What to Expect From Your First Week of College

June 9, 2021

You did it! You made it through high school, got accepted into college, and are now ready for the journey of a lifetime. This is truly exciting stuff…until you realize that your comfort bubble is about to pop. During your first week at college you will be in a new environment, surrounded by new people, and learning new material. If this sounds daunting, don’t worry, you’re not alone.  My name is Matias Parada, I am currently a senior at Luther College, and I was a nervous wreck before my first week at college.

As the summer after my senior year of high school wore on, my friends began to go off to college one by one. I was happy that I was one of the last of my college-bound friends to start school, since that meant more summer vacation. However, as the date of my departure crept closer, I couldn’t stop thinking about what my first week of college was going to be like. If you are anything like me, then you could use some insight on what to expect during your first week at college; let me explain.

One of the first things you will do is move into your college housing, whether that is a residence hall, apartment, or other living arrangement. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours depending on how much stuff (and help) you brought with you. This may also be the first time you meet your new roommate(s).

Once you are all set up, what happens at this point will depend on your college. Most colleges will have a variety of events and activities planned specifically for first-year students. I recommend going to as many orientation events as you can. They are great opportunities to meet new people, and they can make your first week at college a much smoother transition.

As far as classes go, your first week will be filled with syllabi and course expectations. In most cases, your professors will make it very easy for you to get off to a good start. Just make sure that you turn in every assignment and sign every form during that first week. You do not want to start college by getting behind. If you stay on top of everything and do your best to keep organized, your first week of classes will be very straightforward.

Eventually, it will be time to get some food. This is when you will go to the cafeteria, food court, or supermarket depending on your dining situation. Most colleges have several options for their students, so there should be no issue finding something you like to eat. This is a great time to sit with other first-year students. Remember, everyone is meeting everyone for the first time, so there is no reason to feel left out.

Now that you are moved into your room, your first classes are out of the way, and you have a full belly, you will realize that everything is going to be okay.

The first week of college flies by, and before you know it you’ll be studying for first semester midterms. Even though college is a huge change from high school, it will be one of the most rewarding and exciting transitions of your life. Enjoy every second. Take some deep breaths. And remember, there is nothing to worry about!

If you ever need help or have any unanswered questions there will always be helpful resources at your school. Resident assistants are a good place to start, they are trained to point you in the right direction.