Starting college can be a culture shock for a lot of students, but it doesn’t always have to be. With the help of these tips, Binghamton University freshmen will be able to adjust to living away from home and learn how to handle the anxieties of the first week of classes.
1. After settling in and waving goodbye to your family, try not to sit around in your dorm room. Instead, grab your roommate and head to the dining hall or lounge to meet more students. If you decide you want to relax after unpacking, keep your door open so your peers can stop by and introduce themselves. You never know — you may even meet your best friend this way.
2. Plan out your walk to class ahead of time in order to avoid getting lost trying to differentiate all the buildings. Keep your schedule on your phone by making it your lock screen background for easy viewing. If you arrive early to a class, make sure another class isn’t in session before swinging open the door to a 300-person lecture, because trust me, that’s happened.
3. Sit wherever you feel most comfortable in a lecture, whether it be the front or the back. Don’t let someone else deter you from the location you want, because college is about learning and feeling comfortable doing so. Another important tip is to not shy away from exchanging phone numbers with someone near you, as you may have a homework question or want a study partner around exam time.
4. As you may have already heard, the food on college campuses isn’t particularly Chef Gordon Ramsay quality, but there are some hidden gems. College-in-the-Woods has recently introduced a bubble tea machine as well as a new vegan station that serves grain bowls. College-in-the-Woods also has a diverse breakfast selection, including omelettes, croissants, hash browns and egg sandwiches. Mountainview College’s Appalachian Dining Hall has a pasta station that allows you to choose between whole wheat or white pasta and different sauces. If you’re craving good pizza, the Hinman College Dining Hall has a variety of pizza toppings. Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center, the dining hall shared by Newing College and Dickinson Community, is best known for its Boar’s Head sandwich station, which has a good selection of meats, cheeses and vegetables. The University Union is home to a more expensive selection of food such as the Marketplace and Dunkin’ Donuts, but don’t fall victim to depleting your meal plan on iced coffees. The Marketplace also has a large selection at its NY Street Deli and other favorites such as Moghul, Red Mango, CopperTop Pizzeria, Mein Bowl, Chick-N-Bap and Cakes and Eggs.
5. Find your niche in college. Most people have probably already told you to join as many clubs as possible to try them out, but in reality it’s best to join only a few of them so you aren’t overwhelmed. Find the clubs that speak to you the most and that cater to your hobbies and interests.
6. Although you may feel pressured to go out every night of syllabus week, don’t get trapped in that mindset. If you don’t want to, then stay back instead and hang out in your dorm lounge to meet new people. Going out isn’t everything in college and nobody is going to judge you, even though you may think that’s the case.
7. Don’t wait until you’ve run out of clean socks to do laundry, otherwise you may end up having to borrow your roommate’s. It’s also best to avoid laundry during peak hours, such as Sunday nights; you don’t want to have to argue with someone to get a laundry machine. You can easily check how many washers and drivers are available in your living community through the myBinghamton website.
8. Even though freshmen aren’t allowed to have cars on campus, take advantage of the Off Campus College Transport blue buses and delivery options for off-campus dining. One option for delivering to campus is Chinese take-out, which includes restaurants like Panda III and New Century.
9. Remember that the first friends you make in college don’t necessarily have to be your forever friends. Don’t forget that everyone around you has either gone through the first week of classes or is going through them right now. This is meant to be your college experience, so do what you love most and find time to relax. These are the years you’re going to remember most so, try not to worry; instead, enjoy the moments before they become memories.