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Tips to Tackle Your First Weeks on Campus

By: Noah Redmond

Your first weeks living on campus can be exciting and daunting at the same time. I’ve compiled some tips in the following blog post that I’ve discovered through my personal experience transitioning from high school to college.

First of all, you need to try and go to class. I know for some that is self-explanatory but for others you may think you can skip your first couple of classes because it is “syllabus week”. Most classes take attendance and only allow a few absences so using one of those absences early is a waste, save it for mid semester. Along with that, class syllabuses are important. They tell you what assignments you’ll do, when they are due, and your class grading scale.

Along with attendance, you should wait to buy your class textbooks until after you attend your first class. I say to do so because some classes will say they demand you buy this textbook or that book but then certain professors will actually not make you purchase them. This isn’t the case for all classes but for those where this does come into play you could end up saving a substantial amount of money.

Next, I want to focus on meeting new people. I know some of you are coming here with your best friends from middle school and others are traveling from across the country. In either case you should attempt to branch out and meet new people. The reason being, everyone has different opinions, ideas, and beliefs so by branching out you can learn many knew things and realize things you never would have thought of prior to college. A way to meet others is simply by talking to those in your classes. You’re going to be in class with these people for a whole semester so you might as well get to know each other.

Along with meeting new people, you should try and go to all the welcome week events. I know it may sound “lame” and something you don’t want to do, but it’s actually fun and you can get a ton of free food and gear. While you’re there getting all your free stuff, it’s also a prime time to meet new people because everybody there is wanting to get involved and obviously they must be alright if they showed up for all the welcome week events.

My final tip goes along with the free stuff I mentioned above. You should try and walk down pedestrian walkway every day. Ped Walkway is the sidewalk that extends to brown and goes past The Library, HSS, and ends at The Hill. It shouldn’t be too hard because most first-year students have classes every day. I say walk down ped walkway because that’s where every organization, group, and company sets up a booth. Not every booth will be there every day but if you see them, they are most likely trying to recruit you, share information, and in most cases, hand out free stuff! I’ve received everything from T-Shirts to Jimmy Johns Sandwiches so make sure you try and walk that way as much as you can.

Will all of this said, these tips were developed from my personal experiences.  There are many additional tips I can give you, but you will figure out most of them on your own after you get into the flow of living on campus.  So, good luck in your first semester and as always, Go Vols!