Congratulations! You are officially a college student ready to take on the world, but you may be wondering where to start. It’s easy to stay tucked away in your dorm until classes pick up, occasionally stepping out to get food or that one thing you forgot to pack. Here’s a guide for slowly discovering the wonderful world of possibilities a new place can offer.
Advice for Your First Year of College
Get Acquainted With Where You’re Going
To take the first step of crossing the sacred threshold of your dorm, start by exploring your campus. Grab a map and begin the journey of finding the secrets of each building. Make a note of the best study spots, where to hang out between classes, or a hideaway for those stressful days. Sometimes classes have relocations for test days, or a club meets in a classroom tucked in a random basement.
Although it’s not a common occurrence that you’ll be randomly booking it to a mystery location, there’s security in having a mental outline of your campus’ main buildings. This will help minimize the stress associated with getting lost and make a new environment feel like home. Test out how long it’ll take you to get from one class to another and see if there are any short cuts or pit stops you can make along the way. While wandering around and soaking in the sunlight, you will find other students doing the same. So hey, while you’re on this little adventure, you might pick up a friend or two.
Expand Your Culinary Palette
After you get into the groove of things, it’s easy to grab a snack and run to your next destination. Or you might get stuck going to the same dining halls located conveniently close by and experience food burnout. (Yes, it is most certainly a thing). A great way to prevent food burnout and explore new nutritious options is to try every on-campus dining location. Think of it as a quest for healthy living.
Not only are you getting in your steps, but you are experiencing the different cultures of each dorm dining hall or cafeteria. Every building has a story, and weirdly, the food always appears to match the narrative. If classes start to weigh you down, or you experience homesickness that never seems to have a cure, this little adventure can be something to look forward to. Food is the cure for any ailment, whether it’s a spontaneous trip or an intentional way to get yourself out.
Immerse Yourself in the Arts
Food is the way to the heart, but art is the way to the soul. This little adventure tip is for those who are ready to explore a place beyond their imagination. Literally. We are about to dive into the minds of the creative. And the great thing about a college campus is there are endless possibilities to get lost in a world different from your own. If you have an open weekend and the desire to dive into something new, the art buildings are the way to go.
Find the school of music’s calendar and attend a concert. Explore the architecture building and get lost in the designs for the future spread throughout the halls. Go to the art building and ponder over the pieces they have on display. If you find yourself overwhelmed with school or needing a change of pace, there are secrets among the creatives waiting to be discovered. Sometimes all you must do is read that random flier on the wall.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
We’re going to let you in on a little secret. College is not about finding yourself but instead defining yourself. Think about your passions and engage with others that have the same interests. There is no better way to do this than by joining a club, attending student activities, or taking a class at the recreation center.
Leaving your comfort zone can be scary at first, but establishing a support system can be incredibly rewarding. The great thing about finding a community is that suddenly a new place doesn’t seem so vast. In no time, you’ll be exchanging small waves in the hallway and making plans for lunch. Now you are staying active, making time for your interests, and growing into the person, you want to become. Many don’t realize that, slowly but surely, you’re creating a home away from home.
College is fun and exciting, but it can be hard not knowing what to expect during your first year. By keeping an open mind and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you can discover new things about yourself!
Joining the team from Texas, Victoria is a recent graduate from Texas Tech University with a degree in marketing and a specialization in data analytics. With a heart for community, she is thrilled to be a part of the company. She was born and raised in Texas and is a city girl to the core. When she’s not at work, you’ll find her browsing local bookstores or exploring nearby art museums.