Freshman year is super exciting! You get to start taking classes for what you want to do, get to experience independence truly for the first time, get to make new friends, and really get the chance to start over if you want to and redefine who you are. All of this can be a lot to take in and manage your first year. You'll also probably experience typical first week fears such as finding classes, trying to get involved on campus, making said friends, and getting along with your roommate. Don't worry! We all go through it and you will get through it too and have some great memories made along the way. Below I share some tips I used to make my transition into college as smooth as possible. I enjoyed my freshman year, as I was so ready to be on my own in college, and these are some of the tips and tricks I used to make my freshman year start off really strong.
Before classes begin, walk around campus to all of your scheduled buildings
This made me feel so much less anxious the first week, as I already had some basic routes memorized to get me to each of my classes from the class I had before it prior to the start of school. I really recommend walking your class schedule before school starts that way you get comfortable with the campus layout, and you won't feel like you have to run between your courses because you went to the wrong building. A great thing I did was use google maps on walk mode, which took me from building to building and told me how long it would take to get there and even showed me different paths I could take if I wanted to switch it up every now and then. Plus, you won't have to be the freshman walking around with a physical map. No one will even know that you're looking at directions on your phone!
Attend freshman welcome week events
People always give freshman week events a bad name. Although they may seem cheesy or pointless, I do recommend going to a few of them. Often times, they will teach you the fight song, alma mater, college traditions and many more things to get you used to campus. Not to mention, you can get a lot of free t-shirts, apparel, and even food. My college had a freshman bingo where they were giving away tv's and microwaves for new students. Additionally, some of these events are meant to teach students bus routes, money management, study tips for college classes, and other helpful tricks you'll end up using during your time on campus.
Take time to get to know your roommates
A great way to get to do this is to go to welcome week events together. My roommates and I did this and it was a great way to break the initial awkwardness there was. If you don't want to go to the welcome week events, then go out to eat together at one of the campus dining halls, go to the mall together, or walk around campus together and just talk. You might become best friends with your roommate (or you might not), but either way, you want to make sure you get comfortable because you will be living with them for the next year. The week before classes start is the least busy you'll be all year, so be sure to use your free time to get to make some friends and know your roommates.
Start researching clubs you might want to join
Most campus websites will have a list of student organizations that you can join! My college also had a day where all of these organizations came on campus in one of our presentation halls for an event called "ClubFest", and students were able to do a gallery walk through everything offered on campus (and I got so much free stuff!). You want to find things to do for fun on campus along with finding clubs related to your major to help boost your resume, so be sure to try and get involved with clubs as soon as you can! Remember, do not try and join 10 different clubs, because you will not have time for it. Pick 2-3 that you know don't conflict with your homework, classes, or other clubs and stick with them.
Try and follow a daily routine before your classes start
Just like how I did in high school, I tried to wake up and go to bed at the time I normally would during the school year to get my body used to it. I also recommend finding times you would normally eat your meals during the day and follow that habit as well, along with finding times in your new schedule to exercise and follow your nighttime routine. Try to figure this schedule out (based off your class schedule/work schedule) before college starts that way it is one less thing you have to figure out once you get busy during the school year.
These tips should be a good start to help you adjust to campus life and to help allivate some worries or concerns you may have about campus life. Just remember there are thousands of other freshman at your college going through the same exact thing, so you aren't alone! Don't be afraid to walk up to someone on the bus, in one of your classes, or at a welcome week event and say hello. You never know who could be your next closest friend!