No matter what university you go to, whether it is big or small, there are students just like you apprehensive about navigating the campus on their first day of classes. Let’s be honest, the thought of walking all over campus just to get lost on your first day is a little nerve wrecking. This is completely normal, and almost all of students experience the feeling at least one time throughout their college education. Starting a new school, moving out of home and learning to adapt to your surroundings can be a little overwhelming at first, but in the end will be one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences of your life. If you’re nervous about getting lost on your first day of classes, take a breath and read these helpful tips to help you brave the college campus.
1) Go to Your Orientation- If you’re one of those people who grunt at the thought of attending their college orientation then you most likely have overlooked the benefits they encompass. The truth is, college orientations are awesome for networking with new students who are going through all of the new and exciting things that you are. You’re all there because you’re new to the campus; new to the experience. Take orientation as your “house warming party”. Meet new friends, take a guided tour of the campus, get recommendations on classes and teachers and play fun games to get you more acquainted. The best part? You’re usually grouped off into selected majors. This is awesome for meeting people who may be in your classes and can be potential study buddies. The campus tour guide will show you which buildings are assigned mostly to classes of your major, so you’ll have a general idea of where you’ll be before you even register your classes. And, since you’ll be so excited about meeting your new classmates, you’ll be dressed to impress for that brand new photo ID. Cheese!
2) Pamphlets, Brochures and Maps – Don’t worry about feeling silly walking around campus with a fold up map. We know, it’s your first day and you want to look calm, cool and collected braving that campus like you’ve walked it a million times before. The truth is people are less concentrated on seeing you reading your map and more concentrated on reading theirs. And, you never know who may be lost looking for a little assistance. You could meet a new friend looking for the same class you’re looking for and have a study buddy for the rest of the semester. Also keep an eye out for the on-campus maps that display the layout of the campus from a “you are here” standpoint. After a few days of classes, you’ll have that map down pat and won’t need to use it anymore. Until then, use the maps and brochures to your advantage and don’t be afraid to ask for a little help!
3) Grab a Friend or Roomie and Make it an Adventure- If you went to your orientation and are still a little fuzzy on how to get around, grab your roomie or a friend and go exploring! You can each take turns finding classes and buildings so you don’t have to go alone. This is the best way to go visit the cafeteria, find the bookstore and explore what your campus has to offer. This is also an excellent way to get comfortable with your campus and surroundings. There will be plenty of other students doing the same thing, making your voyage an excellent opportunity to be social and meet new friends. You’ll also find all of the clubs and groups available through the campus and maybe even join a few! Clubs will help you network while keeping you in the loop on the latest campus news! So grab a friend, go exploring and who knows, you may even find an awesome little coffee shop that’s right between your first and second class of the day. Latte, anyone?
4) Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Directions- There are plenty of ways to help you ease your first day jitters of getting lost on campus. If you follow all of the steps listed above and still feel nervous, don’t forget you can always ask for directions! There are plenty of people on campus who know that there are new students who may need a little help. They are more than willing to help you out and point you in the right direction! The best way to learn is by doing and asking questions, and you aren’t the only one who is afraid of getting lost. Know that you aren’t alone and go out and brave that campus with a little extra time allotted to explore and get a little lost. You never know what you might find!