Welcome Week is the start of a new era. You finally meet your roommates, talk to some of your professors and really get a feel for campus life. Welcome Week has already come and gone for me, and there are a few things that I wasn't expecting.
1. Not many people cry.
There's no room for tears on move-in day. There's too much happening between putting the finishing touches on your dorm and Welcome Week seminars, so you're always busy. Hug your parents goodbye because that's all you have time for.
2. It feels like a second orientation.
My college separates orientation and Welcome Week, and we had mandatory seminars both times. We're corralled by the orientation/Welcome Week leaders to be led like cattle to the brutal two-hour long lectures about safety, consent and college life. I still don't understand why we didn't just have all the seminars during orientation. Our parents are gone and we're college students, so we want to be treated as such. The first few days, though, we were still treated as prospective students.
3. You realize that the RAs are actually pretty cool.
The RAs are students, too. They don't necessarily want to be the police of the residence hall and are probably just in it for the free room. They're not supposed to act like your parents. They expect you to act like college students and they just want you to make good decisions so they don't have to deal with anything that could get them in trouble. That aside, befriend your RA. Say hi to them when you see them. If for nothing else, you could always ask them for general college advice. They were once a freshman, too.
4. Friends are easily made.
It was Harry Potter Weekend on Freeform (ABC Family) my first weekend of college. My roommates and I left our suite door open just because. At one point, there were twelve girls in our suite watching The Prisoner of Azkaban and eating cookies. We're now friends with all the girls that were in our suite that night. Moral of the story: keep your door open, have snacks and be welcoming. Everyone is in the same boat and if you find people with common interests, your friendships will stick. It's good to have a squad, especially if you're all in the same residence hall.
5. Don't expect mail immediately.
In fact, don't really expect mail at all. You just got to campus. Your family might miss you, but don't expect anything unless they tell you. Mail in college is a gift. It's a rarity. You'll be lucky if you get any the first few weeks.
6. Your mom isn't there to tell you when to go to bed.
You're on your own now. It's up to you to make adult decisions, like how much sleep you want to get. If you want to stay up until midnight watching Chopped or Toddlers and Tiaras, be my guest - I might join you. Just take into account what time your Welcome Week seminars are the next morning.
7. College fire alarms are brutal.
Chances are, the fire alarm in your residence hall will go off the first week for a variety of reasons. My first night, the fire alarm went off at 3 a.m. We still don't know exactly what caused it, but we were moved to another residence hall for 45 minutes. I wasn't sure exactly what was happening at first because the college fire alarm is not the standard high school "beep beep beep;" it's a hellish screeching noise.
8. You actually look forward to the first day of classes.
It's a new era. Your classes will be much different. Especially if they relate to your major, you're actually excited to start. Welcome Week gets old after the first day, and you just want to be treated like an actual college student. Just remember that classes are much different and you have to constantly be diligent with your work. Your parents aren't here to tell you what to do. It's up to you now.
College is supposed to be a time of freedom, and it doesn't start immediately. Just make it through the first few days of still being treated like children and you'll be good to go.
Lead Image Credit: Pixar