Hello fellow collegiate! First off, congrats on making it here to college! Brace yourself: you’re in for a few of the most memorable years of your life. And yes, college is going to have its ups and downs, but for the most part, this will be one of the best adventures of your life. But before you start getting into the ups and downs of the new semester, you’ve got to get through freshman orientation. Here are a few tips that I’ve put together to make sure you make the most out of freshman orientation:
1. Get pumped.
It’s freaking college! You’ve been through four years of high school, an SAT/ACT exam and you’ve made it through the long college application process and you’re finally here! So, be excited for freshman orientation. For some reason, I was a nervous wreck at my orientation and that’s normal. But just remember there are other people that may be just as nervous as you are, so don’t be afraid to break out of your shell a little bit.
2. Make older friends.
More than likely you’ll have some type of freshman college presentation that will have, in part, been put together by some upperclassmen. Some freshman may be afraid to talk to the upperclassman (I know I was), but I guarantee you they are more than happy to help you. They gave up some of their summer to help plan an awesome orientation for the freshman class so don’t be afraid to talk to them.
It also helps to have older friends when the inevitable first few weeks of college parties take place. By then, you’ll have a friend who knows where all the best parties around campus are and who, more than likely, won’t mind sharing party favors with you. Upperclassman can be great mentors in helping you survive the crazy world that is college, especially when it comes to joining clubs and organizations, which professors to avoid, and what food in the dining hall will send you into a diabetic coma if you eat too much of it. Upperclassman have most likely been there and done that and can help you avoid it all.
3. Start socializing.
I know it’s cliché and everyone says it, but you’ll meet some of your closest friends in college. But to meet them, you can’t be a hermit. You’ll meet so many people just at freshman orientation who are all just as excited to start this new chapter in their life. The friends you make here are going to have such a huge impact on your life and no matter how smart or independent you are, you can’t go through college alone. And who would want to? Make memories, take risks, and challenge yourself because this is the time to do just that and you’ll want your friends by your side through all of that.
4. Don’t go overboard with the partying.
College parties undoubtedly conquer high school parties in all aspects of life, which makes it easy to test your limits – and lose miserably. This is especially true during orientation week because everyone is super excited to just be there. Things can get crazy, but you don’t want to be that freshman who introduces herself by drinking way more than she even weighs, puking on someone’s brand new shoes and passing out in the courtyard wearing nothing but a tank top and a thong. You’ll spend your whole freshman year, and probably most of college known as “that freshman.” No one wants that.
5. Avoid detrimental consequences.
Besides having the reputation of being “that girl,” there are worse things that can happen. For instance, getting arrested and getting kicked off campus before you even officially start. It’s inevitable that people are going to drink, probably into oblivion, smoke a lot of weed, and do it in places they’re not allowed to – like everywhere. Basically, be smart about what you’re doing.
6. Leave the ego at home.
One of the biggest differences between college and high school is the way you are viewed by others. There are no longer those dumb cliques that determine every little crevice of your high school social standing. No one cares who you were in high school because no one knows who you were then. It’s pretty much a clean slate. So, remember that you’re just as new at this as everyone else. You’re no less and no more than the person in your orientation introduction group, or the random person you had to hug during those goofy activities.
7. But, you don’t have to be friends with everyone.
You’re not going to fit in with everyone. College is full of many different characters that will make you laugh, make you cringe, roll your eyes, and make you wonder where they’ve been all your life. You’re probably also going to meet someone you won’t get along with for the next four years. Find the people you fit in with and make the most of it, but just don’t be overly-judgmental and filled with the dramatics. That turns people off, and will continue to over the years.
8. Get as many people’s information as you can.
Everyone you meet that seems like a cool person is an opportunity for a great friendship and a new experience. Find out what building they’re living in, you just might be neighbors. Follow them on Instagram and friend request them on Facebook. Everyone is looking to connect with each other at this point, so you’re not going to look creepy. Having a lot of different friends in college is one the best ways to make the most out of freshman year and beyond.
9. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate.
Your roommate is most likely the first person you will meet on campus with more than just a simple “hey, what’s up.” You guys will be living together. This person is either going to be your best friend and future bridesmaid, someone you literally just share a space with, or someone you fantasize about stabbing in their sleep. They could be super cool or a super-friggin weirdo. But, you’re just sharing a room, and there is no rule that you have to be besties. Making other friends will help with the roommate issue, but if it’s too much to bare, talk to your new RA. They’ll be able to help, and possibly get you a room switch.
10. Get out of your dorm during freshman orientation.
Trust me, you’ll spend plenty of time studying in your dorm until it feels like a jail cell. Venture out around campus and go to all the events you can. There will be so many different things happening for freshman to really get a taste of their campus and the people on it – especially where the hot guys roam. Even if you haven’t made any friends yet, every time you step out of your 4×4 crawl space, you have a better chance of making friends than if you just stayed there. You’re going to wish you took advantage of orientation weekend once classes start and that’s all you can think about.
Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to have the best freshman orientation ever. You only get one, after all!