75 things to do during your first semester at college

It’s crazy that this is the first August in four years where I haven’t been in Collins hall. It’s even crazier that there’s a new bunch of freshman at Baylor that I’m not there to welcome! If any of y’all know the Enneagram, my 2 is out in full-force right now haha. For everyone else, suffice it to say that I’m a bit homesick for Baylor. I mean, the place was my home and identity from the time I was 17 till less than a month ago! Nothing like a bit of nostalgia to make you retrospective, so, of course, I took to the blog. I’ve put together a list of 75 things that I did/wish I did my first semester at Baylor–enjoy!

  1. bake a cake in a mug.
  2. find a spot in the library where you can study alone—it’s always fun to go studying with friends late at night, but how much of that is actually studying?
  3. always. carry. your. student. ID.
  4. introduce yourself to your dorm-neighbors.
  5. dress all-out—I’m talking head to toe in only school colors, face paint (or just eye black) and pom poms— for a football game.

    a very hyped, very freshman, chrisy…to whom the wonder of an eyebrow pencil was yet unknown.
  6. explore a different major’s building (sometimes they have really great secret study spots!).
  7. seek out your CL/RA and ask if she wants to get coffee—she chose to live in a freshman dorm for another year for a reason, and it wasn’t free room and board; you’ll make her day  🙂
  8. put your phone away as you walk between classes.
  9. take a last minute roadtrip with friends.
  10. foolproof way to make friends with people on your hall: make chocolate chips in the community kitchen; the smell is irresistible and everyone will find their way to you!
  11. get plugged in to a church, smallgroup, or Bible study, just find some way to join a community that isn’t centered around studying.
  12. learn the names of the people working in your favorite dining hall; soon, running into them will make your day as well as theirs!
  13. keep a map of campus on your phone; if you’re lost, you can pass it off as texting.
  14. wake up crazy early to grab breakfast off-campus before class starts.

    oh Lula Janes–where only good life choices can be made
  15. ask the local movie theater if they have student discounts.
  16. ask local food places if they have student discounts.
  17. student discounts are your best friend, is what I’m getting at
  18. talk to the person next to you in class—chances are, they’re trying to work up the courage to do the same.
  19. text your high school friends before you miss them—it’s easy to wait until you’re caught up in homesickness to reach out, but keeping in touch really does keep the nostalgia at bay.
  20. understand that you have eight semesters and somewhere around 45 classes to go—if you get a B in British Literature or Intro to Chem, you’re probably going to be okay.
  21. make a point to call your grandparents, every now and then, not just your parents.
  22. sign up for an aerobics class in your SLC.
  23. make a playlist with just a handful of songs for the semester; when you hear the songs later, it’ll remind you of this time in your life.
  24. don’t stop making friends because welcome week is over.
  25. get a punch card to a local coffee shop, and find your favorite drink (or 7) on the menu.

    75_local coffee
    or go to said coffee shop so often that people are surprised when you’re not there
  26. have grace with your new college friends—they’ve known you for two weeks; your friends from back home have had years to get to know you.
  27. switch to green tea from caffeine for a week.
  28. go to your professor’s office hours; you don’t need to be failing your class to go talk to them! they might end up being the professor that will write you rec letters for grad school.
  29. wash your bedding; a few quarters every two weeks is definitely worth it.
  30. even more ‘worth it’ is washing (or at least switching out) your pillowcase every week.
  31. plan to get coffee with an upperclassman in your major, to see if you like where you’ll be standing in a few years.
  32. dress up (‘dress up’ being a loose term, meaning anything above leggings and a tshirt) for class at least once a week.
  33. sign up for clubs that interest you, not just the ones that pad your resume
  34. buy the meal of the person behind you at a drive through.
  35. get your 8 hours of sleep in. i know you have a test, i know you have a class at 8, i know Stranger Things is way too addictive. go to sleep.
  36. take an elective outside of your major.
  37. try going make-up free for a day or so…and realize that no one actually notices.
  38. most froyo places have deals if you go after a certain time—take advantage!
  39. go to class, skipping really isn’t worth it.
  40. read something that isn’t on a syllabus.
  41. grab a friend and take lunch to-go from a dining hall, and eat at a bench around campus.

