Being a brand new college student is exciting, but it can also be filled with anxiety and confusion. Being on your own for the first time gives you great freedom, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility, like buying your own food, paying your rent, time management, and more.
And being in a new place can be disorienting and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Getting around campus and finding your classes can be easy and fun.
Here are 6 tips to get to know your campus better.
Tip 1: Map it
A campus map will be your best friend for the first week or so of school.
Generally, colleges hand out maps with your new student orientation packet, but if not, you can probably easily find one at new student registration or online. Keep this buddy in your pocket at all times until you know your way around.
Tip 2: Take a dry run
The first day of class is filled with enough anxiety and confusion; don’t let the location of your classes be a mystery as well.
The day before classes start, walk around campus (with your map) and find all your classes. That way you’ll know exactly where you need to go the next day and that will be one less thing you have to worry about.
Tip 3: Spot landmarks
Most campuses have landmarks by which you can orient yourself—the student union, the administration building, the bookstore, a central square.
Figure out what your campus landmarks are, and you’ll have a better time finding your way around.
Tip 4: Go to events
During new student orientation, colleges usually offer welcome events like concerts, sports, and parties. Take the time to go to these events as a way to learn about your campus and where everything is.
Tip 5: Get a tour
In the few days before classes start, you’ll probably notice a lot of tours walking around campus. When you are at new student registration or orientation, find out when and where campus tours start and get an understanding of how the campus is laid out.
Tip 6: Ask questions
While on your tour, or just out walking around and exploring, ask questions. If you don’t know the name of a building, ask someone who’s coming out of it.
If you get lost or turned around, don’t be afraid to ask for directions. In the days leading up to classes and throughout the first week or so, there will be a lot of people on campus just like you who are finding their way around. And most students will be very helpful in letting you know how to get where you need to go.