College is a unique place where you will meet people from all walks of life, and alongside them, you will have the opportunity to learn and grow in community. Faculty and staff truly want you to succeed, and many structures are in place to help you thrive. But remember, this is not a one-way street! To succeed in college, you must be engaged in your education and connected to the community. Many colleges and universities host a fall welcome week schedule to prepare students for success in their first year. We asked current college students to provide some advice for college welcome week and getting outside of your comfort zone.
Go to events
Take advantage of all the activities that are planned during welcome week. You may feel tired or overwhelmed, but those activities are one of the best ways to meet people and see what college has to offer. Also, don’t turn down an opportunity because you’re not sure if you will like it. Give it a try!
Nathan, business administration and mathematics
Even if events aren’t required, I would still encourage you to attend many of them. Learn more about campus groups and organizations. This is the best way to get information about opportunities on campus that might interest you.
Darius, mathematics major
Meet new people
One piece of advice I would give incoming first-year or transfer students is don’t feel scared about making friends! College is about getting to know the real you. As you go through this journey, you will find your people. Go to events that sound interesting to you because others who are into the same things will be there. It’s easier to talk to people who share the same interests you do.
Jackson, business administration major
Do not be afraid to put yourself out there! You are going to meet so many new people, but they are just as nervous as you are! Go to the all the activities that you can because you never know who you are going to meet. They may end up being great friends to you! Also, you might get a little homesick, but push through it and allow yourself to meet new people.
Alexa, education major
Connect with classmates
I advise everyone to connect with classmates in your freshman seminar class! Building connections with classmates early on can be a great way to make new friends and study partners and learn new things about people and their backgrounds.
Macey, history major
Ask for help
Make use of the professors and staff on campus. Faculty want you to succeed, and that doesn’t stop when you exit the classroom. Go to office hours or reach out by email. Be kind to them and open to their advice!
Payton, writing major
Don’t be afraid to ask people for help! If you are confused about where to go, what you need to do, or anything else, feel free to ask others on campus. The student life staff especially wants to help you feel at home on campus.
Noah, communication major
Turn your room into your new home
Rooms can gather dust from not being used over the summer; wipe down your room before you first move in! Your organization will not be perfect right away. Be prepared to organize and reorganize for the first couple days in order to make your dorm reflect you and feel like home!
Riley, education major
Final advice for college welcome week
Don’t rush your college experience. This will probably be the only time in your life where you will be surrounded by people your age who share similar struggles and goals. Enjoy every single moment because it goes by really fast. When you get to your senior year, you will be ready for the world, but you won’t want to leave! Be present from the start of your college journey.
Alejandra, social work and psychology major
At Bluffton University
At Bluffton University, community extends far beyond the classroom. With more than 60 student organization, 18 athletic teams, and dozens of ways to experience the arts and spiritual life, you will find your place.
Many colleges and universities host a fall welcome week schedule to prepare students for success. Current college students share some college welcome week advice to get you out of your comfort zone.
Written by Tricia Bell, content manager