    75_lunch on campus
    vintage sodas and takeout make for the perfect picnic
  42. buy dishes and cutlery from the dollar store—it’s worth a few bucks to eat with utensils that aren’t Styrofoam and plastic.
  43. conquer ironing.
  44. volunteer through your campus, chances are they have several outreach opportunities to give back to the community that surrounds your school.
  45. go on a coffee crawl—on a lazy sunday, try to hit up every coffee place you can with a few friends, and compare notes.
  46. find the photobooth at every university-sponsored event.
  47. figure out that studying for college is way different than studying for high school, and you might have to put in some more work than flipping through the text book the night before a test.
  48. check your new friends’ facebook for their birthdays—and before you say that’s a bit much, think about this: if their birthday is in early September, they’re really worried about what it’s going to be like to celebrate it with their friends and family around them.
  49. brew coffee or tea in your own room, and save yourself a few bucks (sorry, starbs, you know I love you!).
  50. if you’re not from the town where you’re going to college, google ‘Top Ten Things to do in Boulder/Charlotte/Tampa etc.
  51. if you are from the town where you’re going to college, you get to play tour guide for all your out-of-state friends!
  52. go to sporting events early to get free tshirts.
  53. get Ihop at 3 in the morning, after a late night of studying.
  54. discover quizlet anew—especially the sets made by people who took your same class last semester #blessed
  55. have an impromptu photoshoot with your new besties—someone is bound to have a fancy camera, and if not, iPhone cameras are actually surprisingly amazing. get dressed up and find a location off of campus. it’s a great stress reliever, and you’ll really treasure having those pictures!
  56. try not to set the firealarm off while microwaving popcorn.
  57. call your parents at least once in the first week. remember, this is their first time in twelve years where they haven’t been there for your first day.
  58. make friends with someone with a dog.

    seriously, make friends with dog people
  59. say hi to the person whose path you cross every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on your way to your 10am.
  60. go to a multicultural event on campus.
  61. perfect the art of waking up ten minutes before class time, and making it on time.
  62. memorize all the football chants. and the ones for basketball. and the ones for, if you’re in the Big 12, men’s tennis.
  63. speaking of which, try to go to sporting events that aren’t as popular. track & field and the equestrian team train just as hard, but they don’t often get the same audience as other sports.
  64. go to a career fair—companies might be looking for upperclassmen to offer an internship to, but you might just make a good impression! also, it’s much better to practice now, than to be nervous and blow an interaction your junior year, when you really need it.
  65. let your hair air dry; going to your 8am with it wet might not be the best fashion statement, but your hair deserves a rest.
  66. put hot water in a mug and sip it while studying—easy way to get your 2 liters/day in!
  67. play around with your style; come Junior year, people will say ‘oh that’s such a you thing to wear’, so now’s the time to figure out and have fun deciding what image you want to present.
  68. at the same time, remember that clothes aren’t everything, and that your friends will love you if you came to class in a paper bag.
  69. have appetizers and deserts and the nicest restaurant in town.
  70. do your nails while studying—you’re going to be sitting there for the next hour, might as well get an added benefit!
  71. have a different color folder for each class, to make sure you never grab the wrong one! (or leave the right one in your dorm).
  72. try to always eat breakfast, even if it’s just a piece of fruit or a granola bar, it really makes  a difference.
  73. get in the habit of wearing a watch.
  74. buy fresh flowers every now and then—you can get mini roses and babies breath from Walmart for less than $10! they really makes your dorm room feel like home.
  75. enjoy it. this is the first step of many many more, and it’s something special. you have your friends from high school, and your new soul sisters from college; treasure them both. go cliff-jumping, eat at food trucks, chase sunsets. make memories that will warm your heart to remember.75_sunset

2 thoughts on “75 things to do during your first semester at college

  1. Coffee crawl BRILLIANT! Do your nails while you study…thats a must! Buy fresh flowers Yes PLEASE! totally love all 75 of these Chrisy! Definitely going to add some of these to my life. Also, that’s crazy that room and board are not free for your RA’s! Here at Sam we have free room and board on top of getting paid:)
    P.S. absolutely LOVE the new blog look!

    Liked by 1 person

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