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5 tips on how to prepare for your first year on campus

Going off to college may seem like a scary life transition, but in reality, it opens you up to experiences and people you would not have witnessed or met in high school. As a freshman, it’s important to also open yourself up, especially as you start fresh in a new place with new people everywhere you look.

If you want to make the most of your freshman year, here are five tips on how to prepare for your first year on campus:

Do not room with someone from your hometown

Please do not room with someone from your hometown. It’s so easy nowadays to find a roommate on Facebook or Instagram, and you don’t want to end up hating your best friend from high school. You want to surround yourself with new people right off the bat once you get to college, and by sheltering yourself, you won’t make new friends or branch out. Although it may seem intimidating to share a dorm with someone you’ve never met, chances are you will end up creating a new friendship. 

Join organizations on campus that you’re interested in

Before you even get to Ohio University, it’s recommended that you take a look at Bobcat Connect to find organizations on campus to join your first year. I know I did this before going off to college, and it helped me find clubs that I aligned with. Joining organizations is also another easy and quick way to make friends within your first few months in Athens, so use this website to your advantage. Also, your first weekend at college will have an Involvement Fair where all the organizations will have tables set up, so go introduce yourself and sign up for meetings.

Start buying dorm decor now

Although this may sound dumb, dorm decor actually sells fast at any department store, so it’s best to start stocking up on what you need for your first year now. By mid-June to the end of July, most places are running low on essentials or are completely sold out of them. Make a list of what you need in your free time, and by the end of the summer, you’ll be set for the new school year. You can also utilize friends you may know who are already in college and ask them for what you actually need to buy for your freshman year.

Avoid reminiscing on your high school days

It’s great that you made it through high school, but once you get to college, nobody cares about what you did there, who your friends were and especially what you got on your SAT or ACT. Every once in a while, it’s okay to bring up people you may be missing or extracurriculars you once did, but this new stage in your life is meant for making new memories with different people, classes and organizations. College life can be hard to adjust to at first, but by staying in the present, you’ll avoid being known as someone who hit their peak in high school.

As cheesy as it sounds, be yourself

High school usually comes with cliques, drama and insecurities, which can drastically affect one’s behavior and personality during this time in their lives. Yet, the magical thing about college is that you can totally be who you are, without any of the petty judgment from the peers you went to school with for the last 12 years. Instead of aiming to be popular, aim to be yourself in Athens, as this mindset will allow you to make friends instantly. Additionally, it’ll prove your individuality to others, giving you a leg up once you become more involved on campus.


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