The outline of a roof with text reading "my first week living on campus as a first-year student. Top tips for settling in."

My First Week Living on Campus as a First-year

I was positively terrified yet excited in the days leading up to my first-year move-in day. I considered calling in sick for college and joining the circus. To me, college just seemed like a big pile of unknowns. I often wondered things like “How am I going to make friends?” and “Am I going to be able to keep up with classes?” I’ve never been one to fret and worry about the future because I believe whatever happens is meant to be. However, college is completely different. I’ve never done anything like this in my life. I’ve never even been to sleep-away summer camp, but I decided to go out of my comfort zone, start my college career and move into Kahlert Village, the University of Utah’s newest first-year residence hall. Here are the top things I learned my first week:

Make friends 
Making friends on campus is MUCH EASIER than I anticipated. Everyone is trying to make friends and get settled, so they're open to meeting new people. Pro tip: leave your door open! My roommate and I left our door open, and people flocked to our room. We also walked around with the intentions of making friends and met a lot of really cool people. Knocking on doors led to a group hangout with 47 people. I couldn't think of a better way to spend my first night in college. 

Be yourself! 
College is the time to embrace who you really are and explore new things. This isn’t high school anymore. You’re on your own and you’re an official adult. College is the time to be your true authentic self. I PROMISE that you will find your people by being true to you. It’s so easy to read into what everyone else is doing and get wrapped up in trying to fit in. Being yourself will make a bigger, better impact on your college experience.  

The do’s and don’ts for your residence hall 
DON’T over-pack. You’ll seriously regret it. You’ll only accumulate more stuff like school t-shirts, textbooks, giveaway prizes, etc.  

DO coordinate with your roommate on what you both plan to bring for your room. 

DON’T nail things into your wall. Instead, use command hooks or dorm tape. 

DO look over your housing guidelines to see what you can and can’t have in your room. 

DON’T forget to look over your packing list and make sure to bring everything you need. I forgot a pillow and was sleeping with uncomfortable throw pillows for days.  

DO plan what decorations and storage things you want in your room. It makes move-in so much faster 

Overall, college is definitely scary, but doing your research, preparing yourself, and being open to new people and opportunities makes it a lot easier. Now is the time to put yourself out there. There will definitely be ups and downs, but your college experience is what you make it. As a current resident, I recommend the following: attend school events, become friends with your floor-mates, go explore Salt Lake City and have a positive attitude. 

Danitza Taveras
Outreach Housing Ambassador