Welcome to college and, more importantly, welcome to Fordham! I know you’re beyond excited to be here, but I also know you might be a little scared (even if you won’t admit it). And that’s completely understandable. You’re surrounded by brand new people, in a brand new school and in the most amazing city ever. It can all be a bit overwhelming, so I’m here to help. I’m Ned Bigby (loljk my name’s Alysha) and I’m here to try and do the impossible – create a guide to help you survive the first couple weeks of college.
Keep your door open:
No seriously, buy a doorstop or pile up some textbooks, but either way find a way to invite the new and fun breeze of friendship in. It sounds weird, but it’s actually such an easy way to meet people. If you’re just sitting on your bed scrolling through Facebook (I know you’re checking up on all your high school friends) and you see someone walking down the hall, say hello, introduce yourself and invite them in! If that sounds too scary, play some music – maybe someone across the hall will hear it and be overjoyed that you like the same obscure, indie Swedish pop band.
Don’t put off doing your laundry:
Look, I’m sure you convinced your mom to buy you a ton of new underwear so you could prolong your laundry-less life for as many weeks as hygienically possible. However, once everyone runs out of clean clothes two or three weeks into the semester, the laundry rooms are going to be packed tighter than sardine cans. To avoid this cluster- um, situation, turn laundry time into social time! Pick a time when most people are in class or eating lunch and grab a new friend and head down (or up) to the laundry room together. It may seem like a buzzkill way to spend your time, but trust me, you’ll have the last laugh when your clothes are squeaky clean and your roommates are digging through their hampers for something to wear to class.
The dining hall is nothing like the one in Mean Girls:
Where you sit and who you sit with will not define your social status. There are no defined zones for certain types of people nor do cliché and stereotypical cliques of people actually exist outside the dramatized realm of Hollywood — at least not here at LC. If you’re hungry, ask someone to join you! It can be as simple and casual as noticing someone else packing up their stuff in the study lounge at the same time you are and pointing at your stomach and asking “yours growling too?” It’s honestly kind of like the platonic edition of speed dating the first couple weeks of college, but hey — everyone had to go through it.
Introduce yourself to professors:
I know this sounds completely overrated and like old news BUT it is crucial! Fordham’s classes are small and that’s a killer advantage for you. When your biggest class has only 35 students, it’s easy to make an impression the first day. Here’s a tip – if a professor remembers your name by the second or third class, you’ve definitely stuck out in their mind. If you’re not as comfortable being vocal in a room full of brand new faces, stop by the professor’s office hours. Odds are, most people won’t be stopping by the first week, so you’ll have some great initial face time. Let them know you’re a great and dedicated student but you’re just shy in class. They’ll be way more accommodating and impressed at your maturity instead of just thinking you’re a disengaged student.
Don’t forget about me time: You will not be branded a loner if you just want to get an ice cream cone from the Mister Softee truck in Columbus Circle and walk around Central Park for an hour. LC is full of independent students who love going on dates with themselves. Take advantage of that. Meeting so many people and constantly being surrounded by them can be super draining (I’m looking at you, introverts). Self reflection time is important so you can really think and learn about yourself, but it also gives you some very necessary time to recharge your social batteries so you’re ready to go back tomorrow.
So here’s to making new friends and all the amazing experiences that await you. Also, be on the lookout for even more college survival tips in the future!