Hey gorgeous! School is a few weeks away, and that means welcome week is rapidly approaching! So what is welcome week? It’s usually the first few days on campus (rarely ever a full week) when freshman are the only students on campus. There are hundreds of events geared towards welcoming new students to campus. It’s a great time where everyone is just as nervous and scared as you are, and you get to ask questions and explore campus before the older students return to school.
I didn’t take advantage of all the opportunities during my own Welcome Week, and I regretted it. That first week is a huge opportunity to find friends, get attached to your school, and get involved on campus. All of those things eventually happened for me, but they would have been easier if I had participated more in welcome week activities. So here are my tips for making the most out of welcome week.
- Leave your door open. If you read my earlier how to guides on move in day (here), you’ll know that I highly recommend leaving your door open. During that first week, no one has friends yet, so people will peek in and invite you to things. It may seem strange, but there is no better way to become friends with the people in your hall. My roommate absolutely refused to let us open our door, so we were never invited to dinner or social events by other students. Long story short? Just leave your door open for that first week – you won’t regret it.
- Figure out which activities you’re going to. When you move in, you will probably get some type of activities booklet listing everything that is happening on campus during welcome week. It might be online, but there will definitely be something telling you what’s going on. Go through the booklet and mark down things that sound interesting. Even if you can’t find anyone to go with, you should still go. You can easily make friends with people sitting near you (everyone is trying to make friends just like you).
- Go to the activities fair. The activities fair is the only time you will clearly be able to see all of the clubs on campus. Even if you don’t know if you want to join clubs, you should still go and check it out. Add your email to more clubs than you could actually join, go to their call-out meetings, and then decide which ones you truly want to dedicate yourself to. You don’t want to get to senior year and suddenly realize you have nothing to put on your resume for the past four years except attending college.
- Be silly! There will probably be silly events that sound lame, like an inflatable games party or an 80’s dance party. You should still go. More than any other time in the year, welcome week provides an amazing chance to meet new people that are just as nervous as you are! Don’t miss out on amazing events just because you don’t want to look silly!
- Go the mandatory events. Seems like common sense right? You have no idea how many people skip these mandatory events. Even though they usually don’t keep track, you should still go. They wouldn’t make it mandatory if they weren’t giving you important information. Plus, I think it’s pretty awesome to see your entire freshmen class assembled in one place. It’s only a few hours of your time, and its likely to be fun and informative – because that’s the goal of welcome week!
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Welcome week leaders are prepared to answer your questions and help you in every way possible. With only other freshman on campus for those first days, welcome week leaders are the only people that have the knowledge of campus that you need. There are no dumb questions during welcome week, so take advantage of it.
- Be brave. I know it can be scary to go to events by yourself, especially in a new place. Be brave and step out of your comfort zone. You are truly able to be whoever you want – go to events that interest you, even if it wasn’t something you did during high school. Branch out and try new things – that’s what college is for. Once classes start, you will mostly only meet other people in your major and your residence hall. This is your one chance to interact with the rest of your class.