In honor of the class of 2016, here are five things I wish I’d known during first year orientation.
#1 Don’t be afraid of the upper classmen. They genuinely want to know you, and impress their knowledge upon you. They’re all just looking for a little freshman baby bird to take under their wing. Grab the girl from down the hall and go find out if one of you is that bird. Save yourself some time and some embarrassment, and probably score some party invites.
#2 Just Do It. Not that, get your mind out of the gutter, geeze. But the freshman class adventure trip white water rafting? Go. The day of volunteering with your peers? Go. Scoping out downtown and sampling the best Mexican Restaurant in the city? Go. These opportunities are set out for us for a reason. They’re meant to take you out of your comfort zone. They’re designed to force you to engage and interact. Don’t sit out. Some of my best friends were made after we were done huffing about these events.
#3 Take pictures of everything. No, you don’t want to be that weird kid with the camera glued to her palm, gazing up at the student union like it’s the statue of liberty. However, these are the first moments of some great friendships down the road, document them!
#4 Don’t form a clique the first five minutes on campus. Sure, you’re both wearing American Eagle jeans and trendy pastel tops, and hey you might end up being besties for life, but give everyone a chance. Sit with different people at lunch. Get to know the girls from the other halls. Leave all the doors to friendship open, at least for a week or two. You will not regret it.
#5 ( I learned this one from friends) Don’t find a boyfriend your first weekend out, aka your first weekend on campus ( or off ). Let yourself explore, wander and figure what you want. Hey, I’m not saying not to take anyone’s number yet, or that the guy chatting you up at the tailgate isn’t Mr. Right, but give yourself a chance to find out first. Mr. Wrongs can be found in all he right places.
Bonus: I already knew this one, but I’ve noticed a few class of 2016ers who might not: Do Not. Do Not Do Not. I repeat do not smoke in your room the very first night and hour after your parents have dropped you off. #1 My God girl, you just got here. #2 What a dumb ass, take that shit outside! #3 Seriously? It’s Barely 11, no one is even asleep yet…