Back to School | How to Navigate Welcome Week  Travel Tips & Trends | Travel Zone by Best Western

Back to School | How to Navigate Welcome Week 

By Sabrina Tosh

The beginning of a new academic year can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially for college freshmen. Welcome Week is your best time to get to know the campus, meet new people, and discover what college life is all about. Here are our top tips on how to navigate Welcome Week and make the most out of it.

1. Attend All the Events and Connect with Your Peers

Welcome Week is packed with events, so attend as many as possible! Be prepared to introduce yourself many times, as these events are not only great networking opportunities, but a chance to make new friends. Getting to know people will be helpful when you walk into class and run into someone you met the week before. Join clubs and organizations that interest you to make connections with people who have similar interests; these tend to be the friends that stick around for the long term! From campus tours to club fairs, these events are also designed to help you get acclimated to college life and introduce you to new opportunities. Now is your chance to step out of your comfort zone and try new things.

2. Get to Know Your Campus

Take advantage of the campus tours and explore your new surroundings. Familiarize yourself with the locations of your classes, the library, the gym, and other important facilities. Consider practicing your class route prior to the first day of classes. Knowing your way around campus will make your first few weeks of classes feel much less stressful.

3. Take Care of Logistics

During Welcome Week, there will be many logistical tasks to take care of, such as setting up your meal plan, getting your student ID card, and registering for classes. Don’t let these responsibilities slip away when you’re distracted by all the fun! Attend these mandatory sessions and take care of these tasks early on so that you can enjoy the rest of Welcome Week stress-free.

4. Completely Unpack

You will not want to unpack once classes are started, so take the first couple of days to set up your room, clean it, and get organized! Meet your roommates and get friendly with them – they can become your best friends, your worst enemies, or somewhere in between.  

5. Cover Ground Rules with the Roomies

Have the hard conversations as early as possible. Dishes, room expectations, schedules and quiet hours, who takes out the trash, room temperature – all of these household items are sensitive points and can easily be misunderstood by roommates if you are not upfront about expectations. Start the semester right with the people you will be living with your first semester. 

6. Walk To Your Classes

Even though your schedule will be jam-packed, make time to take a walk to where your classes will be held and see where each building is. During your freshman year, many of your classes might be on opposite sides of campus, so get a feel for the timing so you aren’t late to class in week one. (Pro tip: Once in classes, get the phone numbers of the people next to you, it is way easier to get through classes together than by yourself.)

7. Fight Off being Homesick

If you’re going to college far away from home, it’s normal to miss home-cooked meals and the life you left behind. But Welcome Week is not the time to sulk – it’s the best time to meet new people, make new friends, and try new things. It only happens once, so take advantage of it!

8. Have Fun!

Remember that Welcome Week is so much fun! Whether you are an extrovert or an introvert, there are spaces around campus for everyone. Take advantage of the activities and events, and don’t stress too much about the upcoming semester during this week. Enjoy the experience and remember that everyone sharing the same experience with you. 

9. Don’t Forget About Your Parents

It’s a pivotal moment in every parent’s life when they help their kids move into their college dorm. Make sure to thank your parents for everything they have done for you, and have them book their stay at a Best Western® Hotels & Resorts property, during Welcome Week as you start your first week as a freshman college student!  

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