How To Get to Know Your College Campus

Heading off to college starts a new chapter in your life, and you can enjoy greater success in your new home if you take some time to get to know all your campus has to offer.    

  1. Take advantage of tours.  A bus tour may not seem like a fun way to spend your first day on campus, but there's no better way to get an overview of a large campus.  A walking tour can also give you practical experience walking from one place to another.  Older students often lead these tours, giving you a great chance to ask someone who's in the know questions about your school.
     
  2. Attend orientation.  Again, this is something that doesn't sound too exciting, but it's essential to attend every new student orientation session, even if they're not required.  You will learn valuable information about important topics like dropping and adding classes, declaring a major, accessing your financial aid, and you'll probably also be told where important campus buildings are located.  
  3. Go to welcome week activities.  Welcome week activities were specially designed to introduce you to all campus has to offer.  From job and activity fairs to parties in the student union, grab a group from your dorm and stop by to find out more about your options.  
  4. Take a walk.  Take the long way to class, explore and get some exercise in the process  
  5. Take part in dorm activities.  In addition to helping your get to know the people you live with, planned dorm activities usually revolve around on-campus social activities and informative presentations from campus organizations and offices.   
  6. Join a club or student organization.  In addition to helping you gain friends and great experiences for your resume, joining student organizations also puts you in a good position to become more familiar with your campus.  Whether you're visiting the student activities office to request an official form or listening to an informational presentation from the Women's Resource Center, you're getting out there and learning more about your college.  
  7. Ask for advice.  Turn to experienced students for the knowledge you need about your college.  In fact, firsthand knowledge of campus resources and buildings is usually much better than the information you can find in a pamphlet or on the school website.  You can ask older students in your classes and clubs or turn to those in mentoring positions, such as your dorm's resident assistants.  If there are any online forums for students at your school, they can provide a more anonymous way to seek advice. 
  8. Look at bulletin boards and pick up pamphlets.  What services does the student health center offer?  When does the activity center play movies?  Is there an ice skating rink on campus?  Sometimes you just have to keep your eyes open to find out about all of the activities and resources available on your campus.  
  9. Visit the local stores and hangouts.  Don't forget to branch out beyond campus to learn more about the best places in the area to shop, grab a coffee, order pizza, see a movie or just have fun with friends.  It's all part of the college experience.  
  10. Set a goal.  This will help give you extra motivation for moving outside your comfort zone.  You can create a list of things you'd like to do before you graduate, or you can set a numerical goal, like "do one new thing on campus every week." 

 

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