good friend group, you should join a few clubs.
The first few days at school can be intimidating. You don’t know where anything is, and you feel a little nervous and awkward. Don’t be too scared because everything will work out fine, and soon, you’ll get the hang of it.