Whether you're an incoming freshman or a seasoned college student, the first week back on campus can seem a bit overwhelming, but it's also a great time to get back into your routine, or start a new one! I started doing these things last year when I returned to school, and it made coming back to school less of a chore and more exciting. Some of these suggestions are for freshman and some are for returning students, but most can be applied to both of you!
Try A New Restaurant (Or Head To Your Local Favorite!)
It's almost a tradition for me to try a new restaurant during the first week at school. As a freshman, everything was different except for chains, so it wasn't all that hard. It's also pretty easy to go out to a new place when your family is around, because they'll most likely have a car to drive you around town! My family and I always end up going to a new restaurant while they're in town, and it's fun for all of us to go out searching and enjoy a good meal together! If you're coming back, go to a local favorite that you can't get at home! I know at Chapman I've been craving a quesadilla from Albertaco's!!
Make Plans With Friends
You may be thinking, I'm a freshman and know no one at this school, how do I hang out with friends when they're all the way across the country? Well, here's the thing, you can (and will) make friends the first week of school. The first week of college, including orientation week, is a great time to make some friends, even if these may not be your new best friends. Invite that girl in your class to have some coffee or invite them to go with you to one of your school's orientation events. If you already have your group of friends at school (or they're lucky enough to be your roommates like me!) do whatever you're group does best! My friends and I are a little obsessed with Home Goods and Michaels, so we'll probably be taking a few trips there the first week just for fun. Any plans are good plans when it comes to friends!
Plan Your Schedule And Share With Roommates
My roommates and I have done this every single year. It makes coordinating things so much easier, and you'll hear the question "When do you get out of class today?" so much less. Trust me, it'll get annoying after a while of either constantly asking or being asked that question. Write or print out your schedule, tape it to your dorm door, and you're all set!
Try The Food On Campus (And Make Friends With The Staff)
I'm lucky and unlucky that my campus has a very limited amount of food options. Lucky in that it's very easy to see who's working every day and befriend them, but unlucky because obviously eating from the same three restaurants can get boring really fast. However, the college gods seemed to have answer my prayers because the majority of Chapman's restaurants were replaced this year! That means new food to test out and even a new Starbucks on campus! I honestly feel like a freshman again when it comes to dining on campus. Another tip for eating on campus, if the same staff works multiple days a week, be nice to them and ask them about themselves (when they have the time, not when the line is 50 people long). They'll be more likely to make your food right, and if you order the same thing every time (me!) they'll see you and ask if you want your usual straight away to make it easier for you.
Attend All Free Events
Some events are limited to freshman, but others are open to all students! Things may sound lame, but it's a chance to meet some new people, win some prizes, and have a good time. There will be plenty of nights where you can just sit in your dorm room doing whatever you please, but it's best to be a little outgoing during the first week. Getting out of your comfort zone is what college is about, and trust me, it's how you make some of your best friends.
Be open to tons of new things, college is an exciting time, and you only get to experience it once! The first week of school is where you can stress about the next few weeks in your new environment, or you can relax a little bit, spend some time with new people and enjoy everything around you!