Aubree Abril

Starting college is exciting and intimidating. You move away and you have to figure out how to live on your own.

Last summer before I started school, people gave me so many tips for college that I forgot most of them.

The first week at school is one of the most important. There’s a lot going on and it can be overwhelming.

You’ll find out who all of your advisors are and you won’t remember most of them. Save all the phone numbers and email addresses you get during that first week before classes start.

If your school has assigned peer mentors, definitely get to know them.

My peer mentors were some of the people who helped me most last year. They had already taken the classes I was signed up for. They could tell me what to expect and which teachers were the best.

Go to as many welcome week activities as you can handle. Yes, you’ll have to play annoying get-to-know-you games, but that will be when you meet the most people. My first week I only went to the mandatory welcome activities and it took a little longer to meet all the people on my floor.

If you’re living in the dorm, don’t pack as much as you think you need. The rooms are really small.

In a tiny dorm room, the closets are also very small. I found that it was easy to only take my summer clothes when I moved in. Then when it started to cool off I came home and switched them out for warmer winter clothes.

I had a mesh laundry basket with handles and it worked perfectly. It was easy to carry my clothes down the hall to the laundry room. I bought laundry sheets with detergent and fabric softener in one and it makes doing laundry much easier than hauling around liquid laundry detergent and dryer sheets.

The thing that will really make the year is the people that you meet. Find a way to get involved. There are all kinds of student organizations you can join.

During those first few weeks there are club fairs where you can see all the student organizations at once. Sign up for everything that interests you. At my first club fair I think I signed up for six different student organizations. In the end, only one of them really stuck, but it was where I met a lot of my favorite people.

Remember to take a flashlight. I forgot this and one night the power was out for a couple of hours and I was stuck in the dark. Take a bathrobe. My dorm had a few fire drills and they’re always random. You probably won’t get caught in the shower during a fire drill, but it’s a possibility.

If you’re living in a dorm, take cleaning supplies. You’re more likely to clean if you have the supplies readily available.

Get to know the people who live nearby. Some dorms are divided up by area of study so your neighbors will have a lot of the same classes as you do.

It’s also important to get to know people in each of your classes. They’re the ones you’ll go to when it’s time to study for finals.

(Editor's Note: Aubree Abril is a student at Arizona State University.)

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