The CC Weekly Weigh In: Welcome Week Survival Tips

You’ve unpacked your bags, hung your posters on the wall (with that blue sticky goo stuff that doesn’t really work because you aren’t allowed to put holes in the wall) and locked your precious new laptop to the desk. Now what?
Now what? NOW WHAT?
Now it’s time for the best 7ish days of your life: Welcome Week! For the only time in your college career (besides senior year, maybe), you have no class, no reading and nothing but time to get to know your lovely new home.
It is time to meet people, take part in all those fun campus-sponsored activities, and get the lowdown on which party stores sell to the under 21 crowd. Oh, and buy books…but we recommend waiting until the last day to do that.
Welcome Week is a totally new experience to you, Ms. Incoming Freshman, so we decided to give you a few hints for survival. No, you don’t need a tent, helmut and 30 bottles of water, but you do need an open mind, a little bravado and a whole lot of Advil.
Our writers looked back into their hazy Welcome Week memories and gave us this advice:
Julia – UC Berkley: Don’t get too rowdy with the boys. My friend went a little, er, wild during welcome week and ended up missing all of her first fall semester due to an unfortunate case of mono.

Kelly UMass
: Stay away from the Jungle Juice (or anything in a tub/large cauldron) and watch the roads. My first night out in college I saw some drunk dude get hit by a car. No lie.
K – NYU: Never hook up with the guy who asks, “Do you want liquor?”
Jo – University of Miami: Go to as many “welcome” events as you are able to, no matter how random or lame they sound. Everyone is in the willing mentality to make new friends, and it is a great chance to, even if you get to make fun of the silliness of the experience.
Lauren – University of Michigan: Don’t go to parties alone, don’t leave parties alone and don’t sexile your roommate just yet. She has no friends to crash with just yet…and she will remember it. Forever.
Jill – University of Wisconsin: Wear clothes when you are stuck hugging the toilet bowl in the morning during welcome week, because it’s just a tad bit awkward when your roommates parents are trying to move in her matching shower curtain and toothpaste holder and you are in your hanky-panky’s on the bathroom floor. Love-ly.
Amber – Old Dominion: Obey the “two week rule” and don’t hook up with anyone within the first 2 weeks of college. That guy you were really into at orientation will be a douche bag by the next week.
Victoria Witchey: Don’t be one of those kids with a cell phone connected to their ear ‘checking’ on what’s going on back in your hometown. Meet, interact, party. Take advantage of your first week. Also, put something memorable on your dorm door- its way easier to remember, “It’s the one with the pink rubber chicken on it” than a random group of numbers.
Carly – Grinnell: Even if you feel exhausted or awful, try to be friendly and keep up your energy during all the social events. The people you meet there will likely be your friends for the whole year and longer!
John – UConn: – Don’t be afraid of bothering people you’ve just met. Sit with them at lunch, even if you’ve only seen them around the dorm once or twice, even if you’re normally shy, even if they seem a bit annoying – chances are they’re worried about talking to you, too.
Kari – Florida State: Don’t ride the mechanical bull if you are prone to bruising…your inner thighs won’t be the same for weeks.
Elizabeth – Baruch College: 1. Talk to strangers. Take their candy. Make friends. 2. Smile and be happy. There’s nothing to stress about, believe it or not.
Noa – CU Boulder: Give everyone a chance. Yes, I agree that the dude in the tight pink shirt probably sucks, but you never know who his friends are.
A.G.D – Emerson College: Be careful if you’re on the bottom bunk. In certain (ahem) positions your hair will get caught.
Olua: Don’t overdo the welcome back parties so hard that you miss a ton of your classes your first week back. You’re going to need those absences like fish need water later in the semester.
Sara – NYU: Get lots of numbers, but don’t sleep with anyone yet. Wait till at least week 3. Trust me.

Sady – The New School
: There is a crucial difference between “That dude who wants to make out with you, the freshman” and “That dude who only makes out with freshmen.” Learn it well! Here are some things to look out for: offers to “show you around campus,” buying you drinks (many, MANY drinks), open sores on his face, the fact that he’s thirty-five.

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