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The 5 Best Things About the First Week of School


Aside from the night after you’ve taken your last final, the first week of school is generally the best time of the whole semester. The weather is great, you’re reunited with all of your friends, and the school year has returned just when you were starting to feel like you had too much free time.

The campus is buzzing with returning students, eager to see what the new year has in store. Even if you anticipate your hardest semester to date, there’s still a feeling of excitement in the air during the very first week.

1. You Get to Scope Out Your New Classes

Maybe I’m a dork, but I was always excited to see what my new classes would be like. In certain classes–the must-take courses taught by the professors with the best reputations– it was great to see what all the buzz was about. Other classes might have sounded intriguing in the course catalog; reading through the syllabus on the first day, I’d think the class sounded interesting, and hadn’t been assigned 500 pages of reading to prove me otherwise. I would also look through the syllabus and see what the course requirements looked like, so I could estimate how little effort I could put into the class, and still walk away with an “A.”

Of course, it’s also fun to see who else has signed up for the class. Whether you walk through the door and see five of the girls from your freshman dorm, or right into the eyes of your new insta-crush, it’s fun to find out who you’ll be taking the class with.

2. Your Sched’s Not a Lock (Yet)

So, “Intro to Film” turned out to require three 15-page research papers and 7 chapters of reading a night. Drop it! Your roommate insists that you take “Deviant Behavior” instead of “Early Childhood Development.” Sign right up! In the first week of class, you can roll the dice as many times as you like, without falling behind in the course or having to beg your advisor to sign something so you can drop a class you probably shouldn’t have signed up for in the first place. My senior year, I was determined to have the best schedule ever, and must have signed up for and dropped classes about five times before I found the perfect combination of classes that I could learn from, enjoy, and ace, while still having plenty of room for senioritis.

3. There’s Free Stuff Everywhere

Clubs and organizations want you to join, so they’re apt to set up booths all over campus, offering free food, games, or knick knacks that will clutter your dorm. Often, the Student Activities department will also sponsor “Welcome Back” activities that extend beyond the incoming freshman class in order to get their returning students amped for another great school year. It’s a great way to (A) not spend money, (B) hang out with your friends, and (C) socialize with potentially new pals. Did I mention it’s all free?

4. Dorm Living Rocks in the First Week

As everyone gets settled in, and midterms are only a very distant threat, the doors to everyone’s rooms stay open, music blares through the hallway, and everyone is ready and willing to introduce themselves to their new neighbors. The schoolyear drama has yet to set in, so everyone’s pretty laid-back and carefree. Similar to scoping out your new classmates, you can scour the dorms for new friends (or crushes), figure out who the partiers are, who you can go to in an emergency, and who has the biggest TV to watch the VMA’s. Often, whole floors will arrange group trips to first-week parties, which is a sort of mixer in itself. Once the real work sets in, the doors close, the music is shut off, and you have to practically beg people to go to the bar with you on a Monday night, so enjoy week one!

5. You Can Party. All. Week. Long.

By far, the best part of the first week of school is that, since people are juggling schedules, and the first classes are usually a 20-minute overview of the syllabus, you have little, if any, assignments and responsibilities. My favorite college tradition was the week-long drinking binge that was the first week of classes. We would hit up a different bar each night to take advantage of the best drink specials, before deadlines, midterms, and research papers came pouring in. Even if you are assigned homework on the first Monday of class, you probably won’t have that class again until Wednesday, and you can probably knock it out on Tuesday after your teacher lets you out of an hour-and-a-half class after only twenty minutes. Besides, if you do get so sloshed that you start the semester off on the wrong foot, you still have plenty of time to add/drop a new class!