Whether you’re an incoming freshman or an experienced upperclassman, it’s important to start the school year off right. After you have moved everything in, gotten your room put together just the way you like it, and your parents have gone home, here are four things you can do to help you get settled as you begin your first week on campus.
1. Bike or walk around campus
Some of you have moved onto huge campuses that take up an entire city, others can walk from one end of campus to the other in 15 minutes. No matter which category you fall into, taking a walk around campus with some friends during you free time can help you get acquainted with where things are. It’s much easier to find the buildings that your classes are in while you’re not frantically trying to avoid being late on your first day of class.
2. Meet the people in your building
Chances are your neighborhood association will be hosting some type of event for everyone that lives around you so that you can all get to know each other. You should attend that, but you should also hang out in your hall or common area and meet the people who are living specifically in your building. You’re going to be living with them all year, so the sooner you get to know them the better!
3. Go out to dinner with your roommates
Even if you’re a freshman and you can already tell that you and your randomly assigned roommate aren’t going to be the best of friends, you should still invite them to dinner. You don’t have to go out with your entire hall, but you should definitely go with 4 or 5 people, so you can get to know them better. If you’re an upperclassman with an apartment and you’ve lived with the same people for more than a year now, you should still get dinner! Opening week hangouts can be a great time to decide what else you need for your living space, who’s going to pay for what, and how often everyone should have a turn taking out the trash.
4. Talk to your RA or Apartment Manager
College should be equal parts fun and hard work. There are plenty of ways to have fun that don’t involve partying, but there’s also nothing wrong with partying hard on the weekends after a long week of schoolwork. It’s best to talk to your RA or AM and work out a system. I’ve found that the “if I don’t see it I can’t saying anything” method is effective, as long as you’re smart about your decisions. If you decide to host the occasional party, ask your RA to let you know if you’re being too loud and give you a chance to take it down a notch before they come knocking on your door. This can also ensure that you have a better relationship with your RA or AM, and a happy RA is a happy dorm.