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  • The Griffin

Survival guide to the first week of college

By Maddy Lockwood, Features Editor


It is no secret that the first week of college is an emotionally burdening time for first-years going away to school for the first time. At least at Canisius, the first week is jam-packed with move-in, multiple days of orientation, and the beginning of classes to take your mind off of any fear or homesickness. But, it is not for the faint of heart. It can be overwhelming for new students and residents to conquer all of that in such a short amount of time, and adapt to being in a completely new environment. All of this (in my opinion, at least) is for the benefit of new students and can play a vital role in their success and overall opinion of their new school and home.


So the first piece of advice is to try to go to all of the orientation events, even those optional ones, or the ones that may seem boring. The only place on campus that you aren’t going to have the chance to meet someone is in your dorm room, so get the heck out of there! Sitting in the common room is even better than just being in your own room. And for my commuter friends, I know that the temptation is to go home after a long day of icebreakers and monotonous presentations is there, but you can’t! Go sit in the quad or go to some of the night events — even sit in the library. College is fun — it sucks for a little while, but then it's totally fun, I promise.


My second piece of advice is to make sure to get your hands on multiple fans. There is nothing quite comparable to the first few nights in the freshman dorms with absolutely no air circulation and that unbearable August heat, so getting the air in the dorms moving is ideal. For those who didn’t plan ahead for the warmth and stickiness, your new life line will be wet washcloths and ice packs that will help cool you off. While I packed one small fan, it was nowhere near enough and my parents had to come to the rescue with more fans from home.


Join at least two extracurriculars on campus; one that you can see yourself investing in a lot and one that is more low stakes and fun. Keep showing up to things that matter to you and you will find the people that are meant to find you.


Next up, really do some self-reflection and ask yourself if you are really going to go to the dining hall for three meals a day all semester. If that is not you, then please proceed to log onto your Canisius account and change your meal plan to have the maximum amount of Griff bucks and the least amount of meal swipes. The default meal plan gives you way too many meal swipes for the average student, and Griff bucks can roll over from fall to spring. Griff bucks are way more versatile and can give you a much-needed break from the dining hall when necessary.


Finally, I am aware that these are only a few of my hard-earned experiences translated into advice for my incoming babies, but the biggest piece of wisdom that you are going to need is that yes, it will suck at least a little bit for at least a little while. Honestly, it might be tougher for longer than you anticipated, but before you know it, you’ll realize that being independent and on your own can become one of the best experiences of your life. It is all part of growing into a new independence for each of you to experience. Keep your chin up and keep going because I am a firm believer that every situation is what you make of it, and Canisius is a great place to be.



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