How To Have A Successful First Week

Your first week on campus can be exciting, scary and busy. Kickstart the academic, personal and social aspects of your college experience by following these tips for success.

Visit all of your classrooms prior to the first day of class

Trying to navigate your way to class in an unfamiliar building with just 3 minutes to spare is not fun. Check out your schedule a day in advance to make sure you know where you’re headed for the first day of class.

Attend free campus events

There are usually dozens of events throughout the first week of the semester. Grab some friends and attend a club meeting, an activities fair or intramural sports team sign-ups. Even if you’re unsure about the event you’re attending, there will probably be free snacks there to make the walk around campus worth your while.

Get to know your roommates and hallmates

Community living is a huge part of the college experience. The people who live with and around you may turn out to be some of your best friends. Introduce yourself early on to avoid awkward conversations later on in the semester.

Get a good seat on the first day of class

Don’t ruin your chances of a good first impression and a good seat by skipping class. Showing up 15 minutes early on the first day will ensure that you get a good seat. Even though seating charts rarely exist in college, you’ll probably end up sitting in the same chair throughout the semester.

Make sure your textbooks are ready to go

Check with your professors or bookstore to ensure you have all of your materials for class. Ask if access codes or online books are acceptable for class. If you’re looking to save money by renting your textbooks, be sure to keep track of your receipts and return deadlines to avoid late fees.


Do a load of laundry

Doing your laundry may not seem like a necessity after just the first week, but there’s no need to wait for a mountain of dirty clothing before trying out your laundry room. As the semester progresses and you become busier, laundry will seem like less and less of a priority.

Meet lots of different people

Introducing yourself may feel scary or awkward at first, but it’s a lot easier to say hello to the student sitting next to you on the first day than asking to borrow their notes before finals after months of silence. Meeting a diverse group of people early on will also ensure you have friends to share every occasion with.

Start using a planner

Although midterms, finals and project deadlines seem far away, they approach quickly. Writing important dates and deadlines down now will help you plan accordingly. Noting the due dates from all of the syllabi you receive in the first week will ensure you never miss a deadline.

Sign up for a new club or activity that interests you

The beginning of the semester is perfect for trying new things. Joining an organization at the start of the semester makes it easier for you to adjust to the group. Lots of new people attend the first club meetings of the semester, so there’s no pressure to commit to something if it’s not for you.

Eat right and get plenty of sleep

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of moving into college, but it’s important not to sacrifice your health. It’s going to take more than caffeine and carbs to get you through a semester of 8 a.m.’s. Get to sleep a little bit early and grab some breakfast at the Marketplace before class.

Lay The Foundation For Your First Year At Etown

Starting the first week out strong will help to set you on the right path for a successful first semester at college. Getting into these healthy habits early on will help your semester, and first year, go by smoothly. Don't forget though, if you need extra support as you adjust to college life, your peer mentors and First-Year Seminar instructors are there to help.

Elizabethtown College