So your first day of university is rapidly approaching and if you’re like most of us, you’re a healthy mix of excited and nervous. Hopefully, when your first day arrives, you will still be excited. However, we suspect you will be significantly more nervous and at least a little lost.
Some of your anxious thoughts might be along these lines: “Is this the right way? Can those people tell I’m looking at a Campus Maps on my phone? Shoot, I was supposed to turn there and now I have to walk for a while so I don’t look stupid. I’ll spam my sister so it looks like I’m meeting a friend!”
Except you’re at a new school. A new school of 40 000 students. 40 000 students of which you might know two. But within a week, you could have friends in all your classes and plans with them on the weekend.
Here are 5 ways to set yourself up for an amazing year on the first day –
1. Go to your school’s Clubs Fair and Join a Club
Not only is Ceres – the coolest women’s group on campus – at Clubs Fair, but there are clubs and groups for every hobby you can imagine.
I was raised on 40 acres with horses and a love for bonfires, rodeos, and country music. When I went to U of A’s clubs fair, I stumbled across Agriculture Club where I was approached by obnoxious boys in cowboy boots insisting that The Aggies were hands down the best social club on campus.
So I wrote Aggies - Wednesday, 5pm, Agriculture Building in my day timer and showed up to the first meeting. Just as nervous as I had been on the first day of school.
Typically, I avoid meetings at all costs because they are repetitive and soul sucking. But, The Aggies’ meeting made a huge lecture hall seem more like a pub.
Walking through the door was scary. I had no idea what I was getting into. But I am so glad I did. Joining The Aggies was the best decision I made in university. I was lucky to find my niche so quickly. As a bonus, Agriculture Club was where I first heard about Ceres. The girls made me feel welcomed and invited me to their house that night. The rest is history. Within a week I knew that those were my people and there were no other clubs for me.
You might have to try a few clubs before you know. Be brave. It is so worth it. After joining Ag Club and Ceres, I had a friend in all of my first year classes and rambunctious plans every weekend for the rest of the year.
2. Go to Orientation
Most Universities split students into orientation groups based on their program to set you up with a familiar face on the first day of classes.
A seasoned skipper and do it your-selfer, I skipped orientation to sneak my younger sister into the gardens (because I had no friends). BUT – my now Ceres Sisters, Dana and Jessica, heard all about Ceres from Brandi on Orientation Day!
Orientation Day also shows you where all the important Starbucks locations– I mean offices are.
3. Don’t Bury your Nose in Your Phone
Resist the urge to check Instagram for the millionth time in 5 seconds when you sit down in your classes! Look around! Everybody is in the same nervous boat, hoping for somebody to talk to them! It is so easy to make a friend in each of your classes by making conversation in the few minutes before class starts.
Here are some questions you can ask:
4. Study in Public Places
Coffee shops are your friend. The library is your friend. The food court is your friend. All the cutest boys are in the engineering building – study there.
In my first year, I was studying in the Engineering Building and I made so many friends that I still talk to. Boys will come ask if they can study at the same table as you and then half the time it turns out they just came to talk to you. Roll with it.
5. Go to the Gym!
You get a free gym membership with your tuition. There are so many fun classes you can do for super cheap like paddle-board yoga. You are not the only shy and self-conscious person. Go to an easy fitness class and I promise you will make a friend.
If we did it, you can do it. Commit to a group of friends early on so you have a support system. University is hard, but it will be the time of your life. Find yourself a group of friends to remind you that there is a lot more to university than the actual school part.
Better yet, Plant Your Roots in Ceres.
“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and I promise you something great will come of it”