Starting your college might sound like a daunting experience. And it is. There are new people and new places. It throws you out of your cosy little world back home. But contrary to the popular expectations, starting your college can be a liberating and even fun experience as well. Unlike your pre-university, the people you meet in your college come from a wider spectrum of cultures. And meeting them and interacting with them can be just what you need for a joyful life ahead.
So here are a few tips, that will help you set the fears aside and start on a completely filling journey with a great first day of college.
As you walk through that corridor and let go of your parents’ hands, just relax and breath. Take a moment to completely absorb the new place. At the same time, don’t get overwhelmed with the vastness of your surroundings. It’s just a new place. It will be fine. Breath in breath out and smile.
2. KNOW YOU ARE NOT ALONE
You are not the only person who is anxious to step into a completely new atmosphere in college. Most people who join college would have just passed out of their schools. This is a new experience for them as well. They are as scared as you are. And being scared is all part of the process.
3. EXPLORE THE CAMPUS
There is nothing more reassuring than knowing where you belong. Try and let go of your fears. Pack that bag and explore. The trees and the canteen. The corridors and the classrooms. Try and find out what facilities the college is providing you. Get yourselves familiar with a few people around and get carried away with the brilliant extra-curricular activities the college expects you to indulge in. The journey is going to be worth the separation from your home. It’s where you are gonna spend three or more years of your life. Get acquainted and make yourselves at home.
4. KEEP THE DOORS OPEN
If you plan on staying in a college facility like a hostel, don’t hesitate to keep the doors open. This lets people know that you are gonna be one friendly and welcoming neighbour. This way you also get to meet the people who live next doors, hopefully. It also lets people drop in and say ‘hi’. It might also help you with your luggage when you are unpacking. Most colleges and hostels are filled with friendly and curious people who will go way out of their paths to help you settle down. The world is a beautiful place made of beautiful people.
5. TRY UNPACKING ON DAY ONE
Living out of your suitcase can be quite depressing. It reminds you of your home that’s probably really far away. And nothing can be as bad as feeling homesick on the very first day of starting your journey in a college.
So open your bags and get your things out. Fold your clothes and stack them in the cupboard like you would do at home. Unpack your snacks and books and add that personal touch to the space inside your room so that you don’t feel distant from home.
6. SPENDING YOUR FIRST NIGHT ALONE IS A NO-NO
No matter how tired you are feeling with shifting and the new place, never spend the first night of college locked up in your room by yourself. It gives your mind the time to think unwanted thoughts; thoughts about home, your mother’s food, your dad’s jokes or even the fights with your sibling.
So even if you feel drained, go out and spend time with a person or a group. It doesn’t matter if you don’t contribute to the conversation. Just make sure your mind is occupied and you have good thoughts accompanying you for the first night in your room.
7. TRY AND BE PUNCTUAL
Being late to your classes is more or less accepted and even expected on the first couple weeks of college. Most teachers are welcoming enough since you are still new to the place and trying to figure out what is where. But the first impression could be the best impression at least for some people.
So try your best not to be late, or at least too late to classes. Take a look into your timetable for the next day and try and see where you have your lectures. Most colleges print maps of the campus to help students navigate better. And even if you don’t have maps, don’t hesitate to ask people for the way. This way you might even meet a few people and make new friends.\
8. TAKE A BOOK WITH YOU
The first few days of college are always the worst. You don’t know anyone, neither do you know how to make friends. This can leave you feeling lonely and worse, homesick. You go back to comparing how things were in school and how the times have changed. You might start missing conversations with friends and family and this will leave you feeling even worse.
One thing you can do is carry something like a book. If you are really not a people’s person or have a hard time immediately adjusting and connecting with people, take a favourite novel with you. This way, you have something to occupy your mind in between the breaks and the free hours.
And who knows, someone might even be impressed by your choice that they start a conversation with you. And remember, relationships made over food and books are for a lifetime.
9. BE RESPECTFUL
College is going to be your new home. But that doesn’t mean you do whatever you want to in a college. It is still a formal institution that houses people and different cultures from all around the world. Sure it’s a great place to meet new people and make friends.
But remember everyone comes from a different background and some people prefer to keep to themselves. Be respectful of their silences. Respect their space and perspectives. You will meet people with extremely polar views from yours in various subjects. Remember to be accommodative of these differences and to respect everyone’s opinions, even if you do not agree with them.
10. IT IS OKAY TO HAVE A BAD DAY
Even when you try and follow these steps and tips, nobody can guarantee you are going to have a great first day in college. The important thing to understand here is, that is okay. Even if your first day turns out to be a bad one, just let it go. You still have years ahead of you and better days are waiting.