What to Do Your First Week of College

Surviving the hectic rush of move-in day, you’ve recycled the cardboard boxes, hung your clothes in the closet, and waved goodbye as your folks drove away. Now what? Check out our to-do list for your first week of college.

1. Get settled in your dorm

You probably feel a combination of excitement and nervousness living in a new space. Use some of your down time to make it feel a little more like home! Some suggestions: decorate it with some of your favorite photos, hang twinkly lights, or organize your desk. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t feel settled right away; it may take a few days (or even a few weeks).

2. Introduce yourself to new people

The great thing about being an incoming freshman is that everyone is looking to make new friends, so don’t worry about putting yourself out there. The sooner you jump into the social scene, the easier your transition into college life! You could meet your future BFF or spouse during the first week of college…you never know!

3. Attend as many events as you can

Many colleges have a welcome week with events intended for new students. From movie nights to convocation ceremonies to class picnics, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Grab a few new friends, and go for it! Still not convinced? There is pretty much always free food.

4. Explore your campus

Not only will you familiarize with your surroundings, but you will locate lots of useful amenities such as library printing, nearest convenience stores, secret study spots, laundry rooms, and more. Having this knowledge in your back pocket will come in handy when things get busy. You should also use this as an opportunity to seek out the different buildings on your class schedule. That way, you won’t get lost on the first day of classes!

5. Set boundaries with your roommate

Consider drawing up a roommate contract when you move in – you can ask your RA if you need a template. It should cover expected ‘quiet times’ for studying, cleaning responsibilities, rules for having guests over, and any other things you consider relevant. Even if you don’t want to draw up a formal contract, make sure you sit down with your roommate and openly discuss your expectations and preferences with regard to noise, cleanliness, and more.

6. Get your textbooks

Some of your classes may jump into lecture on the first day, so you want to be prepared with the required readings! Be sure to explore more affordable options (such as renting, buying used books, and so on) before paying full price. There also may be discount book stores around campus or even older students on social media trying to sell their textbooks!

7. Know your resources before you need them

Find out who your academic advisor is and how to schedule an appointment with them. Be aware of add/drop dates for classes! You should also locate the health center, career services, student union, and tutoring center. This way, when your schedule picks up pace and you need help ASAP, you will know where to go!

8. Check your campus safety procedures

If you haven’t already, you should sign up for campus police alerts. This is a great way to know about crimes as soon as they are reported. By remaining aware of what is going on, you can be wise in when and where you decide to go places. It also allows for the community to stay united and alert in a state of emergencies.

Your first week of college will go by in a flash, so take advantage of this time to start off on the right foot!