As a freshman coming to IU, the first week of school is the most nerve-wracking. The campus seems huge, and it is rare to see a familiar face while walking to and from classes. Thankfully, one of my older best friends attended IU and gave me some helpful hints. Just in case you don't have the same luxury of having a personal IU mentor, I'll gladly be yours.
So, here is what to do (and not to do) your first week:
1) DO NOT wear your key around your neck - It is easy to identify the new freshmen on campus because they always wear their dorm keys on the lanyards from orientation around their necks. I suppose you can do this if you want, but most people do not like being picked out as a freshman in the first five seconds of meeting someone. If you want to blend in with the upperclassmen, don't do it.
2) Go explore the food courts - When winter comes around, you will not want to walk around exploring food options in the cold. Since the first week of class is often a lighter homework load, take this opportunity to try a different food court each meal. Pick your favorites so when the snow comes, you know exactly where to go for food and the quickest way to get there.
3) Find the cute guy or girl in class and get their contact information - Let's be honest, some days you will just not feel like going to class. Come time for finals, you will regret those days when you are frantically studying your notes the night before the exam. Having a friend in class makes it easy to catch up when you miss class. So, in the first few days, pick someone to be friends with. Just sit down next to him/her, introduce yourself, and start talking. Talk about anything: Where you're from, how excited you are for basketball, how much you love IU, etc. More often than not, the other people in your class are just as nervous and eager to make friends as you are.
4) If it's raining, DO NOT walk on the edge of the sidewalk behind Teter and Wright on 7th Street - This is the path those living in Teter (Whoo!) and Wright will take to get to classes in Ballantine, Rawles, Swain, etc. When it rains, there are GIANT puddles along the street. Cars drive into those puddles. Don't be that kid that looks like they took a dive into a pond before coming to class and dripping water all over the seats.
5) DO NOT take the A bus to the Business School if you live in McNutt or Foster - This is frustrating to all of the students attempting to get to class on time coming from the stadium and Briscoe. Trust me, we pay attention to which freshmen do it. Mcnutt and Foster residents are extremely close to the Business School. Why not take the 2 minute walk as opposed to the 10 minute wait for the bus, and shed some of that Freshman 15?
6) Get to class early - Don't be the awkward kid that walks into class 20 minutes after the Professor has started speaking. You are noticed. Sometimes there won't even be a seat left for you. Leave your dorm early. If you get lost on your way to class, calmly and politely stop someone that looks friendly nearby and ask for directions. We won't give you a hard time in the first few weeks of class for not knowing where a building is. The first few days there are people stationed around campus for this specific purpose. They can direct you to wherever you need to be and even supply a map.
7) Get free food - You can pretty much live off of free pizza the entire first week of class. Aver's often has a smart car driving around giving out free slices of pizza. Various clubs will begin having call-out meetings offering free food for attending. (There are no obligations to join, just go and get the food!). Pizza X has Free Breadstick Day towards the beginning of school. You are in college. You now love free food.
8) Look up the clubs you might want to join - To be sure you don't miss the call out meeting for a club you want to join, try looking up the club online to see when the meeting is and writing it in your planner. If you have no idea what clubs to join, go to the Student Involvement Fair on August 29th. Clubs are a great way to meet new friends and are great resume boosters! (I am partial to the KSB club, DECA. Meetings are Tuesdays at 7pm in Kelley for any Business students interested in case competitions).
Hopefully these tips will help you as you begin your journey as a Hoosier! I hope to see you around!