Welcome Week wasn’t everything upperclassmen cracked it up to be, nor did it make your wildest dreams come true? Lost yourself in the shuffle the first couple weeks of classes? What if we could hit the restart button?
The good news is, you can hit that button; your Welcome Week experience will be different next year… whether you had a great one or not.
I’m willing to bet 90% of freshman did NOT absolutely blow these first few weeks out of the water. Don’t lose faith in your career at IU. Just because it’s college doesn’t mean you’re not an awkward freshman all over again, because you are.
You may have heard of everyone else’s crazy welcome week or weekend experiences… But keep in mind, especially freshman, tend to exaggerate or totally fabricate stories and what they are up to. Girls are pretty good at this. Just do your own thing and make your own fun- try not to get too hung up on what people say they are doing.
I'm not sure how this is a secret, it's more like common sense. Don't expect to just come to IU and parties magically fall into your lap. Sure that definitely happens, but for boys especially, you've got to know people. An older brother/sister, friend from high school... Whatever the case is, you aren't missing a huge, neon sign that says "party over here!" You just have got to go out and meet people.
How many times to we need to hear the words, “make connections.” Are we actually connecting? GET SOMEBODY’s DIGITS in your class! Emails, while professional, are so impersonal these days. Sit next to someone that you think is on your level (as in- attends as much as you, likes to sit in back/front of class like you, seems to be on the same level of motivation as you…). Say hi to them! Introduce yourself. After class say, “Hey, can I get your number? If either of us miss or have a question, or want to study together we can!” I do this in every single class I’m in.
I’ll add their name and number to my phone, their email if they also give it, and in my contacts I’ll write what class they are from so I remember how I met them. Using the “business” or “note” space provided in your phone contacts is useful in any situation you meet someone. During welcome week as a freshman last year, I had contacts like “Kara party Tuesday,” “Alex 2nd floor,” “Lauren Biology,” and so on. The last thing you want is a bunch of pointless contacts that you don’t even know how you know them or why they are in your phone. It is frustrating and pointless, no thanks.
The Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity hands out free student planners. Get one. Keep it in your book bag and write down your homework, quiz/test dates, jot down contacts, whatever! They hand them out on the corner of 10th and Fee, near Woodburn… randomly throughout campus. They aren’t out anymore, but they have extra that they definitely want to get rid of. Shoot them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep a calendar of each month. Whether it is in your agenda or you go to the library and print one off. It is smart to have a constant reminder on your desk of test dates, deadlines, games, club meetings, events you won’t want to miss, and basic stuff like weekly commitments.
The third week of school isn’t all that early. Tests are going to start popping up and grades are being entered. You can’t really get bored here because teachers never seem to stop spamming us with reading assignments. Don’t wait until the last minute to cram for an exam, it isn’t worth it!
It’s about that time. Start making appointments with all of your professors to discuss what is going on in class, making yourself known, and receive from them extra help/ a recap of what’s going on. You’ll feel much more on top of things and will have no questions unanswered.
Getting away from school-mode, don’t just wait on everyone else to ask you to hang out, why don’t you plan something?! Invite a friend to a call out meeting, the gym, to the library to study, out to a party on a Friday night, a Wednesday cards/movie night- whatever!
Don’t wait around for IU to be amazing. IU is amazing because of the people who make up the community. If everyone waited around, nothing great would be happening here every single day. I refuse to believe that not everybody’s IU experience is going to be phenomenal. If you’re missing it, it’s probably because you’re choosing to. Make moves
It’s only been a few weeks, so no big deal! A great place to start is to get involved, stay on track, and initiate the greatness! You’ll find your place here in no time.
If you liked this blog, please leave a comment, tweet, or email! :) Thanks for reading!
Alyssa Andrews HL