Monday, August 20, 2012

What to Do on Your First College Weekend

Moving to college for the first time can be a very exciting and nerve-wracking experience. Chances are you'll arrive days before classes start. This gives you a lot of time to get settled. Here are a few things that you can do in those days before classes start.

This one's very important. Get everything out of the storage containers and organized. If you have a lot of totes and not a lot of space, send the totes home with your parents if at all possible. That way they're not taking up valuable dorm space. You may think that you'll have time to unpack later, but the truth is you really won't. It's better to do it now than to be searching through all your stuff later for something that you need.

Talk to people
Get out and meet everyone. College is a very diverse place and you're bound to find people that share your interests. That's not going to happen, though, if you don't go find them! Leave your door open during the day when you're in your room. It encourages people to stop, knock, and say hello. You are probably going to have the same neighbors all year so it's important to get to know them.

Have fun
There are usually a lot of activities going on that first weekend. This is a great chance for you to try new things and meet people. My first weekend at college I went rock climbing, ice skating, and walking around town with a group of friends, two of which I'd never done before.

Explore campus
Now is a good time to get acclimated to the layout of campus. If there's another dining hall that's across campus from your dorm, walk down there for lunch one day. Just walk around. Find the best route to the buildings where all your classes will be. Even if you don't know the location of your actual classroom, knowing how to get to the building before classes start can be a great stress reliever. 

Go out to eat
If your parents are still around, encourage them to take you out for one last meal before they leave.  You're probably going to be eating college food more often than not over the next year and -- while the food can be great depending on your school -- it gets old really fast. So check out one or two of the local restaurants. You might even find a potential date spot or hangout.

For those of you moving to college this year, do you have any plans for that first weekend? And if you've already been there, do you have any other tips for freshman just moving in?